There are some very expensive and hard-to-find instruments in the world of music...and they are made right here in Monmouth County!

As a jazz musician, my son has become quite familiar with the vibraphone. It is a very large instrument, many times used in the world of jazz music, and it's hard to come by because it is hand-made with a certain type of wood and it ain't cheap .

So when I heard that the designer of one of the top names in vibraphones and marimbas was right here in Neptune....it came as such a surprise!

(Photo by Liz Jeressi)

My son was lucky enough to get a tour of Malletech and see some of their gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, made-to-order instruments. Malletech is just off of Rt. 33  and Memorial Drive (near the new Wawa) but you would never know it was there if you weren't looking for it.

Each year the manufacturer holds a really cool event for those in the world of jazz music featuring vibes players doing workshops and jam sessions to celebrate the instrument that includes well-known players and their bands

(Photo by Liz Jeressi)

In fact, one of the speakers at this year's vibes fest was Stefon Harris, an incredible musician who is now the director of jazz studies at Manhattan School of Music. He spent a little time chatting with my son and giving him advice about auditioning to get into that college. He is an excellent role model and public speaker, and pretty inspirational. He's also created a new app for musicians called Harmony Cloud.

(photo by liz jeressi)

Malletech,created and run by Leigh Howard Stevens, (who is an incredible and well-known classical musician on the marimba)  makes other percussion instruments as well, including xylophones, glockenspiels, and all of the mallets used to play all of these instruments. (and yes, they also make the incredible mallets, some of which are hand sewn.)

(photo by liz jeressi)

Malletech also owns a record label called Resonator Records and a music publishing line! For more info, CLICK HERE!