Canadian Music Trade - April / May 2018 - Page 18

FACES Sheldon Sazant By Andrew King I t’s been 40 years since Sheldon Sazant began his long and successful career with Steve’s Music Store. At the time, in 1978, he was just about to begin his studies at Montreal’s McGill University when he landed a part-time job moving boxes in the store’s warehouse. Impressed by his work ethic, late store founder Steve Kirman offered Sazant a job on the sales floor while he worked towards his degree in microbiology. When he earned that degree, the two sat down for a frank discussion of future plans. That’s when Kirman brought up the prospect of a management position, and as Sazant simply puts it, “The rest is kind of history.” Like many of the familiar faces around Steve’s Music in Montreal, Sazant has been a fixture of the iconic retailer for decades, and once he gets into the details of his day-to-day endeavours, it’s not hard to understand why. “We’ve helped amateur musicians who became professional musicians; we’ve helped international stars; we’ve helped doctors and dentists and lawyers achieve their dreams; and we’ve helped kids just starting out or the elderly who’ve retired and want to pursue an instrument,” he lists off in a single breath. “I’ve seen it all, and it’s been so gratifying.” Of course, a lot has changed through- out Sazant’s time in the business – the music, the gear, the customers, the trends, and even his surroundings, as partway through 2017, Steve’s Music was forced to leave its long- time home on Saint-Antoine St. and open a new storefront on nearby Sainte-Catherine St. Still, Steve’s Music delivers the same one-of-a-kind experience that propelled it to prominence, and it’s those kinds of constants that keep him optimistic and passionate about his work. “Retail is retail, but the music business isn’t just retail per se. If it was, I wouldn’t have been doing this for over 40 years,” he says. “It’s emotional. We sell dreams. When someone walks through this door, they’re an artist or potential artist, regardless of what they are on the other side.” With the move into his new profes- sional home on Sainte-Catherine came the ongoing challenge of bridging the old with the new – of maintaining the legacy of the store’s founder and the unique experience he created while modernizing some facets of it to appeal to a new generation of clientele. “We wanted to bring that character from over 52 years of business in the old lo- cation to the new one,” he shares. “Obviously, there were a lot of memories that came from 18 CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE there. It’s amazing what that building did for so many people.” They’ve got photos and memorabilia from the old location – a sprawling series of individual storefronts that nearly lined an en- tire block – proudly displayed throughout their new home as a tribute to that special place and the people that made it so. Ultimately, he says it’s been an exciting and rewarding experience for their entire team – “a new opportunity full of new expe- riences” – and it’s still a work in progress. As Sazant speaks with Canadian Music Trade from the shop one weekday morning, he’s actually in the process of moving two showcases, an example of “living and learning and seeing what works.” Though there’s never really a dull mo- ment on the floor or in the office at Steve’s, Sazant likes to keep active outside of work. He’s a regular golfer when the weather is accom- modating and plays hockey and basketball on a weekly basis. Of course, he also enjoys spending time with his wife of 29 years. “She’s a musician, too. She used to be a professio [[[Y\B]YH[]]H8'HH^\YܙBX[8'[H]]HX\[\HY\X]\HH۸&]^H]\X˸'H^H]HB ^YX\[]Y\][[ܚ[[ܛ۝[H K^YX\[ۈ][H[[۝X[ 8'^x&\Hۙ\[[]8&\Y[ۙ\[][[Hܛ\ X]\B^H\Hܛ[\[HH\[قܛ[\]]x&\˸'BHYXHو8'ܛ[\8'H[H]\XܙB\[[\\[ۙHۜY\[]ۙHق^[8&\]\]H\وH؈\YZ[B]H\HوXX[ۈ[\\Y\8$B[Hو[ [ZHۙ\]Y\ݙ\Z\X\\ۈ[\[HܙK8'[HYB[H[و[ܜ[[\Z[][^YX[K8'HH^\ˈ8'^x&\H[[X]Z\]\]H]\X[Y[[ܚY\YZ[Z\]\]H\\ۜYK܈X^XH][X\B[[\[\ۜYK'B]x&\]\X&\]][ۈXX[H\˜H\ܛX[HYH[HZYHوHܙK[^[[\XYY\]H\YZ[X\\و\Y\YH\^KB[Z\]\\\H[H[[ۈ] '^Hٝ[][]\XY\YZ[ۙHقZ\]\]H\\ۜYKH]B[H]^\Y[O'B]8&\[X]\[ۙ[][ۋB\8$Y][^[[]\Z[œ\[[[X\[]\X]Z[ 8'[H[]\]\HYو] 8'HH\[BX]H[\XYY\\H\[œXۙ H[][\ Y[\][ۈ\Y\š\H\[Y[] 'HݙH[H^H[Z[H]YH˜Z[]^H[Z[H]ܚ]\H^K8'HB^\[[ˈ8']8&\HܙNHܝ\] ]8&\Y[Hۙ\[\Y\[]8&\[Bۙ\[\Y\'B[][\HY]܋Z[PYYو[YX[]\XYK