NYC Saxophone Repairman Still Servicing the Greats—For Over 30 Years

By Brendon Fallon, Epoch Times
June 6, 2018 Last Updated: June 6, 2018

One of New York City’s last saxophone repairmen, Perry Ritter, has an impressive celebrity client list.

Chris Potter, Michael Brecker and Lenny Pickett from “Saturday Night Live,” are among the musicians who have had their instruments serviced by Ritter.

His business, Perry Ritter Woodwind Repair on 47th Street, is a musical epicenter where legendary saxophonists bump into one another, David Schroeder, associate professor of jazz studies at NYU, says on Ritter’s website.

Ritter, 59, grew up in a machine shop. With an early passion for music, he entered the saxophone repair business to stay close to the art.

While refining his craft, he worked at an array of music stores along 48th street. Finally, he started his own business, which has been running for more than 30 years.

Ritter has repaired and serviced every type of woodwind instrument, his website states. He listens to and watches his clients play to help them pinpoint problems related to their instrument or their technique.

There’s “something nice about working with your hands,” something that he’s grown quite accustomed to, he told Fox 5.

However, the saxophone repair business has slowed in recent times, Ritter said.

He occupies his time on quieter days fashioning planes, dragons, lighthouses, mobiles, and other ornaments from spare saxophone parts, which come from American instrument companies that have gone out of business.