Quality Hand Selection
Harold ‘Tommy’ Thompson (Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Joe Morello with Armand

1951

In hand-selecting cymbals for all the top professional drummers, Armand acquires a keen sense of what drummers are looking for. He is able to manipulate the subtleties of cymbal making to create the sounds drummers want and to address the changes taking place in music.

The Father of Artist Relations
Armand working with Max Roach

1954

Following his father's lead, Armand Zildjian, also known as the "Father of Artist Relations," develops close personal relationships with all the top drummers and percussionists of the day, such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Shelly Manne, Elvin Jones, and Tony Williams.

Louie Bellson

1963

Inspired by Louie Bellson, Zildjian introduces 'New Beat' HiHats, matched with a lighter top cymbal but heavier bottom for a more pronounced "chick" sound. 'New Beats' become standard equipment for all drummers overnight.

The Beatles

1964

The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan show and the demand for Zildjian cymbals explodes. The company ends the year with 90,000 cymbals on backorder.

A New Home
Zildjian Headquarters, 22 Longwood Drive and Inside Zildjian’s Drummers Lounge, Norwell, MA

1973

Zildjian opens its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Norwell, Massachusetts in time to celebrate its 350th Anniversary (the facility is twice expanded in 1981, and again in 1998.)

Craigie Zildjian

1976

Breaking with tradition, Avedis invites his granddaughter Craigie Zildjian to join the family business. For the next three years, there are three generations of Zildjians working side-by-side in the family firm.

Armand Zildjian

1977

In 1977, Avedis names Armand President of the company. Armand sets a company-wide mission to take cymbal making to the next level. He invests millions to update the manufacturing operation and expand R&D in the newly created 'Sound Lab'.

Avessi Zildjian

1979

Sadly, Avedis passes away and Armand becomes Chairman of the Board.

Revolutionary Advances
Zildjian Factory

1980

In the early 1980s, Armand reinvests profits to finance such revolutionary advances in manufacturing as the rotary hearth, double rolling mills, and computer-controlled random hammering. Armand now has the equipment he needs to find the new sounds he is looking for.

The Handcrafted New K
Armand with Elvin Jones

1981

Working with noted 'K' drummers Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, Zildjian re-launches the legendary, handcrafted 'K' line (named after Kerope Zildjian).

INNOVATION

Zildjian Day
he first "Zildjian Day"

1986

Armand's son, Rab Zildjian, opens an Artist liaison office in Los Angeles, California and pioneers the first 'Zildjian Day' - a full-day drumming clinic, which quickly became a model for Percussion Days within the music industry. Zildjian also introduces the K/Z combination HiHats, the first HiHats created through the matching of the top cymbal from one range with a bottom cymbal from another.

Zildjian Drumsticks

Cutting wood at the Zildjian Drumstick Factory, Moundville, AL

1988

Zildjian sets up its own fully integrated Drumstick Manufacturing Facility in Alabama, the heart of hickory country. Zildjian drumsticks soon become the first choice of top drummers like Louie Bellson, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting), Dennis Chambers (Santana), and Joey Kramer (Aerosmith).

A Custom

Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting)

1990

Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting) helps Zildjian develop the 'A Custom' range of cymbals. 'A Customs' set a new standard in modern cymbal making, soon becoming one of Zildjian's most popular models.

A Home for Orchestral

Bill Platt (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) pairs cymbals in Zildjian’s new Orchestra Room

1995

In 1995, the Zildjian Company designs a special room to assist orchestral players with their cymbal matching and selection process. Early visitors to this one-of-a-kind room include the Boston Symphony, London Symphony, and Royal Concertgebouw.

ISO Quality Certification

1996

Zildjian becomes the first Percussion Company in the world to obtain the prestigious ISO 9001 Quality Certification. (ISO 9001 is a quality system recognized worldwide for manufacturing facilities that pass rigorous quality standards.

The Next Generation

Craigie, Armand, and Debbie


1999

Armand Zildjian names his daughter Craigie, Chief Executive Officer. She becomes the first woman to ever hold the position. His younger daughter Debbie becomes Vice President of Human Resources and assumes responsibility for the same secret process of combining alloys.

K Constantinople
Armand with his wife Andy new Orchestra Room


2002

The K Constantinople Cymbal is Armand's last R&D project. He begins by developing an orchestral line but finds that these orchestral models also make great Ride cymbals. Beloved Chairman, Armand Zildjian, passes away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona on December 26, at the age of 81.

The 15th Generation
Cady and Emily Zildjian with Ringo Starr; Samantha Zildjian with Travis Barker

2004

The 15th generation of Zildjians, Cady, and Emily (Debbie's daughters), and Samantha (Craigie's daughter) carry on the tradition of family participation in the oldest family-run business in the USA.

K Custom Hybrids
Akira Jimbo

2006

Designed with Akira Jimbo, the K Custom Hybrid Series combines two distinct lathing patterns that create the possibility of two different sound dynamics depending where the cymbal is played. Praised for its versatility and ability to produce both dark and bright overtones, the K Custom Hybrid series is awarded top industry and consumer awards.