Our Team

JON JIAN MIN LI

Jon went to violin making school in Guangzhou, China from 1975 to 1977, studying with masters Xu Fu and Liang Guo Hui. He entered the first ever National Competition of Violin Making in China in 1988 and received 2nd place for his violin bow and 3rd place for his viola bow. In 1990, he entered a viola bow in the International Violin Society of America (VSA) competition in New Mexico and won a certificate for viola bow playability.  In 1992, his violin bow placed 8th place in the worldwide competition in Germany. He entered the New Mexico VSA competition again in 1996 and was rewarded a certificate for both his violin and cello bow for playability and craftsmanship. So enough with the formalities and awards for bow making; the point is, he’s good at what he does and has the testimonials from all the San Francisco Bay Area patrons to prove it. As of now, he is a part time bow maker and a full time craftsman. He loves working with his hands and loves working on instruments. He found his calling for violin restoration when he came to the United States in 1991. He found some classes to attend and studied in summer workshops with Nigel in Oberlin, Hans Nebel in Massachusetts, and Horst Kloss in New Hampshire. To further along his bow making skills he attended a bow restoration workshop with Lynn Hannings and the California Luthier Boyd Paulson.He was working here at Kamimoto Strings for many years until Mr. Kamimoto decided to retire. Jon took this as an opportunity to add yet another hat to his many hats‚ that of a businessman. So he bought the business and has been running it since 2004. He loves working with instruments and people who are passionate about their instruments. He could talk to you for hours on end about bows, violins, cellos, violas‚ you name it! Oh yeah, and about France. He’d love to tell you about when the French government invited him along with a small entourage of string instrument professional to visit Lyon, Paris, Mirecourt, and Toulouse in 2006 where he met more that 53 French instrument and bow makers and dealers. He can’t wait to meet you all‚ and your instruments, of course.

VINCY LI

Salutations! My name is Vincy and I have been playing violin for the past 16 years. I was in the San Jose Youth Symphony for 9 years and had the privilege of traveling with them to Germany, Austria, and Japan. I graduated from UC Berkeley in December of 2006. I started working at Kamimoto’s during the summers in my high school years and I now work here full time. I would be delighted to help you with any questions you may have about violins. I look forward to seeing you here. I’ll be in the office. Come say hello!

 

 

SOPHIA

She’s the one that makes sure that the shop runs smoothly. She makes it so that each and every one of us has everything we need in order to get our jobs done. In violin terms, she’s the peg compound that makes the pegs turn.

 

 

 

JONATHAN PAK

Hello, I’m Jonathan Pak. I am a 20-year-old Korean-American student and I work part-time at Kamimoto String Instrument Shop. I play the violin and if you need any help with violins, you can talk to me. I’m full of laughter and always enjoy meeting new people and I love working with kids. Often times people call me a 20-year-young kid. I speak some Korean, some Japanese, and am occasionally picking up some Chinese at work.I first started piano lessons in 2nd grade and later picked up the violin in the 4th grade. My favorite violin piece is the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D. My favorite performer is the great Jascha Heifetz and I enjoy listening to some of Maxim Vengerov’s often whimsical yet very exciting interpretations of my favorite classic concertos and pieces. I also enjoy some good rock bands and Christian bands.I am a man of many hobbies. I am also a huge San Jose Sharks fan so if you have tickets and want someone to go with, I’m your guy! I enjoy serving at church, bowling, playing chess, watching movies, going to the gym, StarCraft, and most of all ping pong!

Next time you stop by at Kamimoto’s come say hi to me!

JASON LI

Jason graduated the same year as Jon at the Violin Making School in Guangzhou. In 1988, he participated in the National Violin Making Competition in China and won 3rd place for his violin bow. Jason has been in the repair and restoration business for more than 40 years. He recently moved to California in 2007.

 

 

 

JIM PONG

Jim has been working at Kamimoto String Instruments for over 15 years. He services most of the school instruments and the majority of the basses.

Matt Carson

MATT CARSON

Matt has been with us for two years. He is a student at San Jose State University studying Music Performance. He will be glad to help you with any questions you have regarding violins.

Stephanie Cervi

STEPHANIE CERVI

Stephanie is a Computer Engineering student at Santa Clara University.  She attended Los Gatos High School with Grace Yang, the other cellist working at Kamimoto’s.  She has studied cello since her sophomore year in high school, but before then had moved from piano to violin to cello to bass to viola and back and forth repeatedly until her mom got tired of keeping track, causing Stephanie to finally settle on the cello.  She has been a loyal customer of Kamimoto Strings in the past and is very excited to now be working here.
“I speak Italian, for what it’s worth, and I know a bit about the physics of our instruments like how the sound is made, what the Wolf tone is on cellos, and how Wolf tone eliminators work, among other things.  If you’d like to know a little more about the science of music, I can definitely tell you a few things about how physics and music intertwine.”

Grace Yang

JULIA CHIU

Born in San Jose to a piano teacher and a software engineer, Julia has been a musician since the age of 5, studying piano, violin, viola and flute. She graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont in 2002 and San Francisco State University in 2007, majoring in Viola Performance and is an alumni of California Youth Symphony.