Zildjian Company Adds Guy Licata and Manabu Yamamoto to its Cymbal R&D Team

The Zildjian Company is proud to announce two new additions to its Cymbal R&D Team.

Guy Licata will assume the new position of Manager of Core Business Innovation. In his role Guy will be responsible for leading our R&D team working directly with our Master Cymbal Maker, Joe Pallai. Guy is a long-time endorser of Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks and is an alumnus of The Drummers Collective in NYC where he was a student of Jojo Mayer and Jim Chapin and later went on to become a full-time faculty member. As a touring and session musician, Guy has performed with numerous major label acts, as well as dozens of indie and DIY artists and bands. His credits include multi-platinum releases and worldwide tours ranging from clubs and theaters to major festivals and arenas. In addition, Guy is the founder and creator of the Reflexx Practice Pad which is now part of the Zildjian product portfolio.

Per Zach Danziger, “I’ve known Guy Licata personally and professionally for quite some time. Having him at Zildjian is a huge asset. He fluently speaks the language of discerning drummers and has always had a forward-thinking mindset since the day we met. He will be a huge benefit in raising the bar of not only the current product line, but for future product innovations. I’m excited to explore the sonic possibilities with him going forward.”

The Zildjian Company is also proud to announce that Manabu Yamamoto has joined the company as a Cymbal Innovation Specialist. Manabu, a life-long percussionist, is the founder of ArtCymbal where he makes bespoke hand hammered cymbals using the Tankin method of cymbal making. Manabu’s cymbal making talent has been recognized by artists and cymbal experts around the world, due to his ability to develop beautiful and complex cymbals that look and feel as good as they sound.

Per Peter Erskine, “There are very few cymbal artisans in the world who have the heart and soul to embrace the 400 years of history in a cymbal, and even fewer who possess the technical understanding and skills to breathe life into these precious alloys: Manabu Yamamoto is one such individual. Manabu is a cymbal whisperer, and his designs sing, dance and roar.”

Manabu will report to Guy Licata and will partner with Zildjian Master Cymbal Maker Joe Pallai and the countless cymbal experts in our Norwell factory.

“Over the past year, we’ve put a lot of thought into creating our R & D Dream Team. We feel that adding these two talented musicians to the team gives us just the right balance of drumming knowledge and manufacturing know-how,” states Craigie Zildjian, President and Chair of the company. “Beyond their obvious talent, both Manabu and Guy are great cultural fits, which became apparent in collaborating with Manabu over the past year and in working with Guy after our acquisition of Reflexx. With these two critical hires in place, we feel we now have the best R & D Team Zildjian has ever had, and one that will take cymbal crafting to a whole new level. I’m excited to see what the team brings to market in keeping with our 400 year-old commitment to making the best cymbals in the world.”