Every penny of "Good Vibes" purchased at PIPERvibe.com store will be used to help musicians pay for items and services from the store. Our first Good Vibes recipient is vibist Jen Martinez-Bre.
Jen has a spinal condition that causes her to be shorter than the typical vibraphone player. For her to play the vibes comfortably, she stands on books or reams of paper and attaches a box to the pedal to bring it up to her foot (see photo below). Playing an instrument requires technique, finesse and determination. Jen’s condition makes it very difficult to create and express herself on the vibraphone – more difficult than it is to most.
PIPERvibe purchased a very nice, used M55 to customize for Jen. This is PIPERvibe's first "Good Vibes" project. The purchase of the used vibraphone was $3,000.00. Shipping is now so expensive and the instrument needed to be transported carefully so I decided it was better to simply drive to Chicago from Dallas and pick the instrument up. It took three days and I slept in my van to cut down on the cost. The instrument is now safely in my workshop waiting for the necessary upgrades, repairs and customizations that will be very expensive but with your help, we can make a great instrument for Jen that is not so expensive for her. Please read Jen's story below and then buy some "Good Vibes" at our store to help. Every penny used to purchase Good Vibes will be added to the funds to help pay for these projects.
From Jen Martinez-Bre:
"I want the freedom to express myself through a creative medium. After trying almost every artistic medium, I somehow stumbled onto the vibraphone - possibly the one non-wind/brass instrument that is acceptable to be played monophonically. As a person with very little hand/finger strength and bimanual synkinesis, or mirrored hand movements, "proper" technique on most instruments is out of my reach. I can achieve a decent technique on the mallet instruments, of which my preferred instrument being the vibes.
However, every vibraphone on the current and past market does not suit my short stature, requiring modifications to the height of whatever instrument I have at my disposal. I always feel like I'm compensating a bit in my technique on all the relatively tall keyboards. I've tried various makeshift modifications, in the form of rubber banding boxes to the pedal and/or creating or finding some sort of platform, since I could never afford modifying the actual instrument. Then I ran into PIPERvibe.comwhere Good Vibes Resonate and I contacted Piper for help modifying an instrument that addresses my needed adjustments. The instrument of my dreams is a customized Musser M55 vibraphone with PIPERvibe upgrades and modifications.
I am super appreciative of Piper because of his kindness and willingness to take on the project, even after the cross country side trip, and taking all this time corresponding back and forth with me and my Wikipedia article sized emails. I've reached out to the other manufacturers with no luck getting a frame customized to my size.
I went very in-depth on my condition(s) in a recent interview I did for Percussive Notes. You can find it below.”