Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sayonara, Saroyan zills

Yesterday my Twitter, Facebook, blog roll and email was awash with the sad news that Harry Saroyan is retiring and the company that bears his name will not continue.

Anala over at The Practical Dancer has already compiled a handy list of online traders who still have his zills in stock.

If you're in the UK and don't want to pay international shipping tax, when I checked yesterday Aladdin's Cave had some. (Hat tip to Razia Star for the tip-off.) Be aware, however, that they were already down to "1 item left" on some sets, and as of this morning had created a whole new category for Saroyan zills (yesterday they were still filed under 'accessories').

Clearly, this is the belly dancer's equivalent of an oil crisis. I am off to class this morning with my own, now very precious, brass Arabesque Saroyans (pictured) and will try to play my best for Harry.


  1. From someone on facebook "Update regarding Saroyan! :) He is looking to sell the business and is no longer manufacturing on a large scale, but he's not gone yet! Yay!!!! Whew - Zill-pocalypse averted! :)

    From Julianna McLendon: "Hey folks - I just heard from Harry - One of his employees just retired and he has had to scale back for a little bit - but he is hoping to sell the business soon after serving the Bellydance Community over 50 years so that he can retire too! So don't panic Saroyans are not going away!"

    and a forwarded message from Harry Saroyan: "After almost 50 years of service to the Belly Dance Community I have decided
    to put my business for sale. At the time being we will not be manufacturing on a large scale anymore, as one of our workers retired and the other got married and moved to Florida.""

  2. Thanks Alicia - you have smoothed many a furrowed brow!

  3. I'm just glad I was ahead of the zill panic-buying curve, and managed to get myself a nice shiny new pair of silver arabesques before they sold out. And very nice they are too :D

    According to The Internet, it's the Great Zill Crisis of 2013...

  4. Officially on behalf of Mr. Harry Saroyan and Saroyan Cymbals I would like to address the doubts and fears being expressed online regarding the future of Saroyan Zills and their availability for professionals and enthusiast in the music and dance industries. After 45 years as the leader in production, Harry has decided to turn over the reins of Saroyan Mastercrafts, and is currently securing new ownership for Saroyan Cymbals… In the mean time have no fear, Harry’s zills will again be available for purchase online ( on June 15, 2013 and will continue to be produced to meet the high demand for quality zills for many, many years to come. It is very important to Harry that his strict guidelines for superiority and craftsmanship are maintained, and he gives his personal promise that his fans will be very pleased with his successor. In the intervening time please feel free to contact me at with any questions or concerns… Sincerely, Heather Lint, Netreva Inc. c/o Saroyan Mastercrafts