Hi, my name is Jen Sandquist. I have been with Harrelson Trumpets from day 1... if I could say one thing that I have learned from my time working with Jason Harrelson... it would be that he never stops growing. For the last 12 years.... that thirst for knowledge has been focused in one place... building a better Trumpet. If you take one look at a Harrelson Trumpet, even an untrained eye can see that they are well built works of art. I will tell you as the person that knows more than anyone on this planet... besides Jason himself... that Jason has spent every waking, and most dreaming moments of his life for 12 years thinking of ways to innovate the design of the Trumpet. I haven't had one conversation with him in the past 12 years that hasn't somehow involved him questioning the mechanics of the trumpet... and thinking of ways to improve it. For as long as I have known him, he has carried a little notebook in his back pocket... and to leaf through it you would understand when I say... the d'vinci sketchbooks come to mind. There is a focus that Jason possesses that is unlike that of anyone I have ever met. His ideas come from the strangest and most unexpected places.... maybe at a watch shop in the mall... he pulls out the notebook to sketch designs... a certain curve or design that he would like to emulate.... while walking through a market in Mexico... Fire Opals in jewelry design spur him on to research new finger button designs and dream of trumpets that could be beautiful works of art... Jason admires the work of Tiffany and his designs push toward a beautiful organic and human aesthetic... I really believe his ultimate goal would be to design an instrument that was truly an extension of the human body... so that it was natural to grip and felt like part of the player... wouldn't that after-all be the ultimate in voice.
Jason will be maintaining this blog.... but from time to time I would like to put in my two cents as well. I think that sometimes it is hard for someone so focused on innovating and problem solving... to truly see themselves from the outside. I think it's important for the world at large, and the trumpet community in particular to know that Harrelson Trumpets really is the brain child of one man. He has put his entire mind and body into the business and made sacrifices that are too many to count. Long winters, working out of a one car garage... with a tiny space heater... I still remember the happy victory of installing a proper heater in that first shop space. The first ITG Conference in Denver... working all day and well into the wee hours of the morning to finish designs to show... only to be received by a crowd of skeptics... so many people that year passing by our booth and making jokes or laughing... there were of course... people who were ready to listen even back then... but the instruments really have sold themselves. From the very first modified trumpet design... our greatest marketing tool.... has been putting Trumpets in the players hands. We have never put any money into advertising... only this last year did we take out our first ad in a magazine... The Brass Herald... that is the only publication we have ever submitted to. Yet our instruments are in the hands of professionals, community players and students around the globe. This year the ITG is being held in Minnesota... and Jason is a presenter... it truly is a victory... for Harrelson Trumpets and... I will tell you... Jason deserves every bit of respect that comes with that honor.
I am proud to know Jason Harrelson... no one I have ever met, has given so much of themselves to one goal. I admire his devotion and drive. Today he has the day off... I think it might be his first Sunday off in 6 months. He works every weekend... and many nights when we close down the shop... he stands by the door when he turns out the lights and says... I still can't believe that I built all of this... and you know what... he did.