Top Searches: Jazzmaster, Les Paul, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, JHS

Meet the Team

    • David Kalt
    • David Kalt

    • Tour Manager
    • David, an amateur electric guitar rockstar, took over the Chicago Music Exchange in 2010. After working with electronic trading systems for the last decade, he really digs being able to come to work surrounded by his true love, vintage guitars.

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    • George Coutretsis

    • Store Manager: Hollowbodies, Vintage & Boutique Amps
    • Born and raised right here in Chicagoland, George has been on the team here for 8 years.  When he's not putting the perfect archtop in your paws, you'll probably find him at the golf course by day, and among the punk rockers by night.

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    • Daniel Escauriza

    • Vintage Manager
    • Native of beautiful Paraguay, Daniel not only makes our store bi-lingual, but also a place of vintage perfection, researching, studying, dating each and every piece that walks in and out our doors.  If you're looking to buy, sell, or trade vintage, Daniel will always be involved.

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    • Brian Westfall

    • Sales Manager: Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Vintage & Boutique Amps
    • The self-proclaimed Gretsch guru and admitted "delay pedal junkie," Brian has been with us for four years and still geeks out on every vintage case he opens. While he's not here gabbing about milliseconds on vintage echos or the sonic benefits of nitrocellulose finish, you'll find him working the Chicago circuit with one of his two, fine, rock n' roll bands.

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    • Joel Bauman

    • Gibson Guitars, Effects Guru, & Video Specialist
    • Originally calling Kalamazoo, Michigan home, Joel grew up a mere ten minute drive from the original Gibson factory. A connoisseur of 70's prog-rock, NBA basketball enthusiast, and singer/guitarist for sci-fi yacht metal band Royale, this straight-shooter will put the right gear in your hands every time.

    • Alex Chadwick
    • Alex Chadwick

    • Sales Manager
    • Singer, songwriter, journeyman, and poet laureate, Alex has spent the better part of his last fifteen years playing guitar, and his last ten putting the right ones in your hands.  With a habit for making any guitar sound exemplary, Alex is our man for Strats, Teles, and vintage Fender bass.

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    • Marc Najjar

    • Bass Guitars
    • When it comes to low frequency, this man is no slouch.  A veteran of both tuba and bass, Marc, a Louisville, KY-native, first came to Chicago to study music education.  Experienced session musician and performer, his knowledge of the Frank Zappa catalogue and unconditional passion for beets has led him here to serve you with unmatched enthusiasm and candor.

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    • Matt Kashuda

    • Guitar Sales & Effects Guru
    • A former Wisconsinite organic artisan baker, this Chicagoland native returns from the land of aged cheddar and waterparks with a fire for thick mahogany and tubes, on an endless search for tone. A tried and true Hawks fan, he's ready to simplify your buying experience, start to end.

    • Name
    • Daniel Albert

    • Sales & Customer Service
    • After spending six years in the tech industry, Daniel was happy to leave behind logic boards and UNIX systems for nitrocellulose and vacuum tubes. When not endlessly tweaking home recordings that will likely never come to fruition, he enjoys drooling over the latest boutique gear and being an unapologetic cat man. Considering that he is now the 7th guy named Dan in the building, he is training his ears to respond to "Al" and "Albert."

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    • Rob André

    • Drum Shop Manager
    • An independent Chicago drummer with a reputation for hard work and always playing a "really sweet kit," Rob spearheaded the new drum shop from scratch and is now our go-to guy for everything percussion. Musically, you'll find his work on recordings from artists like Remington Pettygrove and Bright Like Japan.

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    • Ryan Quilty

    • New & Vintage Drums
    • Since his first kick drum made out of cardboard and duct tape, accompanied by assorted pots and pans, Ryan has been finding ways to make beats since the age of 14. A connoisseur of loud instrumental rock, big drums, and big cymbals, he specializes in 60s and 70s vintage gear and bringing abused drums back to life.

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    • Matt Margeson

    • Drums & Percussion
    • West Philadelphia born and raised (yeah, we know) Matt drummed from age 12 right through his degree in Jazz Studies from the IU Jacobs School of Music. Composer of electronic and hip hop, Matt loves performance and simply enjoys involving himself in a huge array of musical worlds.




    • Name
    • Deb Jawicki

    • Director of Finance
    • From Recording Studio Manager to Record Company Executive to Operations Manager here at Chicago Music Exchange, Deb's been in the music biz her whole life. Toss in singer/songwriter, recording artist and vocal coach and you get the whole picture.

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    • JC Webster

    • Chief Operating Officer
    • Raised in Arkansas, JC was surrounded by music at an early age. His mother was a radio personality and his father was an audio engineer. With roots in music, and a background in retail and technology, JC enjoys the unique challenges of growing a small company. When he's not trapped in the networking closet or hassling the marketing department, you might find him taking-in a baseball game with his wife and a few friends.

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    • Darryl Chabbot

    • Guitar Tech
    • Musician, producer, engineer, guitar tech, pedal builder,mad scientist, in-store comedian.....this long-winded "man of many hats" is on a mission to do whatever it takes to help you achieve your sound. Hailing all the way from the birthplace of Rock & Roll, Darryl is more than happy to talk with you (for hours on end) about that perfect pickup combination or pedal mod to help you turn the sound you hear in your head into reality. From fretwork on your Telecaster to Wah Wah mods, his OCD will definitely work to your advantage.

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    • Phil Glodek

    • Guitar Tech
    • A guitar player born and raised in La Grange, Illinois; Phil Glodek is a connoisseur of after market guitar parts with his specialties lying in "off the cuff" fabrication. Whether you're seeking new T-Saddles for your Tele, or drooling over a new bone saddle for your Martin D-18; Phil is always happy to craft and/or install the parts you need on your guitar.

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    • Drew Brown

    • Guitar Tech
    • A drummer at heart, Drew is also known to tinker with guitars and basses on occasion. A native of the Chicagoland area, Drew has spent much of the last ten years traveling and playing music. If your guitar needs a refresh – from basic setup to a complete refret or pickup installation – Drew will make sure your gear is well taken care of.

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    • Alec Johnson

    • Guitar Tech
    • Alec was raised on a small farm in Iowa. He studied anthropology in college, but followed his love of music and lutherie to Chicago. Now he spends his days finding the perfect combination of neck relief, string action, and intonation that makes a guitar feel and sound phenomenal.

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    • Brian Carstens

    • Amplifier Repair Manager
    • At the beginning, there was an early '60s red Supro emerging from hibernation in a familial attic. After that, Brian never really put down the guitar. Although originally from Grand Rapids, MI, it was clear that was no place for a musician and ran off to indulge in food, wine, and quest for tone, in Chicago. Now you'll find Brian whenever you've got amp work to be done, from a rebias to robust modifications.

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    • Jeff Lyman

    • Shipping Manager
    • Jeff ships anything, anywhere, any time, and by any means necessary. A lover of all guitars, both electric ones and the ones that make noise on their own, Jeff promises when he sends them your direction they will be packed with the utmost attention and care, everytime.

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    • Jimmy Jawicki

    • Shipping & Receiving
    • Born into a family of musicians and producers, Jimmy has always felt a strong connection to music. Though currently working on a degree in Computer Science here in Chicago, he is 100% dedicated to getting you the right gear, faster than anyone else in the business.

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    • Kyle Richard

    • Shipping & Receiving
    • Originally from Michigan, Kyle is a classically trained clarinetist who would rather play bass or tenor sax in a dirty basement. When he's not rocking he's creating an animated, interactive web comic about a homeless robot. Kyle has been packing and shipping for years so he'll pack your stuff with care and get it to you fast.

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    • Brian Robertson

    • Shipping & Receiving
    • A bass player originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Brian brings his talent and weird sense of humor to the CME shipping department. Brian has been playing musical instruments since the age of 2 — from trumpet to tuba and finally, the bass guitar. He is the go-to-guy when it comes to packing your gear right. Quick with a joke and even quicker to pack up your online order!

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    • Justin Cape

    • Shipping & Receiving
    • Joining us from Ohio via New Orleans, Justin prefers any instrument beaten with a stick. Without explanation he finds hilarity in fish sandwiches, and intends to be a stalwart here until the Bears wise up and draft him to play the line. In the meantime, he'll be taking outstanding care of every one of your orders.

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    • Silas Mishler

    • Customer Service
    • An indie rocker from Central Indiana - by ways of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When he's not at the shop he's playing in his self proclaimed "cheapo-rock" band Kinda Good. This fast talker loves chopping wood, old stuff, Sega Genesis, and fuzz.

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    • Nick Cudone

    • Accounting & Finance
    • Originally from Red Hook, NY, Nick moved to Chicago for school and to start a band. Nick has played the piano, percussion and currently plays guitar with Carbon Tigers, opening for acts such as The Cool Kids, Cold War Kids, and Maps & Atlases. Nick enjoys playing chess and crunching numbers for the CME finance department.

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    • Dan Bordonaro

    • Product Manager
    • Aficionado of time-based effects, and arbiter of guitar accessories, Dan B. has been working in music retail since the ripe young age of fifteen. Uncompromising fan of the Buffalo Bills, this almost-Canadian web designer keeps us looking pretty, with customer service always in mind.

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    • Drew Wittler

    • e-Commerce Product Coordinator
    • Muscatine born multi-instrumentalist and office crooner, Andrew Wittler passed up lofty goals of pro basketball stardom to join a new dream team at Chicago Music Exchange. Now his days are full of deft e-commerce product coordination whilst artfully arranging Harry Nilsson-inspired hair metal covers, maintaining an above average suave hair styling to boot.

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    • Alex Rinehart

    • e-Commerce Product Coordinator
    • A native of the Chicagoland area, Alex has made stops along the way in both San Diego and Madison (UW-Madison). He plays guitar and dabbles in piano and drums. As the e-Commerce Product Coordinator, Alex manages the online product listings for new, used and vintage gear.

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    • Omar Rashan

    • Photographer
    • A picture's worth a thousand words, but we happen to believe a picture of a guitar is worth quite a bit more. A local Chicago photographer and musician, Omar has an all-encompassing appreciation for the arts, and enjoys the tools of the trade, whether it be guitar, camera, or in our case, both.

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    • Dan Jarvis

    • Photographer
    • A local artist, photographer, musician, writer, and record junkie, Dan loves everything about the Chicago music scene. Whether it's taking live concert photos or photographing vintage guitars, he puts his passion for music and photography into everything he shoots.

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    • Chris Hershman

    • Film Producer
    • A fine film director and an absolute gentleman, Chris brings high-defintion motion picture to the instruments you love. Although this "bad boy" dreamer claims he can bench 220 pounds, we know he'd rather be cycling down Lake Michigan or sipping wine beneath a tree with his boom box tuned to NPR. Do yourself a favor and keep an eye for his work.

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    • Ryan Luciani

    • Film Editor
    • A native of the Chicagoland area, Ryan has been passionate about video editing for over 10 years. He took that passion to the next level by studying film at Columbia College. When he's not perfecting Chicago Music Exchange videos, this accomplished drummer is either rehearsing or performing with his indie-electronica band Gemini Club, playing music too loud in the car, or enjoying drinks with friends.

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    • Chrissy Hansen

    • Director of Marketing & e-Commerce
    • From ad agency creative to e-commerce content manager, Chrissy brings professional marketing experience and strategy to Chicago Music Exchange. Chrissy is a native of the Chicagoland area and a singer-songwriter.

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    • Alyssa Welch

    • Web and Graphic Design
    • With a background in Fine Arts, and a passion for good design, Alyssa's got everything it takes to make CME look exceptionally sexy. In her spare time, she writes about the regional music scene for Midwest Action and Instagrams completely ordinary situations.

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    • Ed Mikos

    • Accounting & Finance
    • Ed is from the Chicagoland area and plays the guitar and drums, almost exclusively in punk/experimental bands focused on the live spectacle. With a degree in business and a background in banking, Ed is an integral part of the CME finance department.

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    • Teddy

    • Mascot
    • Always a joy to see trotting about the Chicago Music Exchange showroom floor, Teddy is more or less our in-house jack-of-all-trades. When he's not staring at you while you're eating, you'll most likely find him posing with rock stars as they pass through our doors.