Manhattans #1 boutique sax & woodwind repair shop.
A division of Weissman Flutes.
Visit us by calling Luke Penella 917-602-4996
Music and the sax is a vital part of my existence. My love of music and intrinsic curiosity involving the mechanics of the saxophone started at an early age – after all, my father, Vincent Penella, is a famed sax player as well. Growing up, my house was always filled with great music from cats like Joe Henderson, John Coltrane and Jerry Bergonzi. I’d listen to them all day and still do! As a young artist, I was sensitive to the subtleties in different horns and other musician’s signature sounds. It wasn’t uncommon for me to take apart my sax and put it back together, so in high school my professional career took off at a local music store repairing saxophones.
After high school my talents were awarded by Berklee College of Music in Boston with a scholarship to major in performance. My abilites soared under the teaching of Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, and Mitch Haupers to name just a few.
I have always felt blessed that my chosen career path parallels my passion in life. As cliché as it may sound, when you love something you do it well.
Currently, I am a Hellcat recording artist with ska heavy weights Westbound Train, and am with Lifted Crew a neo soul/hip hop band currently being shopped at multiple major labels. Recently Lifted has been called “The best live hip-hop band since The Roots. I’ve done many studio dates including Guitar Hero “80’s Edition” as well performed with such artists as Beyonce,Slick Rick, Vinnie Amaco, Sam Kinninger and Jim Laighlin from Moe.
My technical abilities were broadened during my employment with one of the top flute manufacturers, Burkart Flutes.
Presently I am a chief technician for the most respected and largest flute dealer in the nation, Weissman Music. President of Weissman Music, Jeff Weissman (affectionately donned “The Wizard” by clients and friends) founded his company in 1979.
After two years of working directly beside Jeff, Penella Sax was born. Not only has Jeff become one of my dearest friends, but he is also my mentor and teacher. With over 30 years of flute and piccolo repair and design knowledge to impart, he has been instrumental in furthering my abilities as a flute and piccolo technician. Each day is a new lesson in innovative repair techniques as well as all aspects of flute design – performance, response, tolerances, design, acoustics, etc. Since Jeff produces his own flutes and piccolos (Weissman-McKenna, Sedona and Samperi to name a few) I’ve witnessed, firsthand, the amount of hard work, knowledge and precision it takes to build a quality instrument. I quickly realized that there is a healthy supply of intermediate flutes with superior craftsmanship and beautiful sound. Not only are these instruments an affordable solution to acquire a “fully loaded” flute with options, but they’re raising the bar for the professional flutes that cost $10,000.00 or more.
I was envious that sax players do not have the same opportunities to a quality instrument that flute players do. Sax players’ choices are limited to student instruments or vintage Selmers. While discussing this with Jeff one day, we decided to embark on a new project with a goal to set a new benchmark, the Penella Sax – the perfect marriage of precision, quality, sound and affordability. As a flute maker, Jeff made many connections throughout his career in Asia and knows all the ins-and-outs of the music industry. With his extensive manufacturing experience and my understanding of the sax, we are cultivating the perfect saxophone!
Our journey started at one of the largest international music trade shows in the industry. Companies from around the world gather in one location to show off their instruments. Finding the right team to implement our designs with my name and reputation (as well as Jeff’s) on it is a key, perhaps the most important, aspect of building the Penella Sax. I was able to test hundreds of different model horns and Jeff and I interviewed each of those manufacturers. After days of intense information gathering, we have chosen the company that we are going to collaborate with. This is only the beginning – Weissman doesn’t just “slap a label” on his instruments and sell them. The difference between instruments whose creators leave behind a legacy and those that are soon forgotten is in the “blood, sweat and tears” you put into it. It is our mission leave a legacy after we are gone.
President | Penella Saxophones
Manager | Weissman Music, Manhattan