What if the guy who sold your musical instrument and accessories was a professional musician?
That's the question Jonathan Wright Watkins asked himself before he entered the music store business. As a bassoonist with a decade of experience under his belt, Jonathan was frustrated by trying to work with the average salesperson every time he needed something for his instrument. He wanted to speak with someone who understood the way his instrument worked - and what could make it sound better and play more easily. As in the music itself, Jonathan felt there was nuance in how the instrument could be adjusted to meet the individual player's style and skill level. The easy answer that most music stores gave - buy a new instrument - did not make sense to him in each case.
So Jonathan set out to create a different kind of music supplier. His first stint in the business began in 1980 with a mail order woodwind supplier. He built the company's business and learned how to differentiate among quality instruments for musicians at all levels - and how small adjustments could help even a good level student instrument produce better music. Jonathan's efforts attracted the attention of industry giant Sam Ash, which hired him as buyer for its Band and Orchestra division in 1990. After holding this position for a few years, Jonathan found he missed direct customer-centered problem solving, so he accepted a position as manager of Woodwind and Brasswind NY. In 2003 he decided to take his dream - and every musician's - to the next level by purchasing an established family-run music store in Port Washington, New York.
From this base - now known as Wright Music - Jonathan continues his work as an educator who happens to sell musical instruments, accessories and related services. He and his staff function as consultants for their clients, helping to identify the specific need, attendant problems and possible solutions before a purchase is ever proposed. They also function informally as consultants for manufacturers, helping them understand and meet the real needs of the marketplace. This gilt-edged approach to an industry that is often known for being a bit tinny has earned Jonathan a loyal following among school band and orchestra directors, parents of young musicians and a panoply of professionals.