A lifetime of experience allows us to understand the musical requirements of many denominations of Churches . Rock and Roll, and jazz formats, and popular music are also well understood as they apply to the Hammond organ with Leslie speaker.
Jim Huss has always had a passion for playing the Hammond B3 organ. Out of the love for playing music came Keyboard Exchange International. Jim has turned his passion for music into a business that delivers organs all over the world. He turned this one man show into a family business. The family business has evolved into a corporate team of highly skilled, trained technicians and craftsmen. We are proud to introduce some of the members of the KEI team!
At age 15 I was smitten by the sound of the Hammond organ with Leslie speaker! That was 1965, 40 plus years ago and it greatly affected my life and goals in my life. From that moment forward I sought the equipment I needed to give me that sound!. Now that I am older and better understand myself, and the Hammond / Leslie equipment, I know also I was drawn to the power and majesty the Hammond can create and the desire to control and enjoy this magical power!
I was fortunate to be playing music in a working band and my money was saved for the equipment I desired. I had some help from family also to obtain my first Hammond. I moved from an M3 spinet with a pair of 147 Leslies to a full size console as soon as possible. Today I would not consider playing any spinet Hammond as it would be too frustrating, lacking the sound that I crave. Still, the M3 was a starting point that got me familiar with Hammond features.
When I play with a contemporary church praise team, or a group of young musicians with cutting edge shills and talent, I get the same musical satisfaction and enthusiastic sensation that only a properly restored, properly set up B3 type organ can provide. My surprise in recent years is the response I get from younger musicians and the audiences that hear the B3/Leslie. B3's are not as common on stage as they once were, so the sound tends to amaze people!
Older musicians, like myself often come up to me to share stories of their youth when they played in bands that used a B3 or C3. Younger musicians who never heard a "real " B3 tend to marvel at the differences between the real thing and the "clones". Even non-musicians can't help but comment on the dramatic difference in the sound of the praise team or band that the B3 makes. A B3 with Leslie can create musical excitement like no other instrument I know.
I share this information with you to encourage you to seek your dreams whatever they may be. My dream was to play a B3 with Leslie and to be able to enjoy the majestic power and sound. This can be done in your home alone or within a group setting. If you can play a B3, and have one, it is not difficult to find an existing group of musicians that will welcome you.
My son, Rodney Huss, grew up surrounded by a house full and later, warehouses full of Hammond organs. He became a drummer as his first choice of musical instrument, and we have enjoyed many exciting hours of jamming together. I am still active in our business with Rodney assuming more of the day to day responsibilities. Both of us, and our staff, are available to assist you.
If you also dream of playing a B3, or wish to upgrade your current equipment with properly restored equipment, Keyboard Exchange International will consider it our privilege to assist you.
Gabriel at Keyboard Exhange International
Garrison at Keyboard Exchange International
Rodney is our youngest son and has worked full time for the business since he was 15 years old. Rodney is a master craftsman and is in charge of refinishing, transportation and shipping of the organs. Rodney has a love for music just like his Dad. He is a drummer and has been jamming with his Dad since he was a young guy.
Horace is Jim's dad. He has worked for KEI for years. He is in charge of banking, picking up supplies, drawing blue prints for the shipments and an over-all hands on kind of person. Horaces loves to dance and do pantomime.
Steve has worked for KEI on a part time basis for years. He heads up the accounting department. Steve loves to sing with Jim and have fishing and hunting tournaments with our whole family.
Gary has been working for KEI for almost 20 years. Gary is our head technician in charge of repairing the organs. Gary has a wealth of information and 45 years experience on the subject of organ repair. He is also a retired Air Force actor, entertainer and now plays around with model airplanes as his latest hobby.
Larry has worked for KEI for 11 years. He is master craftsman and is in charge of building our new B3 cases. He is also foreman of our refinishing shop and is mentoring several younger employees in the fine art of cabinet finishing. Larry is a fine classical and electric guitar player and songwriter.
Jeremy Vigil our 2012 Summer Intern (middle in picture) has successfully completed his
150 hours of work experience (Others in picture are Rodney Huss VP on left, and Horace Huss on right at 90 years old and still helping at Keyboard Exchange International making three generations of Huss's working at KEI!)
Jeremy has interned at Keyboard Exchange International earning college credit for this accomplishment. Jim Huss, president of KEI says, "Jeremy has been a welcome addition to the Keyboard Exchange International team and has been asked to return next summer as a part time employee."
While interning at KEI Jeremy has received instruction from three generations of Huss family members
on a wide range of subjects and disciplines that relate directly to restoration of vintage musical instruments.
He has worked with fine veneers of mahogany, walnut and other wood types. He has been given the tools to
properly inspect and test vintage Hammond organs as well as gaining a working knowledge of basic repairs
and adjustments. Jeremy has received hands on experience with electronics, tube technology and electrical connections.
In all areas Jeremy has remained focused and learned a great deal in a short time. We hope this experience will help Jeremy in his future. We will miss his smiling face and friendly manner and wish him great success in whatever fields he cultivates for his future.
Jeremy says, "I have learned so much in a shockingly short period of time and am looking forward to returning to Keyboard Exchange International next summer!"
Jeremy Vigil Excerpt from Bach Fugue in C minor BWV 549
Jermey on Vintage German piano
The Flying Horse Organ Trio ! Students from the University of Central Florida, where they have a fabulous jazz program, put together an organ trio for two events at the Keyboard Exchange International building in Nov 2012. There music was much appreciated and well received by some of the local folks who heard about the mini concerts on the college radio 89.9 which is the premiere jazz station in the area.
Carey Frank - Hammond B3 organ
Nathan Colbert - Drums
Teague Bechtel - Guitar
You will see and hear more of these guys on this web site. Check them out as it will be a musical treat to your ears! Great guys also
who will be a big part of the Orlando and national jazz scene in the future. We wish them all much success!
Keyboard Exchange International encourages and promotes live music whenever possible.
Keyboard Exchange International 221 S. Magnolia Ave. | Sanford, Fl 32771-1321 | (407)323-7493
We show our Hammonds with Leslies by appointment. Appointments are for our customers convenience and to insure that we will be available for you when you arrive. We request you make an appointment so that we can offer you our best attention.