D’Addario & Co. Guitar String Maker Humming Along

shutterstock_1007071963 (1)

A century ago, an immigrant who settled in Astoria set up a tiny, home-based guitar string manufacturing shop, continuing a family tradition that he brought with him from the Italian countryside.

That immigrant, Charles D’Addario, passed along the family trade to his children and grandchildren, who set up a larger manufacturing facility in Lynbrook with five employees four decades ago. Nowadays, D’Addario & Co. has an almost 200,000-square-foot facility in Farmingdale that employs nearly 1,000 workers, making it the world’s largest musical instrument accessory manufacturer. It recently opened a European division, effectively coming full circle.

“We are very excited by the creation of D’Addario Europe and we look forward to advancing our brands in these extremely vital markets,” says John D’Addario, III, president of D’Addario & Company, Inc. “Our family began string making in Europe, so it is personally meaningful to return to Europe with the promise of building more direct relationships with this historic and vibrant music community.”

Musicians who use their strings read like a who’s who of big-name acts: Keith Urban, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zac Brown, and many more. Part of D’Addario’s success is its worldwide distribution and dealer networks. The company products are marketed in the United States through wholesale distribution and more than 5,400 retail music stores. Their products are sold in 101 countries worldwide.

John Jr. and James D’Addario have taken great steps to pass down the family tradition. The family-owned company’s roots date back to the 17th century, originating in the small Italian town of Salle. The family traces their start in the craft back eight generations. A baptismal form filled out by their ancestor, Donato D’Addario, listed his occupation as cordaro, which is Italian for string maker.

Centuries later, John D’Addario is still keeping the family business in tune.