Here is a fun video of Danish luthier Kenneth Brögger selecting tone-woods from the famous Maderas Barber wood shop in Valencia, Spain. Maderas Barber is the world’s largest dealer of exotic tone-woods used for building musical instruments and has been in business for over 60 years. We made a post on this wonderful place a couple years ago which you can check out here.
This week we have some new photos from Russian luthier Vladimir Druzhinin of his latest classical guitar in the works. As you can see in the gallery below, this instrument features a stunning Spruce top with African Rosewood back and sides and reminds us of his gorgeous 2018 Cedar top we had in the shop earlier this year. We are still buzzing about the amazing sound produced by that last guitar – if you’d like to experience it check out these performances by Daniel Marx and Olivia Chiang.
Jaxon Williams began the study of classical guitar at the age of seven. He has won prizes in numerous classical guitar competitions including the OSAA Classical Guitar Competition, Sierra Nevada International Guitar Competition, San Francisco Bay International Guitar Competition, and most recently the winner of the 2017 Pacific Guitar Festival and Competition. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, where he is busy as a concert artist, teacher, recording artist, and Doctoral Candidate.
We have some beautiful photos of the next guitar on the way to us from Granada luthier and winner of the first Antonio Marin Guitar Making competition Sergio Valverde Castillo. The guitar will be cocobolo and spruce and looks like it will be stunning.
UPDATE: We recently received photos of the completed guitar which should be arriving any day now. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on it and hopefully filming some performance videos in the showroom. Until then, enjoy the new photos below!
This last week marked the 2nd International “Antonio Marin Montero” Guitar Building Competition hosted by the European Guitar Foundation. Once again, our own David Collett was part of the prestigious panel of judges which consisted of many familiar faces including luthiers Edmund Blochinger, Jose Marin Plazuelo, Yuris Zeltins and guitarist Scott Morris. Other jury members included famous Spanish guitar makers and players Jose Miguel Moreno, Julio Castanos, Manuel Caceres, and Alberto Cuellar.
Olivia Chiang was back at GSI for a few more videos before beginning her studies at USC in the Fall. We shot our first video of Olivia back in 2012, when she was only 12 years old – you can see her first video here, which was also a Bach piece – so it was great to see her one last time before she begins her studies in the Fall. Here she plays Bach’s Prelude in E Minor, BWV 996, on a great 2014 Pepe Romero guitar in redwood and Indian rosewood, and Cullare la Tempesta by Scott Ouelette on a 2015 Paulino Bernabe ‘Torres’ model in spruce and maple. It’s been so much fun watching Olivia grow as a player and we look forward to seeing more of her in the coming years!
“There once was a time when guitars made in China were considered inferior offerings by far. Now, La Cañada Model 115 is only the latest to offer a formidable challenge to this old notion. The guitar feels and sounds just like a good instrument should, and has been French polished to boot. While it would make an outstanding choice for the student player, the Model 115 would also make a reliable companion for the professional performer.”
As I arrived in Granada a few weeks ago I learned of the passing of our good friend and great luthier Bernd Martin. Martin – everyone in Granada just called him Martin – arrived in Granada in 1976 and was the first expat to establish himself as a luthier here in this city that has now been home to so many luthiers from all over the world. Martin embraced the Granada style and began building beautiful guitars – classical and flamenco – that went to clients all over the world.
Here – quite apprpriately, given the recent passing of Bernd Martin – is Wesley Park playing Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s desiring on a beautiful Bernd Martin 40th Anniversary model guitar in spruce and CSA rosewood. The 40th Anniversary models were a limited run of 8 guitars built by Bernd to celebrate 40 years of luthiery (1976-2016) and we were lucky to have seen two of them.