Here are some beautiful pictures of a new guitar from Panamanian-born luthier Luis Fernandez de Cordoba. This particular instrument he is calling “Homenaje a Torres” as it is not an exact copy of any particular Antonio de Torres guitar but instead, his own design infused with many of the concepts and details from the instruments of Torres’ First Epoch.
Bokyung Byun, a rising star in the classical guitar world and current student of Scott Tennant at USC, stopped by the showroom recently to record some videos with us. Bokyung is fresh off a very successful year of competitions, taking second prize at the Guitar Foundation of America Competition and becoming the first female winner of the prestigious JoAnn Falletta Concerto Competition. Needless to say, we were thrilled she made the time to stop in and play for us!
For our next video with Grisha, we have his performance on the 1924 Miguel Rodriguez we shared last week in our post of Pepe Romero’s performance. As previously mentioned, this guitar is particularly interesting due to the fact that 1) it’s the oldest Rodriguez we’ve ever had in the shop by over 25 years, 2) Pepe himself used to own it, and 3) Paco de Lucia’s cousin was the owner before Pepe, and it is known that Paco played this guitar quite often. All this makes Grisha’s incredible interpretation of Paco’s “Malaguena de Lecuona” all the more inspiring!
For many years, we have closely followed and admired the work of French luthier Bastien Burlot who has built guitars for the likes of Roland Dyens and Thomas Viloteau. However, his most recent project – which he is calling “Alkemia” – has got us more excited than ever before!
For the “Alkemia” project, Bastien is building a series of guitars with rosettes inspired by the great cathedrals of France. The first instrument he is building for is based off the Chartres Cathedral located about an hour outside Paris by train. As you can see in the photos below, the mosaic designs in the rosette are taken directly from the stained-glass windows of the church itself. In addition, the label has a labyrinth design which comes from the floor of the cathedral’s nave, a famous gathering spot of pilgrims from around the world who walk the labyrinth with their heads bowed in prayer.
Last month, we had an inspiring evening recording with both Pepe Romero and Grisha Goryachev on a fascinating 1924 Miguel Rodriguez. Up to this point, the earliest Rodriguez to come through the shop was a flamenco from 1950, so the fact that this instrument was made over 25 years earlier gives you an indication of its rarity. On top of that, Pepe – the previous owner – says he acquired it from a relative of Paco de Lucia who claimed the flamenco legend played on it regularly!
You guys asked for more Grisha so he’s back this week with a Faruca by Sabicas entitled ‘Con Garbo y Salero.’ In this video, he plays a fiery 2017 Francisco Barba with a warm Spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides. The sonic result is a powerful and lively Andalusian guitar with the perfect amount of flamenco “sizzle” as you can hear in the recording. While Grisha’s playing looks effortless no matter the guitar he plays, the set up for this particular Barba makes playing a breeze!
Let’s be honest – here at GSI and in Los Angeles in general, we meet and hear a lot of incredible guitar players, both from seasoned professionals and the best up-and-coming young talents, and though we haven’t seen absolutely everything, we definitely get exposed to a fair share of great musicians. However, even from our very lucky vantage point, we can still be taken by surprise once in a while… and candidly admit we’re still floating from last week’s concert featuring the legendary Yamandu Costa.
Grisha Goryachev was back in the showroom recently and took some time to demo a few guitars for us. To start, here is his performance of Paco de Lucia’s exciting Almoraima (Bulerias) on a 2018 Pepe Romero which features a Cedar top and Indonesian Rosewood back and sides. This particular instrument was a perfect pairing with this piece as a 2012 model of this guitar was sold to Paco de Lucia and used on his album “Canción andaluza” recorded just before his passing in 2014. Four years later, Grisha effectively captures the soul of Lucia with his playing of this piece as well as the sound he produces on this stunning guitar.
Here is the second movement, “Reyna,” from Celil Refik Kaya’s new suite Miriam & Leon’s Daughters. In this performance, Celil is playing a fantastic 1977 Miguel Rodriguez with a Cedar top and Palo Rosa back and sides. This guitar has a very interesting story in how it came to us. When it first showed up, we noticed there was no date or signature on the label. We sent it down to the Romeros to see if they knew anything about it, and Pepe Sr. immediately recognized the guitar as one Rodriguez originally made for him which he named “La Pastosa.” Read more about this guitar’s story and learn why the label was never edited on the product page here. Meanwhile, enjoy Celil’s beautiful and energetic composition on this wonderful instrument!
Last year, we were thrilled to play a role hosting Guitar CoOp’s interview with Christopher Parkening here in the GSI showroom. This past month, all four parts of the series were released and the entire interview is now available!
Throughout the interview, Parkening touches on many fascinating subjects including his early life with the guitar, studies with Andres Segovia, recording CD’s with Columbia Records, and his experience working with legendary composers including Elmer Bernstein, John Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo, and more.