A Few words about Jeffrey Potter of Santa Cruz Piano
I began my piano career in 1978 working in a piano store owned by an older
German gentleman who had apprenticed at the age of 14 at the Schiedmeyer
piano factory in Stuttgart way back in 1932. Working on imported top-tier
used grands from Europe to restore/sell was an invaluable training ground
for a well rounded technical career.
I concurrently set up a home workshop to do my own restorations and
Announced in the July/1982 Piano Technicians Journal, I had passed my tests
to be classified a registered technician in the piano guild. I let my
membership lapse in that organization 10 years later so I am not currently a member
Also in 1982, I moved into a co-op industrial workshop with 5 other technicians.
What a great experience it was to have so much shared knowledge, ideas and comradery
under one roof. We hosted the Piano technician club meetings every month for over 10 years.
In 1987 I took a year off to live in Europe, tuning for travel money and
visiting the great European factories. I visited/toured Hamburg Steinway,
Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Grotrian, Schimmel, Steingraeber, Euterpe, Pfeiffer,
Knight, Fazer, Renner, the famous Klavierbaumeister school in Stuttgart,
and many smaller restoration shops.
In 1991 I moved to Santa Cruz setting up a new shop and collaborated
with a great tech who does excellent soundboard and bridge crafting.
Many additional valuable insights passed on from a 3rd generation tech since passed.
In 2003, I opened a showroom to offer/display the many Steinway grands
I had restored for resale. (See
As concert tuner, I have been lucky to work with some of the worlds greatest artists.
(Please see my Concert Tuning list under references) My first big show was James
Taylor at Shoreline Amphitheater in the late 80's, Montalvo Arts center from
1995-2013, the Mountain Winery, Kuumbwa Jazz Center (2007-present) and many
other shows for Bay Area concert piano rental firms. Pictured is Herbie Hancock's set-up in 2007.
In 2005, I accepted the salaried position of the Music Department Keyboard
Technician for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). ( I am responsible
for 70 instruments including a Bosendorfer Imperial and 3 Steinway Concert grands,
4 harpsichords, virginals, forte-piano and clavichord. Historical tuning systems
for early music are my latest area of study.
In 2006 I took over the only piano store in Santa Cruz County. Buying and selling
quality pre-owned and new pianos is a passion of mine.
I finally have a home in the Santa Cruz mountains with 2000 sq. ft. dedicated to
just pianos. I have a large room for grands, another for uprights and a large
workshop area. I try to have 25-30 uprights and 16 or so grands available for
rent or for sale at all times. And sometimes for home appointments...
I'll even wear a sportcoat!