What if the guy who sold your musical instrument and accessories was a professional musician?
That's the question Jonathan Wright Watkins asked himself before he entered the music store business. As a bassoonist with a decade of experience under his belt, Jonathan was frustrated by trying to work with the average salesperson every time he needed something for his instrument. He wanted to speak with someone who understood the way his instrument worked - and what could make it sound better and play more easily. As in the music itself, Jonathan felt there was nuance in how the instrument could be adjusted to meet the individual player's style and skill level. The easy answer that most music stores gave - buy a new instrument - did not make sense to him in each case.
So Jonathan set out to create a different kind of music supplier. His first stint in the business began in 1980 with a mail order woodwind supplier. He built the company's business and learned how to differentiate among quality instruments for musicians at all levels - and how small adjustments could help even a good level student instrument produce better music. Jonathan's efforts attracted the attention of industry giant Sam Ash, which hired him as buyer for its Band and Orchestra division in 1990. After holding this position for a few years, Jonathan found he missed direct customer-centered problem solving, so he accepted a position as manager of Woodwind and Brasswind NY. In 2003 he decided to take his dream - and every musician's - to the next level by purchasing an established family-run music store in Port Washington, New York.
From this base - now known as Wright Music - Jonathan continues his work as an educator who happens to sell musical instruments, accessories and related services. He and his staff function as consultants for their clients, helping to identify the specific need, attendant problems and possible solutions before a purchase is ever proposed. They also function informally as consultants for manufacturers, helping them understand and meet the real needs of the marketplace. This gilt-edged approach to an industry that is often known for being a bit tinny has earned Jonathan a loyal following among school band and orchestra directors, parents of young musicians and a panoply of professionals.
Our clients include members and faculty of:
Mannes College of Music
New York City Ballet
New York City Department of Education
New York City Opera
New York University
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
The Julliard School
The Metropolitan Opera
The Milwaukee Symphony
The New York Philharmonic
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Phoenix Symphony
The perfect team — our shop is only as good as its people.
Jonathan Wright Watkins, Owner, President
A bassoonist for nearly forty years, Jonathan studied with recognized masters of the instrument. Jonathan currently teaches bassoon privately and freelances with a variety of orchestras. He holds a master's degree in music from Hunter College, a bachelor's in music from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. He also attended Mannes College of Music. Jonathan is proud to have as friends many of the world's most accomplished symphony and Broadway musicians. He is grateful for the opportunity to teach - and learn from - musicians of all ages and skill levels.
Chrystal Conklin DeKams, Store Manager
Three weeks after Wright Music opened in 2003, Chrystal Conklin joined as a part-time sales associate while pursuing her degree in music education at Hofstra University. Shortly after graduating, she took on the full-time role of managing the store.
Having been a part of the store's over 10-year history, Chrystal brings an understanding of the needs of the Port Washington community. A skilled clarinet player, Chrystal’s expertise as both a musician and an educator make her a valuable asset to the store.
Chrystal is also an amateur photographer, and can often be found behind the camera documenting the (sometimes wacky) exploits of the rest of the staff.
Bruce Huron, Repair Department Manager
Cameron Underhill, Sales Associate
Newest member of our team, Hofstra grad Cameron Underhill joined Wright Music in the summer of 2010. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Music Business, Cameron brings his energy and fresh ideas to our team.
Cameron is an accomplished saxophonist and a keyboard player for a number of local bands; catch his talents with Queens based band The Dirty Gems or his four member ensemble Earthquake Lights. Cameron recently took up the ukulele and runs Wright Music's ukulele club, U.K.E. He is also one half of the ukulele duo The Wright Brothers.