A Zildjian Zoom Hang with Paul Francis
Time & Location
About the Event
We sincerely hope you can join us for this exclusive Drum Hangs Zildjian Zoom Hang with Director of Cymbal Innovation at Zildjian, Paul Francis!
Don’t miss your chance to hang with Paul and gain wonderful insights into the legendary Zildjian brand, hear stories of Paul’s liaisons with legendary Zildjian Artists, and learn more from Paul about Zildjian products he has developed over the years.
After his graduation from Quincy High in 1986, Paul Francis dreamed of fame and fortune as a professional musician. He studied briefly at Berklee College of Music, earned a certificate in drumming at New York City’s Drummers Collective, and then headed back to Boston, where he moved home and began to confront the stark realities of trying to earn a living as a gigging drummer.
His parents were supportive, but also practical, and they insisted that he find a day job. He landed an interview at Zildjian through his drumming teacher in 1989 and soon shoehorned his way into an entry-level position that had him sweeping the factory floor and hanging Christmas decorations in the front office lobby.
For a young drummer, Paul says, working at Zildjian was “much like being Charlie in Willy Wonka’s candy factory.” His enthusiasm and hard work impressed the bosses, and within a month he had begun to train as a lathe operator, using carbide cutting tools to shave material from each cast-metal discus until it reached the target weight for the cymbal it would become.
For the next seven years, he honed his skill at lathing, the most difficult process in cymbal making, and in 1995 he was promoted to research and development technician, developing new cymbals for artists and the marketplace.
Making great cymbals, Paul says, is as much art as science. At Zildjian it started as a form of magic. According to the company’s website, Avedis Zildjian was “an Armenian alchemist in the city of Constantinople in the early 17th century. While attempting to create gold by combining base metals, he discovered an alloy of copper, tin, and traces of silver with unique sound qualities.”
Sustaining that tradition is part of Francis’s job. Following his 1995 promotion, he apprenticed under Armand Zildjian, then president of the company, who had learned the craft from his father, Avedis Zildjian III.
Under Armand’s tutelage, Francis became a master. Before Armand’s death in 2002, the two worked together to develop an array of Zildjian products including K Constantinople Orchestral and drum set cymbals, A Zildjian & CIEVintage series and the A Zildjian 15” Sweet hats and 21” Sweet Ride. But there was much more to come.
“One day,” Francis says, “I got called up from the factory to one of the conference rooms. The vice president of manufacturing was there, the Zildjian’s were there, and my direct boss was there. I was thinking, “uh-oh, I must be in trouble.’”
Instead of a reprimand, they offered Francis the opportunity to continue his education. Soon he was enrolled in evening classes at Northeastern’s Lowell Institute School and on his way to a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology - promotions soon followed at work!
His employer agrees. Craigie Zildjian, Armand Zildjian’s daughter and the company’s president and chair of its board of directors, says Francis is an essential member of the Zildjian team:
“My father devoted the last ten years of his life to achieving his succession plan,” she says. “In working closely with Paul Francis, Armand provided us with a seamless transition and an even more ambitious level of product innovation for the future.”
We look forward to welcoming you to this exclusive Zildjian Hang - Register for FREE now!