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Zig Kanstul: Last of the Great Masters, by R. Dale Olson

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Zig Kanstul: Last of the Great Masters

In this account of the lineage of the great masters of American brass musical instrument making, culminating in the story of Zig Kanstul, R. Dale Olson walks the reader through the history of significant brass design innovation and manufacturing in the United States, from 1824 to 2016.

Being a complex, often mystifying, melding of art and science, the creation of fine brass instruments has involved the passing down of knowledge, hand-to-hand, from one master craftsman to the next, in the ongoing quest for higher quality and more artistically idealized instruments. This book traces that development with both a technical and very personal focus.  Includes detailed historical information and photos by Robb Stewart.  Paperback, 258 pp.

R. Dale Olson, Author

Born in Houston, Texas in 1935, R. Dale Olson lived on Galveston Island, Texas from the age 5 until entering University of North Texas in 1952.  From that University he was awarded the B.A. degree in Music Education in 1956, and the first M.M. degree in Trumpet Performance in 1957. In 1987 he earned an M.A. degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. He was named Distinguished Alumnus by the University of North Texas in 2007 in recognition of his career in music.

Olson continues to lecture at Universities and International Trumpet Guild
Conferences, and is currently engaged in writing Chronology of Innovation, a critique of every United States patent ever granted related to trumpet. Retired from professional performance since 1990, Olson and his wife, Diane, have residences in Galveston, Texas, and Orange County, California. He maintains his own collection of classic English automobiles.

Robb Stewart, Editor

Born in Chicago, Robb has lived in Southern California since 1973.  He started learning the brass instrument repair trade at 17 and launched his own shop in 1979.  Always aiming for the best repairs possible including restoring and preserving antiques, Robb also custom builds instruments not otherwise available.  His restoration work has included projects for several museums, but mostly for the burgeoning community of brass instrument collectors. contains hundreds of pages covering brass instrument history and technology including a section devoted to the mechanics of brass instruments.

Scott Birdsall, Book Design

Having played for years alongside Zig Jr. and Jack in the Scouts and Velvet Knights under Zig's direction, Scott went to work at F.E. Olds & Son immediately after high school, with a later stint at Benge.  He heads a graphic design business in Lake Forest, CA.

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