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E. Benge • Los Angeles • no. 13953 • 1975

The first Benge pocket trumpet dates to 1968, and was  the design work of Louis Duda (Eldon Benge’s “right hand man”). These have enjoyed great popularity and stong reputation in the small world of pocket trumpets ever since. It is fair to say that the Benge pocket is the “gold standard” by which other professional pocket trumpets are measured.  They were made by Benge in Burbank, then Los Angeles, and continue to be manufactured in the UMI factory in East Lake Ohio. 

I have not had the opportunity to play a more recent example, known as the Colibri, but in general they don’t seem to share the same reputation as California-made horns – although I have had several positive reports of East Lake horns.

While many of these are seen with Benge vinyl gig bags (as shown), a factory hard case was available as well. (instrument no longer in collection)


Length (mpc removed): 9.75”

Bell Diameter: 4.75”

Bore: .460 ML


1969 Benge advertisement.  Note the presence of a pocket cornet in the listing. I have yet to hear of a single example.

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Actor Peter Weller actually played a pocket trumpet in his 1984 film “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.”  He attended the University of North Texas’ well-known jazz program. From the screen captures shown, it appears to be a Benge (although there’s a chance it could be a Calicchio).  The only shame is that the pocket trumpet scene is maybe 15 seconds long.