Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Newest And Last QRS Piano Roll - Michael T. Jones

Yesterday, I stopped down to see my friends at QRS Music at their vintage factory on Niagara Street in Buffalo. QRS is the last surviving manufacturer of piano rolls for player pianos. All that is remaining of the industry is QRS and several small-scale boutique roll makers. It is wonderful to watch QRS in action because they still use the original factory equipment and production methods that they used in 1900.

The video above is of my old friend Michael T. Jones. Michael is a very important employee at QRS because he has the rare talents that are needed to convert great performances by great artists into great piano rolls. You probably have seen Michael playing terrific jazz piano around Buffalo. He married a Buffalo girl, and settled down in Buffalo in the mid 1990's - as I recall from meeting him way back at the Dakota when he was new in town.

The greatest piano players of each era have visited QRS to be immortalized on piano rolls.

I asked Michael to show off a piano roll that QRS recently manufactured of him! The video above is Michael playing the piano roll of his own performance of Spring Is Here, written by Rodgers and Hart. I ask you, when was the last time you ever had the actual artist play their own piano roll for you? This is the stuff of excellence that you have come to expect from BuffaloBloviator Publishing!

Michael and his QRS piano roll.

I am proud of Michael for earning his place in history. This may have been the last piano roll ever produced. QRS has finished a large production run and they appear to be unsure of what the future holds for their piano roll facility.


  1. Howard thank you for a wonderful story. I had no idea that piano rolls were still made. Hugs

  2. that's so exited !
    thx for the story !
    i wish i will have that piano rolls in my bag ..

  3. I really love the sound coming from the piano. Every time that i listen this rhythm i feel comfortable and i can improve my mood. I like to read useful information too, so this blog is amazing. I must to say that i found another one,that i considered interesting too, called costa rica investment opportunities i invite you to visit it.

  4. This is AMAZING! Wonderful pianist and wonderful story! Thanks so much.

  5. Wonderful History, I used to be the QRS dealer in Mexico, I have found memories of Ramsi Tick, Rudy Martin and my dear friend Bob Berkman, I am developing my own brand MANUALO MUSIC ROLLS with the help of Bob


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