Sakae Drums _ The Truth and History
Here is the fascinating Sakae Story
A Letter from the Desk of Eizo Nakata
“Many people on the inside of the drum industry are aware of my family business, but for most drummers the name Sakae is completely new. Because of this I would like to explain a little further the history of my family business, Sakae Rhythm/Sakae Drums.
Sakae was founded in 1925 by my grandfather in Osaka, Japan. Up until the late 60’s we made several percussion instruments for the Japanese school market. We spent many years developing our unique way of making drums and creating our own musical voice in the world of percussion. Because of this success, we eventually drew the attention of Yamaha who approached my father to consider a partnership in making drums for them. So, from 1967 until now Sakae has been the primary OEM source of all Yamaha high-end drums. This is something my family is very proud of and for over 40 years we have remained exclusive to Yamaha.
One thing is for certain and that is change. Recently I became the third generation to be handed the reins of this proud family business. My whole life I have been groomed to understand and respect the importance of our drum traditions, artists, history and honor. I grew up with legends like Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine, Ndugu Chancler, Charley Drayton etc. all contributing to my nurturing and training. It is upon me that my family has now laid the responsibility to carry on this excellence and tradition to making the instrument we call the drums. Equipped with this task I now find it necessary to have the Sakae brand stand on its own and come out from behind the shadow of Yamaha.
In these difficult and uncertain economic times I realize the decision to independently build the Sakae brand is one most would see as risky. However; Sakae is not just another drum company. My family and I are committed to the traditions of making instruments of the utmost quality and excellence. Corporatism and the desire to become the biggest drum company in the world are NOT our priorities. What IS our priority is making musical instruments that my father, grandfather and the legendary artists I have grown up with, would all be proud of. Bringing honor to their names, hard work and music is the driving force behind each and every morning I wake. With this passion underneath all that I do, the decision to go alone was obvious and the only conclusion. There was no other way to pursue the ground breaking advancements we wanted. I believe you will agree when you hear our new instruments.
I understand that for most in the drumming world the name Sakae may be unfamiliar, but the sound of Sakae is not. We believe we have taken that great and well-respected sound to a new level and would love to have you give them a listen. The world doesn’t need another drum company, but the world DOES need to hold onto the Sakae sound that has been so instrumental in the music we have heard for the past 40 plus years. Please give Sakae a listen, check out our site and ask your favorite drum shop if they carry the brand. We would love to make the name Sakae as popular to the world as the Sakae sound you have come to know and love.
I hope to meet you all some day and hope that Sakae will be your choice for a musical voice in the near future.
Sincerely, Eizo Nakata President Sakae Drums”