Archive for November, 2011
If you build flamenco guitars the dream is to have Paco De Lucia play one of your guitars, and I imagine you try not to allow yourself to hope that he’ll like it enough to actually want one. But when Erez Perelman put a guitar in Paco’s hands Paco just kept playing it and saying how much he liked it, then how great it would be to record on, and now Paco’s manager has contacted Erez in order to get a guitar for Paco to record with! Not that we’re surprised, given the quality of the guitars that Erez has been sending us.. My favorite comment that Paco makes in the videos is ‘it sounds old’.
Here’s more of Teodoro Perez talking about the importance of wood. I love talking to Teodoro because of his connection with the past at Ramirez and his connection with the future – his kids are in the shop working side by side with him. And he just never stops working for a moment, so he’s binding a guitar while talking to me here.
So in anticipation of our January 29, 2012 event with guitarist Marc Teicholz. David Collett and Marc have been busy choosing guitars, and we have some pretty amazing guitars that you’ll be able to hear in person – a pretty unique opportunity to hear some historic guitars played by a great virtuoso. Three of the confirmed guitars are a 1921 Santos Hernandez, a 1927 Domingo Esteso, and a 2004 Edmund Blochinger, all of which you can hear here as recorded the CD we produced in collaboration with Marc, ‘Valseana’. Seating is pretty limited – only 80 tickets will be sold – so you might want to think about getting your tickets now.
Jake Shimabukuro is pretty amazing, and seems to be a huge force behind the recent surge in uke sales worldwide (you’d be amazed by how many ukes are being sold these days). Here he is playing Bohemian Rhapsody live in Japan. He’ll be playing at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in February and he’s really worth seeing even if you’ve never listened to ukulele music before. He also has a lesson on the ‘On The Music Path’ iPad app which you can check out here.
LeChic Duo is Iren Arutyunyan and Sofia Gleeson and they stopped by to play for us this week. They played Albeniz’ ‘Cordoba’ as transcribed for two guitars by Emil Pujol and Sokolov’s ‘Polka’ as arranged by Sergei Orekhov. Sofia played a Tobias Berg cedar-top and Iren played a Tobias Braun satinwood guitar and a Teodoro Perez Concierto cedar-top.
LeChic Duo also has a music video coming out at the end of this month, and I’ve posted the trailer here as well.
My first lesson on the ‘On The Music Path’ iPad app just went up today, and it’s an incredibly cool app for learning the guitar. I’m kind of honored to be one the teachers on the app, since the classical teacher is Scott Tennant, the songwriting guy is Jackson Browne, the sitar guy is Ravi Shankar, Eric Johnson is one of the blues guys, etc… (click here for a full list of teachers and lessons).
You can only buy the lessons for the iPad as of right now, but if you have one it’s a really powerful app that lets you loop sections, slow stuff down, skip around, etc… and all of the lessons break stuff down for you and then have play along sections at various speeds. It’s beautifully shot and most of the instructional stuff is split screen so you can see the left and right hands simultaneously.
My first lesson is on Tangos and covers a ton of rasgueados as well as some cool material for Tangos with picado, arpeggio and alzapua. We’ve also shot a lesson on Soleá that should be up in the not too distant future and we’ll be doing more, including Alegrias and Bulerias. You can check it all out here.
After many years of waiting we’re finally getting a guitar in from Jeff Elliott – seems they’re harder to get than even a new Friederich. I’ve never actually seen one, but Jeff was kind enough to send some great photos. Check out the chip-carved rosette, which is a 3D relief carving in the purfling area with amboyna burl in the center where the mosaic usually goes. The guitar is already sold, but we still wanted to show it off. (As always, just click on the images to make them bigger).
I didn’t know that Leonard Cohen owed a debt to flamenco or that he had a 40 year old Conde that he bought at the Gravina, 7, shop in the 60′s. But in his acceptance speech for the winning the ‘Principe de Asturias’ prize in Spain he said that his Conde had inspired him all his life and that all of his songs were based on the 6 chords he learned from a flamenco guitarist in Montreal (who for unknown reasons committed suicide). The prize and the speech have gotten Felipe Conde a lot of good press in Spain recently and remind us that in addition to almost every great flamenco player playing Condes, they’ve been played by a lot people you wouldn’t have guessed, from Al DiMeola to Lenny Kravitz, David Byrne and Leonard Cohen.
If you’re going to be in Los Angeles next weekend you should try to catch legendary jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell’s 80th birthday bash concert at Royce Hall. B.B. King, Lalo Schifrin and Dee Dee Bridgewater will be joining him and it sounds like it’s going to be pretty cool. You can read about Kenny in this L. A. Times article about him, and get you can get tickets here.
From the UCLA website:
“For six decades, Kenny Burrell’s name has been synonymous with jazz guitar. And as the founder and director of UCLA’s Jazz Studies program, his name on campus is legendary. This special event celebrates the incredible life and career of this influential performer, composer, bandleader and producer in a one-night-only, all-star event featuring tribute performances from blues legend B.B. King (who cites Burrell as his “favorite guitarist”), multi-Grammy-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, pianist Lalo Schifrin and others. The night will feature on-stage collaborations between these artists as well as the world premieres of two new works. Backed by the UCLA Philharmonia, Burrell will perform a new composition by recent UCLA music department chair Dr. Roger Bourland. Also, Fantasy for Orchestra, a new piece written by world-renowned composer and UCLA faculty member Dr. Paul Chihara and based on Burrell’s own Prayer for Peace will be premiered. The night will also include the debut of a unique collaborative orchestral composition dedicated to World Peace with music by Patrick Williams, John Clayton, Bill Banfield, James Newton, Kenny Burrell and others. Additional performers include the award-winning UCLA Jazz Orchestra, directed by Charley Harrison, the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited—L.A.’s new repertoire orchestra featuring many of the best musicians in Southern California—and one of Burrell’s favorite working groups, the Jazz Heritage All Stars, a legendary four-horn and four-rhythm Jazz tribute ensemble.
We’re celebrating the Madrid school throughout the month of November. Just buy any guitar from a Madrid maker (Contreras, Ramirez, Perez or Conde) and we’ll give you a shopping spree worth 10% of the purchase price of your guitar – and there’s no limit. You can use that 10% shopping spree to buy anything on the site – from strings to cases or furniture or even another guitar. Just give us a call or we’ll email you instructions on how to redeem you shopping spree. Cannot be combined with any other offer.