About Us/History

JORDAN ELECTRIC VIOLINS / JORDAN MUSIC SERVICES is the workshop of John Jordan. After more than a decade of running a multi-employee shop, John has chosen to concentrate almost entirely on building instruments while working alone.

John Jordan concentrates on instrument design and construction. He has done a large amount of repair in the past and continues to do some repair work.

A condensed history of Jordan Music Services/ Jordan Electric Violins

  • 1977 John Jordan starts building his first guitar
  • 1979 Built the earliest Jordan guitar still in use today.
  • 1980 John Jordan starts an apprenticeship with Ervin Somogyi, a well respected acoustic guitarmaker.
  • 1981 John Jordan completes apprenticeship and establishes own shop.
  • 1984 The shop's workload becomes sufficient to support John Jordan without working part-time nights. Jordan guitars and other stringed instruments receive their first newspaper and television coverage, and gallery exhibits. Many others follow in later years.
  • 1985 John Jordan writes the first of his many technical articles in music trade publications.
  • 1986 The shop's workload surpasses John Jordan's capacity. Mark Miller starts repairing guitars at Jordan Music Services after working in other shops over the past decade. John Jordan is included in the book "The Violin Makers of the United States" by Thomas Wenberg. Coverage in other books follows in later years
  • 1987 The first Jordan Electric Violins are built. Colin Kaminski starts doing repair in San Rafael,CA.
  • 1988 Two Jordan guitars and a viola da gamba are prominently featured in FRETS Magazine, the most important acoustic music magazine of its era.
  • 1989 Thanked on a CD for the first time for use of an instrument on an album. Many others follow in later years.
  • 1992 Granted a U.S. patent for the electric violin. An article in the New York Times follows shortly after. Colin Kaminski starts repairing orchestral stringed instruments at Jordan Music Services after working for other shops in the area for the past five years.
  • 1997 TEMPEST, featuring Michael Mullen, plays for a festival crowd of 30,000, marking the largest live audience to hear a Jordan Electric Violin to date. A Jordan Electric Violin appears on The Nashville Network (TNN) for the first time.
  • 1998 Starving Musician of Santa Clara,CA becomes the first dealer for Jordan Electric Violins which had been available only directly up until then. Elderly Instruments of Lansing, MI and Kamimoto String Instruments of San Jose, CA also starts selling our violins. Jordan Electric Violins are featured in two books, several trade publications, television and radio this year.
  • 1999 Thomas Metzler Violin Shop of Glendale, CA and Music Explorium of Carrboro, NC and Singing Strings Music of Belmont, NH become dealers for Jordan Electric Violins.
  • 2000 Miri Ben-Ari endorses Jordan Electric Violins. John Jordan chooses to concentrate on building instruments while his employees leave to start their own repair businesses with his best wishes. The STRAD runs an article on Jordan Electric Violins. STRINGS Magazine reviews Jordan Electric Violins in the November/December issue. The church choir for which John Jordan plays upright bass and electric cello records a CD titled Led By The Spirit marking John's first recording work that appeared in CD format. Jordan Custom Guitars are profiled in the book "Custom Guitars - A Complete Guide to Contemporary Handcrafted Guitars" by String Letter Publishing covering 203 guitarmakers worldwide. The book features a photo of the headstock of one of my archtop guitars on the Archtops chapter title page.
  • 2001 Discount String Center - The Woodwind and the Brasswind of South Bend IN, becomes a dealer for Jordan Electric Violins. ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN and FIDDLER magazines feature articles about Jordan Electric Violins. Information about John Jordan and Jordan Electric Violins is included in the book "The Contemporary Violin - Extended Performance Techniques" by Patricia and Allen Strange. Several great recordings are released prominently feature Jordan Electric Violins.
  • 2002 Gryphon Stringed Instruments of Palo Alto, CA becomes a dealer for Jordan Electric Violins. The Tri-City Herald writes a feature article on John Jordan and his electric violins.
  • 2003 Groth Music of Bloomington, MN becomes a dealer for Jordan Electric Violins. The New Design Jordan Electric Cello is introduced and promptly profiled in STRINGS Magazine August /September issue and FIDDLER magazine's winter issue. A Jordan Electric Violin is used to evaluate amplifiers in the April issue of STRINGS Magazine
  • 2004 Phillip Injeian Violin Shop of Pittsburgh, PA and Judicael Strings of West Yorkshire, UK become dealers for Jordan Electric Violins.
  • The Jordan Electric Upright Bass is introduced and promptly profiled in the April issue of Bass Player Magazine The Jordan Electric Cello is featured in the April issue of STRINGS Magazine in an article titled, "A Guide to Electric Cellos". John Jordan appears as a guest cellist on Katy and Dell's CD titled "Anytime".
  • 2005 Maison Tasset sprl of Liege, Belgium becomes a dealer for Jordan Electric Violins. John Jordan starts playing regularly as the bassist and cellist with Katy and Dell. John Jordan is quoted extensively for an article titled "The Electric Company" in the first issue of TEEN STRINGS magazine. Greg Downs starts assisting in the building and repairing of instruments in the shop.
  • 2006 Fiddle Center of East Brookfield, Massachusetts becomes a dealer for Jordan Electric Violins. FIDDLER magazine's winter issue features an article titled "Neyveli S. Radhakrisna's Jordan Violin" about the Double-necked Violin built for Mr. Radhakrishna. Violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn uses a Jordan Electric Violin in concert with And You will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
  • 2007 FIDDLER magazine describes the StringAmp pickup system available as an option on Jordan Electric Violins as "A quantum leap improvement" in a product review.
  • 2008 January 7th - Thomas Gould gave the world premiere of "Seeing is Believing", a Concerto for Electric Violin and Chamber Ensemble by American Composer Nico Muhly with Aurora Orchestra and Nicholas Collon on a six string Jordan Electric Violin that was commissioned specifically to play this work.
  • December 6th - Alexander Mishnaevski gave the world premiere of Brent Lee's "Ruck and Rill" for Electric Viola and Orchestra with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra on a Jordan Electric Viola.
  • 2009 Boyd Tinlsey of the Dave Matthews Band records his violin parts on Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King using a Jordan Electric Violin and then tours the USA performing on a Jordan Electric Violin. The album debuts at #1 on the Billboard charts and stays in the Top 40 for 12 weeks and goes Platinum. The tour includes many televised appearances including the Today Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Saturday Night Live.
  • August 8th - Yumi Hwang-Williams playing a Jordan Electric Violin and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra gave the American premiere of "Moment's of Bliss" by Grawemeyer Award winning Australian composer, Brett Dean
  • STRINGS Magazine features an article about Neyveli S. Radhakrishna and the Double-necked Violin I built for him in their February issue and a review of the Jordan Nine String Electric Violin in their June issue. Making Music Magazine features and article interviewing Joy Zimmerman, a violinist playing a Jordan Electric Violin. The STRAD runs a feature on electric violins by Chris Garrick and 4 of the 7 pictures featured in the article are of Jordan Electric Violins.
  • 2015 January 2nd - John Jordan is interviewed on KQED radio's show THE CALIFORNIA REPORT for a series on California Innovators.
  • March 6th - two Jordan Electric Violins are featured in an episode of the television show GLEE titled "The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester"

What went on in between the outlined highlights? Repairs, restorations, and customizations on tens of thousands of instruments collectively by John Jordan, and his employees, for a wide spectrum of musicians from beginners to world renowned professional musicians. Visit our Repair / Restoration Services page for more details.

More than 600 fine instruments have been designed and built by John Jordan often involving design ideas from both the customer involved and from employees. The range of instruments built are mostly acoustic and electric violins, guitars, cellos, and basses. Also included on occasion have been harps, electric mandolins, and viola da gambas.