510-533-6750 steved@mcn.org

Testimonials from some of my customers.

I just wanted to thank you (a bit belatedly) for the repairs to my flute. You may not even remember which flute (the one made by the Powell guys who split off to start their own company years ago).
This flute is everything I loved and remembered. It plays and sounds like a dream.
With GREAT gratitude!
Laura Alderdice

Mr. Deutsch,
It has been several years since you extended the left hand spatula keys on my A clarinet. I wanted you to know that your work is holding up beautifully. The left hand pinkie fits perfectly on the clarinet and the key work is as good as the day it left your shop. I have had no need for even an adjustment, and the clarinet is played nearly every day. Thanks again for not only solving the problem for me, but doing so with craftsmanship.

Best regards,

Jon Graybill, Heath, Texas

Subject: Re: To Steve from Vivian/From Phyllis Oyama


You’ll love hearing this story………when Steve first took a look at the flute in person, he was very pessimistic & said it was trash. Then, he said. “well…….let me try super gluing it and we can see.” He went through two rounds of super gluing it, sanded it and played it. Then, he looked at me and said, “wow – no wonder this musician loves this sound!”

THANK YOU so much Vivan for finding me Steve!!! Rinde Eckert, the musician we are working with deeply thanks you too ~ can’t tell you how thrilled he is.


Hello Steve,
Thank you again for selling us the wonderful 1958 Buffet R13. Lindalynn is so very happy with the many ways in which it’s an improvement over her rental. All of us enjoy hearing her practice much more than we used to!

Hello Steve,
Thank you again for selling us the wonderful 1958 Buffet R13. Lindalynn is so very happy with the many ways in which it’s an improvement over her rental. All of us enjoy hearing her practice much more than we used to!

Dear Mr. Deutsch,
I just wanted to let you know that my daughter was delighted with the piccolo that I bought from you just before Christmas. It sounds great.
Thank you,
Sandra McCracken

Just had to tell you how pleased I am… Listened to both the last Bach and then to us playing “I remember… I really learning/changing and I am very pleased.. Thank you
Glenn Hunter

This is in response to a talk I gave to the band at El Cerrito High School about taking care of your instruments and using your musical imagination:

“Steve, Thanks again for coming in. I definitely got some response from the kids… they all really enjoyed it. I have heard some new sounds and ideas as kids warmup and play after class — very cool. I really appreciate any time someone shares something new musically. Thank you so much! Let’s definitely do it again.”

Craig Bryant

“Thanks for the adjustment on my alto sax! Not only does the neck now easily fit into the horn, it has opened up the sound. Got a lot of compliments on it in a recent rehearsal. All the best.”
Joe Schillaci

It was close to 5pm on a Friday, and I was warming up my roaring 20’s vintage Buffet soprano sax. I had an early gig with my 4 piece western swing band. I realized the often resistant and temperamental horn was really not playing at all. I knew the only hope to get the horn playing was to rush over to my good friend Steve Deutsch’s woodwind repair shop in Berkeley. I gave Steve a call, and he was happy to wait for me, even if it was after closing time.

I pulled up right in front of his shop (right around the corner from La Pena) into one of many parking spaces in the vicinity. Steve immediately jumped into action by playing the horn and running a light through it. After a few minutes of lining up the octave mechanisms, the horned played better than it had in the 8 years I’ve owned it. This made the gig and all future soprano sax performances much more enjoyable. I highly recommend Steve for any repair work to be done on these quirky analog beasts that have survived into the digital age.”

Sourdough Joe and The Sons of Emperor Norton

“Steve first worked on my flute about 3 years ago. He replaced my flute’s original pads with Straubinger™ Pads. Steve is exceptionally thorough in his repair work. As much as I hate having to leave my flute for repairs, I always look forward to picking up my flute from him, knowing the instrument will be in such great playing condition. Steve also sells an outstanding collection of hard-to-find sheet music. I always find a book or two when I’m there to add to my music book collection.”
Sarah Wasley-Smith,

Wasley-Smith Design, www.wsdesign.com, 925-963-3048

“My Selmer Mark VI tenor was unplayable. Another technician worked on it and, well, he had messed it up. I brought its poor broken body to Steve Deutsch, who did his magic. Now, it plays the way a great horn is supposed to play: silky, fast, easy, fat and sweet. It glows, it kills. As far as I’m concerned this horn will not be touched by any technician but Steve Deutsch.

“I would like to take the time to sing the praises of my long time friend, excellent musician and master woodwind and flute repairman… Mr. Steve Deutsch. He recently overhauled my vintage Selmer Paris tenor saxophone, adjusted my vintage King Super 20 Silver Sonic alto saxophone and adjusted my Selmer “knock off” baritone saxophone and all the aforementioned horns are playing beautifully and effortlessly.I highly recommend Steve and his masterful work.”
Marty Deradoorian, saxophonist with the 2008 Sammie Award winning Sacramento Blues Revue

“I hope none of you ever pick up your saxophone and see water spill out of the tone-holes, never have to see springs rust before your eyes, and never have to watch helplessly as the oils leech from the wood of your clarinet and the wood starts to turn white.

Such was the scene when the house’s sump-pump broke, filling the basement and my instruments to the brim with water. The horns had been submerged for several days by the time I discovered the accident. It was a Sunday morning, the hour was against me, all repair-shops were closed, and I had only half an hour before boarding a plane to England for a week, leaving my beloved instruments to rust, rot, and die a slow, miserable death.

Frantically, I called every single repair-shop in the area with no answer. Then I made one final, desperate call to a repairman I had never heard of before. Steve Deutsch answered, heard my plight, and agreed to take the horns immediately and see what he could do.

To my delight, surprise, and supreme relief, Steve saved all three instruments. Not only did he resurrect the dead, he renewed them to a state far superior to their condition before the accident. Thanks to Steve and all his phenomenal work, my horns continue to live and breathe and my complete loss is now my profound gain.”

Alex Scammon

Thank you once again for saving the day. The work you did on my Tenor was great! You took the slop out of the keys in question and adjusted it perfectly. You always seem to find the time in an emergency. Thanks again”
Skip Mesquite

Original member of Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Lenny Williams, Deniece Williams, Merle Saunders

“I’ve used a few different repair shops over the years, but Steve is definitely best. He has that rare combination of expertise, artistry, and an eye for detail. I give significant weight to the fact that Steve can actually play a saxophone, and that makes a world of difference in someone who is repairing and adjusting a piece of equipment that I need to use night after night. I own a late model Selmer Paris SA-80 Series
III tenor sax that I had almost given up for junk because it had been DROPPED (albeit in its case), bending the main body. Steve straightened the horn and repaired a huge dent in the neck, and now the horn plays perfectly. Note that he completed this work in less than two weeks for an incredibly reasonable price. I then had Steve look at my other (newer) SA-80 Series III tenor for some minor dent repair. He found that almost all of the keys were leaking and offered to “trim-up” the horn while fixing the dent. That’s the kind of care that you can expect from Steve, and that’s why I’ll always trust him with all of my horns. Steve is a godsend.”
Jody P. Ono, tenor sax, alto sax, EWI, Davis, CA

“If you’re ever in the Bay area or Live in and about “Steve Deutsch” is your man for Repairs, as you know the Vintage Selmer Horns Need a lot of Wind to keep them going, Especially in that Lower Register. I was Having Problems getting my MKVII to respond in the Lower Register until Steve got ahold of it and Brought it back to Life, Voila no more Problems Deep Bass Bb sounds like a Fog Horn now and it comes in with minimum resistence, Not to mention the entire horn sounds real Strong and in Tune, Top To Bottom. Thanks Steve.”
Jim, San Francisco

Music fills the air on Wednesday morning at the Antioch Senior Center, and many of the 200-plus listeners just can’t keep still.

The pied piper, playing the tenor saxophone, is 85 year old Dick Coleman, accompanied by bass, drums and vocalist. In the audience you might spot a 17-gal line dance snaking through the hall or, from the table known as the “Fan Club”, a woman compelled to run up and give Coleman a kiss on the cheek.

It’s hard to imagine Coleman as the survivor of seven strokes who, at one time, spent his day in his chair staring at cabinet doors. “He stands up there for a couple of hours and plays all these tunes out of his head,” said Barbara Coleman, Dick’s wife of 43 years. “It’s amazing. People see what he does and the way he plays, and they forget that he had seven strokes.”

Steve Deutsch, owner of Steve Deutsch Woodwinds in Berkeley, met Dick Coleman when he repaired his saxophone. After he played nonstop for almost an hour Deutsch was amazed to hear his medical history.

“He played great, and there was no hesitation between his fingers and his brain,” Deutsch said. “ His jazz covers the spectrum through everything from old things like “Robbins Nest” and hits from the 30’s and 40’s to “Harlem Nocturn”.

Deutsch also recognized a broader story, one of love, for the music itself and between two individuals, Dick and Barbara Coleman.

Just one hour spent in their company reveals their powers of recovery, strength and commitment. While Dick related stories from his past, laughing and getting emotional at the memories, Barbara filled in with anecdotes of her own.

Music has played a role throughout the Antioch resident’s life and is ingrained upon his outlook. “Music had a healing affect on everyone, and its effect on me is based on two things,” he said. “The essence of music is communication, and the other element is a sense of presence; it fulfills this profound need to express.”

Coleman found expression early in life. At age 9, he started practicing in his backyard with an alto sax, then went on to major in music at Berkeley High and formed his first group there.

He was befriended by Chuck Forrest, owner of Forrest’s Music Store, who gifted him with a gold-plated alto sax. “From that point, I go a lot of gigs and jobs around the area,” Coleman said.

One gig at the Brown Derby in Richmond with close Julius Jacket almost got him in trouble-twice. Entering the all-black club, Jacket had to reassure the owner about Coleman, saying, “ It’s OK man, he’s a musician.”

Upon leaving and being stopped by a policeman who wanted to know what Coleman was doing in that area, Jacket gave the same answer, “It’s OK man, he’s a musician,“ and it has been, all Coleman’s life.

To appreciate how far Coleman has come, one need only picture him after his strokes.

“Dick was in a wheelchair, and people thought it was permanent,” Barbara said. “Dick had no music at first. When he started coming out of the strokes, he just decided he’d play again and then everything was coming back.”

Because Dick no longer reads music, it’s up to Barbara to sing the melodies that trigger his music memories. She’s also his driver and organizer, and is recognized as his guiding force.

The two met working at Sears, and story of their first date seems a precursor of their life together. “Barbara invited me to dinner, and I had the audacity to take my alto sax with me. Not only did Barbara know the tunes I was playing; she knew the lyrics,” Coleman said.

Barbara was equally impressed. “Women have been serenaded with guitars and singing. How many girls get serenaded by an alto sax?” she said.

Back at the Antioch Senior Center, Coleman is communicating with his music, and the message is being heard loud and clear. He’s rewarded with a hug, a handshake and a thank you for bringing back one gentleman’s youth. Another man hopes Dick will live forever because “I can’t think of coming here and not hearing you play.”

Music and Coleman are linked. “When music is applied intelligently, it creates freedom,” he said. “I did and got the freedom to get out of my wheelchair.”

Marta Yamamoto

Contra Costa Times September 11, 2009