SAXOPHONE - Alto Bamboo Sax

Historical Bamboo

What you are saying:

Hey Erik, the bamboo sax is absolutely unbelievable, it's amazing! The craftsmanship is superb, thank you. Troy in Canada Feb 18, 2018
Hi Erik, I received my alto bamboo sax from you today and I would just like to thank you for the quick delivery and... Much appreciation Matt Randall in the U.K. January 30, 2018
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SAXOPHONE - Alto Bamboo Sax | Historical Bamboo
SAXOPHONE - Alto Bamboo Sax | Historical Bamboo
SAXOPHONE - Alto Bamboo Sax | Historical Bamboo

SAXOPHONE - Alto Bamboo Sax

Historical Bamboo

 Regular price $185.00
Unit price  per 

 Tuned to itself: Only one available! 

The holes an these saxes are on the bigger side so a wider hand will be more comfortable  than a player with very thin fingers. All my saxes play in one octave. We use an alto sax mouthpiece and a tenor 1 1/2 reed, which makes it much easier to play. Approximately 17 inch long.

This Alto Sax is finished in natural bamboo and comes with an alto sax mouthpiece, cap, ligature, two protective bindings, 2 tenor 1 1/2 reeds, a protective bag, free lessons and FREE shipping inside the USA!

I love an instrument with a story and this sax captures that heart.

A few years ago I was granted permission to cut a few choice pieces of bamboo from a historical garden west of Orlando. My sax was made from this bamboo and this is...

The Story: When Henry Nehrling was a boy in Wisconsin during the American Civil War, he walked through a first growth forest to get to school. During his walks he fell in love with trees, plants and birds and later wrote books about the subject. One of the plants he later fell in love with, was bamboo. In 2014 our paths crossed.

Henry Nehrling was a plant genius. He bought land in Florida in 1884 and planted an amazing tropical garden. It was so incredible that thousands came to see it. Some of the visitors were Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Firestone, Teddy Roosevelt and the plant explorer David Fairchild. In 1895 he planted Taiho Chiku; the bamboo we use for flute making. Today called Bambusa Multiplex Silver-stripe.

I was given permission to come to the old garden and cut some choice pieces of this historical bamboo. Your sax is made from this adventure.

This has been an amazing honor and pilgrimage for me because it was Henry Nehrling and his botanical friends in Florida that were responsible for planting the early bamboos that moved about the state giving me a career in flute making.

This bamboo traveled from its original home in southern China to southern Japan where it grew for hundreds of years. After 1882 it settled into the largest European nursery run by Louis Bohmer in Yokohama Japan and then it came by steam ship to San Francisco to Helen Berger to H. H. Berger & Co.

In May 1895 it arrived at Henry's home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Then it traveled by train to Florida in November when it was placed in the ground.


 Article from the West Orange NJ Times Observer

By  on September 17, 2014

Artist creates music from local bamboo

GOTHA - Dr. Henry Nehrling, the “patron saint of Florida gardens,” perhaps never imagined that some of the bamboo he planted long ago would one day produce beautiful music.

But Erik Sampson, aka “Erik the Flutemaker,” is busy doing just that, while also paying homage to Nehrling and other pioneering horticulturists. And soon, he plans to release a new CD of bamboo-instrument music to honor Nehrling and benefit the nonprofit Nehrling Gardens.

The South Florida musician visited the gardens, 2267 Hempel Ave., Gotha, in August. Sampson fell in love with its stands of bamboo, including those that Nehrling planted more than 100 years ago next to Lake Nally.

“I’ve enjoyed finding these old gardens and historic bamboo clumps from satellite images,” Sampson said from his home in Davie.

With the blessing of Nehrling Gardens President Angela Withers, Sampson took home sections of the lakeside bamboo called Bambusa Multiplex. It is commonly known as “Silverstripe” bamboo and originates from southern China.

He first learned about Nehrling Gardens, its famous namesake and other historic bamboo sites while delving into historical records at Rollins College in Winter Park.

“I wanted to start visiting these places, cut the bamboo and make the flutes so people can hear the music,” Sampson said. “One of the deepest things in my heart is to give back to this fellowship of early horticulturists who brought bamboo into the United States.”


His inaugural trip to Nehrling Gardens was on a garden workday, during which volunteers remove invasive plants and perform other cleanups. Sampson quickly pitched in, as well.

“Coming through the door was such an honor,” he said. “It was a wonderful joy to connect with them.”

Withers said she was thrilled to meet Sampson, and she praised his musical talents.

“Although (his music) is varied — some of is jazzy, some is oriental and some Renaissance — it has a beautiful sense of tranquility about it,” she said.

Sampson said he has made 33 instruments and 11 bird flutes from the bamboo he collected in Gotha. The instruments include bamboo saxophones and flutes.


Sampson has made bamboo flutes for 50 years. And overall, he has handmade more than 150,000 wind instruments. In his yard grow various stands of bamboo, much of which he uses to make his instruments.

Sampson works on a new set of bamboo flutes

“I have an acre of bamboo (at home), but I felt honored to use the bamboo from Nehrling Gardens,” Sampson said.

The process of making a bamboo flute can be quite extensive. For example, it sometimes takes a year to cure the bamboo, Sampson said. The overall process also involves washing, scrubbing and oiling the bamboo, drilling holes in it and using an electronic tuner to tune it.

During his career, Sampson has made flutes in various countries, including many in Central and South America. He said one of his biggest joys was the time he played his bamboo flutes for the president of Fiji.

“(Flute making) not only provides me with a wonderful career, but also with a great retirement,” Sampson said. “That’s why I’m so grateful to these (bamboo pioneers like Nehrling).”

He also has a huge heart for the less fortunate. In 2006, Sampson started his nonprofit Flutemaker Ministries after he performed for 18 kids rescued from a garbage dump in Nicaragua.

Through the help of many customers, family and friends, Sampson and Flutemaker Ministries were able to buy land, build the kids a home, start a farm, sow into micro businesses and support efforts to feed children throughout Nicaragua, according to his website,


Nehrling Gardens is owned and operated by a local, all-volunteer non-profit that is rehabilitating Dr. Henry Nehrling’s historic home and gardens, creating new teaching gardens and providing a historical, horticultural and environmental enrichment center for the community.

Henry Nehrling was an internationally renowned horticulturalist, naturalist, botanist, ornithologist and writer. He introduced and tested more than 3,000 new and rare species of plants and trees, as well as Florida native plants. More than 300 of these became essential to Florida’s horticulture industry, including caladiums, palms, bamboos, magnolias and amaryllis.

The Gardens became a mecca for plant lovers and a tourist destination in the early 1900s. It was visited by prominent people, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Edison, and renowned horticulturists like David Fairchild and Liberty Hyde Baily. Nehrling’s most notable works include “Our Native Birds of Song and Beauty” and “The Plant World in Florida.” Nehrling Gardens is on the National Register of Historic Places.


In this video I play the Tenor and the Alto and take you on a tour of my place.

The Tenor 1 1/2 reeds makes it much easier to play). I also encourage my customers to review in "Learn To Play" on my website which can help with this instrument.

 Regular price $185.00
Unit price  per 
Hey Erik, the bamboo sax is absolutely unbelievable, it's amazing! The craftsmanship is superb, thank you. Troy in Canada Feb 18, 2018
Hi Erik, I received my alto bamboo sax from you today and I would just like to thank you for the quick delivery and show my appreciation for the amazing artistry and skill that you put into these instruments, I am very pleased with how it sounds and looks, I also would like to say I think you are an amazing person for the work you have done in helping children, also your life story is very interesting, Keep up the good work. Much appreciation Matt Randall in the U.K. January 30, 2018
Hi Erik, Just wanted to let you know the bamboo alto sax arrived safely this morning and I've been playing it most of the day. It is fantastic, has a great tone and looks good too. I was able to get all the basic notes in about forty five minutes and played several songs this afternoon. My wife was amazed that I could play a few church hymns by ear today. Thanks for the wonderful instrument! Sincerely, Gene H., 70 years young, in Apple Valley, the high desert of southern California. June 27, 2017
Erik, My wife bought me one of your alto bamboo sax for my birthday last week. I love the awesome sound and ease of play. It only took me about two minutes to get my embouchure correct to be able to play smoothly and beautifully. I am a sax player who doesn't have a lot of time to put into practicing much, so the fact that this instrument can sit at my desk just waiting for me to pick it up and play, for even five minutes, makes me very excited to play regularly. It arrived just yesterday and I have had more music played by me in the house since it arrived than I have played in over a year combined. Thank you so much for your amazing ministry. I hope you are able to get funding for many more projects to come. Sincerely, Chuck in Lacey, Washington May 6th, 2017
Hi Erik, Wow! I was incredibly excited about getting them and wasn't expecting them for at least a week or so, all I can say is Thank You and tell you how thrilled I am. The Kiowa is just incredible, what a sound! It's very meditative and such a joy to play. It's exactly as I had hoped it would be. The Alto Sax is phenomenal. The carrying bags you included are beautiful and compliment the flutes so well. Thank you for your masterful craftsmanship and all you do to bring light and joy to peoples lives all around the world. Sincerely, Paul Cating in Boston, Massachusetts, Dec.11, 2016
Hi Erik, Received my Alto today. Absolutely beautiful piece and sounds great straight out of the packaging. Appreciate your workmanship and must also acknowledge that the shipping is spot on and arrived just as scheduled. God Bless and keep up your good work. Thanks, Norman Rodgers in Thornlie, Western Australia June 5,2016
Hi Erik, My name is Shawn Watson I just wanted to tell you you've literally changed my life with these instruments. Started with one of your saxophones and then got into some flutes and whistle. Thank You Erik for opening the door to a whole new world I've now been putting your instruments in my recordings with my guitar playing and other instruments I play. We also have a little jam session at the waters edge down by the river where I live every Sunday evening where anyone and everyone is welcome to join in. I have been able to jump right in with your incredibly tuned instruments and it had handfuls of people come up to me and just go WOW that thing sounds incredible what is it?? Who made it??? I simply smile and say Erik the flutemaker and I give them your website info! As a instrument maker and an artist I can STRONGLY say your artistry is second to none and tone is incredible! Keep up the awesome work!!! Shawn Watson (Sir Watson Guitars) in Austin, Texas July 9, 2015
Dear Erik, I just wanted to let you know that the flutes, and alto saxes which I recieved from you in 2002, some 12 years ago are still going strong! The durability and strength of the bamboo is truly amazing. They all still play as the day I received them. I play them all the time and think back of the privilege I had meeting you. Thank you for your wonderful talent and for you having shared your wonderful gift with all of us all these years. P.S. They all respectfully sit in a place of prominence at my home =) Sincerely, Tony Colon in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida July 26, 2014
Dear Erik, I want to say thank you again for the amazing flutes and bamboo sax that you've made! I was playing them for 2 weeks and simply can't stop. Every single one of them has it's unique sound. It took me about two days to find the right sound and since then I'm playing non stop. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I already ordered two more flutes and can't wait to try to play on them! : ) Have a wonderful and peaceful day! Sincerely yours, Fedor in Toronto, Canada July 26th, 2014
Erik- Thank you so much for the quick and courteous service. As a collector of instruments, I found this sax to be a welcome addition to my collection. After a short amount of time, the sweet spots were found rather quickly. Thanks to your 29 minute tutorial on Youtube. I was also impressed with the colorful pouch it came in, the cd, and the Thank You card for donating to the kids of Cascabel. I look forward to purchasing soon again. The Vivaldi flute sounds absolutely enchanting and will be my next buy. You are truly blessed! Thank You, Jeff Burns in Monroe, North Carolina, July 14, 2014
Hello Erik, Just to let you know that I have received my tenor and alto bamboo sax's and am absolutely blown away by both their sounds and looks. Lovely bags and expertly packed and posted. You are a shining light of customer delight :-) I was surprised to find how easy they are to play and really love the burnt smell created by your making of the holes. Thanks for making the world a better place with your products and music. Dr. Bruce Copley in South Africa, April 28, 2014
Hi Erik, I received the Alto Bamboo Sax a few weeks ago, and I'm absolutely blown away! The sound is fantastic and bending the notes are pretty fun too. I never owned a traditional saxophone and never learned to play professionally, but have self taught with the Bamboo Alto. I just want to say thanks for making such an affordable instrument. I love recording with it and find it more interesting than a real sax any day! Ryan Brown in Dearborn, MI. May 14, 2014
Hi I just want to say that I am thrilled with all of the instruments I have recently purchased. I ordered the Bamboo Sax and I wasn't disappointed. They aren't just wonderful sounding instruments, they are unique, handcrafted pieces of art, which has always appealed to me. Thank you again for sharing your gift with me. Thank you also for the good work you are doing for those through your ministry. Barbara in San Ramon, CA
We received our bamboo flutes and saxophone last week. It was very fast service! The flutes sound amazing. They will give us endless joy on our travels. The saxophone is incredible. They are presented so beautifully in the bag, and they look like lovely pieces of art. Thank you so much. Michael and Linda in Victoria, Australia Sept. 14th, 2013
Thanks Erik I have received my Alto Bamboo sax and I am totally in love with it. So excited to learn and play. Thanks a ton for this happiness. Be Blessed Angelo in Mumbai, India Sept 16, 2013
Hi Erik, I got the Bb sax and and I think that it out beats a real one! Cristian Rossi in Winchendon MA. May 2010
I really love the bamboo sax. Please list good items more in the future. It was a happy transaction. I will continually purchase goods on your website. Thank you. from. Ji Young & Jong Hwi (from South Korea.)
I recently bought an alto bamboo sax. I have never played a reed instrument before. I must say that I love this instrument. Tonight I'm bringing it to my band practice to play with some of the guys (I play in a jazz band). Thank goodness I got the concert tuned Bb sax! Thank you so much! ...Just played with the band and we all loved it! Thanks again Mike Gipson, Texas A&M University October 2009
Hi Erik and Linda, I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to Erik for the wonderful BAMBOO SAX in Bb. The mellow tone and ease of playing far exceeds any of my expectations. I absolutely love it!!! Angela In the UK August 2009