Last Farewell To Sakae Drums

If you’re not a drummer the name “SAKAE” may be unfamiliar to you, but for sure the “sound” of Sakae drums is not. In fact you can hear these drums being played for the past 50 years on some of your favourite records. Drummers like Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Cozy Powell and Carter Beuford (just to name a few) have used them to record albums like “Aja” by Steely Dan, “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon, or the self titled album “The Chick Corea Electric Band”.

Sakae was founded in 1925 in Osaka, Japan. At first, they used to make percussion instruments for schools, until Yamaha Drums approached them in the late 60’s and they started collaborating, making some of the most famous drum kits the music industry has ever seen/heard. However, after a 40 years long collaboration, due to the 2008’s economic crisis, Yamaha Drums moved their factory to Xiaoshan, China, leaving Sakae Drums with the only option to go back making drums but with their own name.

The company had a slow start, and didn’t manage to pick up sales. Due to the tough competition with the multitude of other drum firms and unfortunately after almost 10 years, the company had to suspend its business.

In 2015 I was very fortunate to become a Sakae Artist along with some of my favourite drummers: Eric Harland, Ndugu Chancler, Greg Hutchinson, Karriem Riggins and many more. The quality of the products was superb and after seeing few weeks back the end of another pillar of music instruments like Gibson Guitars, it’s really a shame to see the music business losing a huge name in drumming like SAKAE Drums.   

Chris Castellitto

Author Chris Castellitto

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