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

MON-SAT: 11-7 | SUN: 11-5 | 888-686-7872

Meet the Team

Gear Experts

At Chicago Music Exchange, we have the most knowledgeable gear experts in the industry. All musicians themselves and admitted gear-geeks, these guys can help you find your perfect gear. Can't make it to the store? Call 888-686-7872 to get your gear advice by phone.

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: Fender Stratocaster
BEST CONCERT: Tom Petty at the United Center in Chicago (2010)

George Coutretsis

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1961 Guild Starfire II in Emerald Green
BEST CONCERT: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Vic in Chicago (2003)

Daniel Escauriza

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1965 Fender Jazzmaster with patent number Gibson humbuckers, refin Natural w/ eagle burned onto the back
BEST CONCERT: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the Vic in Chicago (2011)

Brian Westfall

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1961 Gibson ES-335 Cherry
BEST CONCERT: Extra Golden at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (2009)

Joel Bauman

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: Gibson Moderne
BEST CONCERT: Grizzly Bear at the Riviera in Chicago (2012) or Mastodon at the Metro (2006)

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1974 Fender Stratocaster Mocha
BEST CONCERT: Levon Helm at Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN (2008)

Marc Najjar

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1966 Fender Jazz Bass Shoreline Gold
BEST CONCERT: Herbie Hancock and the New Headhunters (2005)

Matt Kashuda

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.

FAVORITE GUITAR: Gibson Les Paul Traditional Goldtop
BEST CONCERT: Pearl Jam PJ20 at Alpine Valley (2011)

Daniel Albert

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."

FAVORITE GUITAR: Anything and everything Fano
BEST CONCERT: Foals at The Vic in Chicago

Drew

Drew Kavanaugh

Sales

After growing up on the East Coast, Drew moved to Chicago in 2005 to pursue his love of selling guitars. This blues rocker has an affinity for Fender products and boutique gear, but he likes pointing you towards great gear even more. When Drew is not at the shop, he enjoys his other job, which he would tell you about, but then he would have to kill you.

FAVORITE GUITAR: One of a kind hollow aluminum Franken-Strat
BEST CONCERT: Arc Angels at The Paradise in Boston, 1992

Chase Paul

Chase Paul

Used/Vintage Product Manager

As a hoarder of both fine effect pedals and exquisite cakes, Chase brings a multifaceted music industry skillset to the table and eats it too. The only thing that might outweigh this native Chicagolander's love for musical instruments is his affinity for peculiar socks.

FAVORITE AMP: 73' Fender Twin (Silverface)
BEST CONCERT: Volcano Choir / Sylvan Esso @ Metro 2013

Silas Mishler

Silas Mishler

Sales / Artist Outreach

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.

FAVORITE AMP: 73' Fender Twin (Silverface)
BEST CONCERT: Volcano Choir / Sylvan Esso @ Metro 2013

Drum Shop

Just next door to the guitar shop, the Chicago Drum Exchange houses one of the most incredible collections of new, used and vintage drums you'll ever see. Stop by the drum shop or browse the Chicago Drum Exchange collection here online.

Rob André

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.

FAVORITE KIT: Sonor S-classix
BEST CONCERT: Brian Blade Fellowship at the Chicago Jazz Festival (2010)

Ryan Quilty

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.

FAVORITE KIT: Late 70s Ludwig Vistalite 3-Piece Blue w/ Ludwig Black Beauty Snare
BEST CONCERT: Hum at Double Door on New Years Eve in Chicago (2009)

Matt Margeson

Matt Margeson

Drum Specialist

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.

FAVORITE GEAR: Vintage Gretsch & Ludwig
BEST CONCERT: Elvin Jones at Painted Bride Art Center on New Years Eve in Philadelphia

Shipping

The CME Shipping Department makes sure your gear gets inspected, packed safely and shipped accurately and on time, every time. Shipping vintage guitars and drum kits is no small task and these guys are the absolute best at it.

Name

Brian Robertson

Shipping Manager

FAVORITE GUITAR: American Fender Jazz
BEST CONCERT: Tool 2006 at the Wolstein Center, Cleveland Ohio

Name

Justin Cape

Shipping & Receiving

FAVORITE CYMBALS: Zildjian K Series
BEST CONCERT: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at United Center in Chicago (2000)

Name

Jimmy Jawicki

Shipping & Receiving
Name

Kyle Richard

Shipping & Receiving

FAVORITE BASS: Anything, get it in tune and throw a Big Muff on it, and you can rock.
BEST CONCERT: October 25th 1999, a Monday. Royal Crown Revue at St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI.

Nik Simic

Nik Simic

Shipping & Receiving
Ray Knipe

Ray Knipe

Shipping & Receiving

Customer Service

The Chicago Music Exchange Customer Service Department handles everything from taking phone orders and chatting with customers on the website, to helping you find the right pedal and making sure you get the best deal!

Sarah Sydow

Sarah Neczwid

Customer Service

FAVORITE KIT: 2001 Pearl MMX Masters Custom 4-ply Maple
BEST CONCERT: U2 at Soldier Field (Come on... those guys put on an insane show!)

Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor

Customer Service

Repairs

The CME Repair Shop is made up of this incredible team of gear experts and master technicians. These guys can handle anything from basic setups, refrets, and neck resets to restorations, amp repairs, pedal modifications and more. See our repairs section for more information.

Brian Carstens

Brian Carstens

Amplifier Repair Manager

FAVORITE TUBE: 6V6. "I love the warmth and fat tone it produces."
BEST CONCERT: Soundgarden warm-up gig at the Vic in Chicago, IL (2010)

Jeff Lyman

Jeff Lyman

Quality Control Expert

FAVORITE GUITAR: "I don't play favorites!"
BEST CONCERT: Grateful Dead (Jerry's last four shows) at Riverport Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, MO and Souldier Field in Chicago (1995)

Alex Lemon

Alex Lemon

Quality Control Expert
Darryl Chabbot

Darryl Chabot

Master Technician

FAVORITE GUITAR: Fender Jazzmaster
BEST CONCERT: Dinosaur Jr Subterranean, Chicago, IL

Phil Glodek

Phil Glodek

Guitar Tech

FAVORITE GUITAR: Fender Broadcaster
BEST CONCERT: Radiohead Lollapalooza 2008

Drew Brown

Drew Brown

Guitar Tech

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1980s DOD "Grind It" Combo Amp
BEST CONCERT: Carcass at Sonar in Baltimore

Alec Johnson

Alec Johnson

Guitar Tech

FAVORITE GUITAR: His own one-of-a-kind creations
BEST CONCERT: Daddy-O and the Demolition Band at the Yacht Club in Iowa City

Zach Bauman

Zach Bauman

Guitar Tech
Tim Bailey

Tim Bailey

Guitar Tech

FAVORITE BASS: Fender Bass
BEST CONCERT: Umphrey’s McGee on June 30, 2007 at Atlanta, GA Masquerade

The Brain Center

The rest of the CME team works behind the scenes. This includes accounting, operations and store maintenance, product research and purchasing, database management, writing product descriptions, marketing, web design, videography and talent direction, photography, merchandising, event planning, and more!

Name

Deb Jawicki

Director of Finance

FAVORITE MIC & PREAMP: Neuman U87 & Universal Audio LA-610 Tube Preamp

Name

JC Webster

Chief Operating Officer
Dan Bordonaro

Dan Bordonaro

Product Manager

FAVORITE PEDALS: Electro-Harmonix POG 2 >> Malekko Omicron Vibrato
BEST CONCERT: The Sheila Divine at the Tralf in Buffalo, NY (2001)

Name

Alex Rinehart

e-Commerce Product Coordinator

FAVORITE GUITAR: Gibson ES-335
BEST CONCERT: Radiohead at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre (Chula Vista, CA) 2008

Drew Wittler

Drew Wittler

e-Commerce Product Coordinator

FAVORITE GUITAR: '58 Gibson Les Paul (Iced Tea Burst)
BEST CONCERT: Elton John

Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

Photographer

FAVORITE BASS: '60s Magnatone Hurricane
BEST CONCERT: The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Metro (2012)

Shelby Pollard

Shelby Pollard

Photographer

FAVORITE GUITAR: 1959 Fender Jazzmaster
BEST CONCERT: Styx and Reo Speedwagon

Ryan Luciani

Ryan Luciani

Videographer & Film Director
Alyssa Welch

Alyssa Welch

Web and Graphic Design

FAVORITE GUITAR: Rickenbacker 330 in Walnut
BEST CONCERT: Goat at Austin Psych Fest (2013)

Colleen Harvey

Colleen Harvey

Marketing Coordinator
Rosie

Rosie Ryan

Accounting & Finance

FAVORITE GEAR: Lanikai LKP-C Ukulele
BEST CONCERT: Flogging Molly at Gaelic Fest

Teddy

Teddy

Mascot

FAVORITE GUITAR: Anything set up with catgut strings
BEST CONCERT: T-Bone Walker