Zildjian doesn’t just make cymbals – the company makes history. So legacy plays a big role at the cymbalsmith’s Norwell, Massachusetts headquarters, where Zildjian has installed an elaborate display and rechristened its conference room to honor the great Gene Krupa, a Zildjian endorser who is often referred to as one of the first celebrity drummers.
“It was Gene who suggested that my grandfather make the cymbals thinner,” said Craigie Zildjian, the company’s CEO. “The historical significance of this innovation marks an important turning point in the evolution of cymbal making. The thinner cymbals were very appealing to American drummers and, as a result, Zildjian cymbals gained widespread acceptance in the U.S.”
Among the items on display are his bass drum, tom, snare, drummer’s throne, drumsticks, crash, splash, hihats, and an engraved cigarette lighter, all dating back to the 1930s and 1940s. The special exhibition is made possible by the Stamm family of Chicago, close friends of the late drummer who preserved these items for over 50 years.