About Us

While it is agreed that the flute is the oldest musical instrument, no one agrees on exactly how old, it is generally accepted to be about 40,000 years old. The saxophone on the other hand has only been around since 1847 and the oldest bamboo saxophone I have found to date was made and played by Sugar Belly Walker a Jamaican musician in the1950’s.

 

Awhile back we came across one of these bamboo “saxophones” and were “blown” away with the possibilities so into the shop we went. Similar to the saxophones of Erik & Jim, but with a distinct B.I.G. sound. You will be totally impressed with the rich genuine traditional saxophone sound the B.I.G. bamboo sax offers. We also make flutes including a great harmonic minor blues flute with flatted 3rd & 7th notes of the scale and yes you’ll love it too. Our shakers are very popular and our own creation the “Shakuiro” a combination shaker/guiro percussionist love. We offer many custom and special order options from surface design to custom fitting.

 

My confidence in making these claims comes from nearly forty years as a professional musician. I play any and all types of wind instruments and am considered to be an authority on the Harmonica, Flute and Saxophone. Additionally, I am a certified sound engineer, a Seydel dealer and operate my own sound company, please visit www.LiveSoundSys.com. With a full appreciation for the power of music and knowing that it is “Good for the Soul,” I have dedicated my life to music, which is why I am a Bamboo Instrument Guy.
John Boyle


Producing a B.I.G. instrument is a love affair. From the woods to the workroom to the packaging area every instrument is individually cared for throughout the development process. Much like a carver’s statue the bamboo reveals the instrument within. From my earliest days I was a builder and loved to work with my hands. I also love music and therefore give it a very prominent place in my life. The ability to hand craft pieces of bamboo into uniquely individual musical works of art is why I am a Bamboo Instrument Guy.

 

Selection and harvest begin the process of building the B.I.G. bamboo saxophone. Not just any old bamboo will do! We scout out and find the best varieties for producing the full robust bellow our B.I.G. sax is known for and the perfect pitch of our flutes and pennywhistles. Once cut, bundled and loaded the bamboo is then transported to the workshop where it is set out to “cure”. Further selections are made based on wall thickness, diameter and length of the bamboo from “knuckle” to “knuckle”. The size of the chamber determines which will be alto or tenor. Once curing is complete and type of instrument has been selected the raw bamboo gets into the workshop where it will be cut, sanded, carved, drilled, burnt, polished & ultimately bear the B.I.G. name. It is a process of faith, love and devotion.

 

We here at B.I.G. pledge to do our part to facilitate “Happy Souls”….do your part, pick up a B.I.G. and blow! It is “Good for the Soul


B.I.G. BAMBOO FACTS:

• BAMBOO IS IN THE GRASS FAMILY
• THERE ARE OVER 1200 SPECIES OF BAMBOO
• THEY RANGE IN HEIGHT FROM 12 INCHES TO OVER 60 FEET
• THE CANE IS WHAT GROWN-UP BAMBOO IS CALLED
• CANE CAN BE YELLOW, ROSE, BURGUNDY, GRAY OR BLACK

• THEY CAN GROW IN NEW ENGLAND
• MOST IS GROWN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, CHINA & JAPAN
• IN THE ORIENT BAMBOO IS USED FOR FOOD, PAPER & TIMBER
• THERE ARE TWO TYPES CLUMPING & RUNNING
• SOME LIVE TO BE 120 YEARS OLD
• MOST REACH MATURITY IN 4 – 5 YEARS
• B.I.G. HARVESTS MOSTLY IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES