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Published: 2013/03/29

Sabian Cymbals Founder Robert Zildjian 1923-2013

Image via the SABIAN Facebook page

Robert “Bob” Zildjian, founder and former president of the Sabian cymbal company, passed away at the age of 89 on Thursday, March 28, following a battle with cancer. Bob founded the popular cymbal company in 1981 following a split from his brother Armand and their inherited company Avedis Zildjian Co. As a result of the split, Bob took over operations at Zildjian’s Canadian cymbal foundry—continuing to use the same secret formula of copper, tin, and silver developed in Turkey by ancestral Zildjians—and started a new company named after his children Sally, Billy, and Andy (Sa-Bi-An), in part because the split from Zildjian prevented Bob from using his own name in conjunction with the new brand.

Sabian has since grown to be the 2nd largest cymbal company in the world, and are the cymbals of choice for numerous jamband and jamband friendly drummers, such as Neil Peart (Rush), Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Jazz is Dead), Jojo Mayer (Nerve), Terry Bozzio (Zappa), Todd Nance (WSP), Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule) and Joe Tomino (Dub Trio), as well as many percussionists including Sunny Ortiz (WSP), and Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow (Santana). The company is currently run by Bob’s son Andy Zildjian, who took over in 2006.

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