Saxophone/V Kohlerts Sons Tenor


Bell Image
Bell Image  
Lower hand fingering
Lower hand fingering  
QUESTION: I was recently given a saxophone that was once owned by my great grandfather.  It has been passed down from family member to family memeber.  This is a little funny becasue I am the only saxophone player in the entire family (why would the others simply just store this saxophone?).  I play on a Selmer super action 80 Tenor.

This saxophone is somewhat confusing to me becasue it has no serial number that I can find.  It appears that it was stored well since the finish is in great shape for it's age.  The only marking on this saxophone is on the front of the bell.  It is labelled " V. Kohlerts Sons / Makers / Graslitz / CZECHO - SLOVAKIA".

The lower hand position also has some unusual fingering positions.  It includes what appears to be "trill keys", and a fourth finger position that is a smaller tone hole, on top of another tone hole (see Pics).

The lack of a serial number confuses me, but the interesting and unique fingering positions intrigues me.  Please help me understand more about this tenor saxophone.


ANSWER: I need more photos

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Tenor sax
Tenor sax  

tenor sax
tenor sax  
QUESTION: Please let me know if these help.  I think I can only upload 2 at a time.

German saxophone manufacturers are a bit difficult to learn about, primarily because a lot of the documentation has been destroyed either in the manufacturer's move from one part of Germany to another or in the WWII and the conversion of many of the music instrument factories over to producing war material.
This brings us to Kohlert.
A brief digression: Kohlert is NOT Kohler. Kohler was founded in Markneukirchen, Germany in 1933 by Franz Kohler. They stopped producing instruments around 1961.
However, while the Kohler example I've seen does not look like a Keilwerth or Kohlert design, yes, there's always the possibility that Kohler did stencil some horns from either Keilwerth or Kohlert.
The similarity in names and similarity in the saxophone designs from Kohlert and Kohler throws most folks for a considerable loop. The similarity in design is not because they shared a common ancestor, but more rather because company X would produce a good design and then everyone else would copy it (this tidbit of information popped up numerous times while I researched Kohlert and Keilwerth). Matters grew more complicated after Keilwerth began producing saxophones in 1925/6: not only did Keilwerth produce stencils of their horns (of which, they branded at least one Kohlert model), but they furnished saxophone bodies to a variety of other German and Czech manufacturers which would affix their own keywork and sell the horn under a different name - sometimes with no trace of the Keilwerth mark on the horn.
However, Kohlert IS "Vincenta (or "V." or "Vizenze" or several other variants) Kohlerta Synova Kraslice". This is the Czech form of Kohlert's name. There are other Anglicized/Germanized variants of the VKS label (e.g. "V. Kohlert's Sons"), but some variant of "Kohlert" is always listed.


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Grant R. Koeller


I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.


Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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