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Jazz pianist Jamie Cullum chooses Camden Town piano supplier as location for BBC documentary

Heckscher's Managing Director Martin Heckscher and Jamie Cullum Heckscher's Managing Director Martin Heckscher and Jamie Cullum

Sunday, January 12, 2014
5:00 PM

Jazz superstar Jamie Cullum dropped into a Camden piano shop to learn about the borough’s rich history making musical instruments as part of a BBC documentary.

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Martin Heckscher, managing director of Heckscher & Company, in Bayham Street, Camden Town, told the jazz pianist there were more than 100 piano makers in Camden Town and Kentish Town in the late 19th century.

Mr Cullum looked around the supplier’s workshop and showroom before asking about the history of the family business, founded in 1883.

“Pianos were always heavy items, difficult and expensive to transport,” Mr Heckscher told Mr Cullum last month.

“Camden Town had some decisive advantages as a piano manufacturing base. It has a good transport infrastructure with the Grand Union Canal and the relatively new railway on the doorstep.”

The musician was recording Radio 4 documentary, Jamie Cullum’s Piano Pilgrimage, which first aired on Saturday.

It explores both the history and present state of the piano industry, and is broadcast weekly at 10.30am until Saturday, January 18.

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