It is with great sadness that we report the death of Manuel Velazquez, one of the great luthiers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Manuel Velazquez was born in Puerto Rico in 1917 and opened his first shop in New York in 1941. He was perhaps the greatest American luthier to build in the European tradition, and his guitars yield nothing in craftsmanship or sound to his Spanish or German contemporaries. He has passed on his knowledge and love for this style to his son, Alfredo, who continues in his father’s footsteps.

We have always been big fans of Velazquez’ guitars – he was one of the best champions of the traditional style of guitar making in US and he will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

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2 Responses to “Remembering Manuel Velazquez”

  1. I remember that Sabicas used to name Manuel Velázquez as the maker of his guitar on all of his guitar programs, as he did concerts across the US. They were close friends, and even though Sabicas actually played a Ramirez guitar on many of his concert tours, he did play a Manuel Velázquez that was made for him.

    Long life to the memories that Manuel has laid for generations to come. A fine fellow and consummate artist.

  2. Jim Normandin says:

    Mr. Velazquez was very nice to return a phone call I made to him some 10 years ago about getting my 1978 Velazquez repaired. He was a 100% down to earth man, not a trace of pretension about himself. Velazquez was a friend of my late teacher, Jose Rey de la Torre, who owned 2 of his guitars.
    I became enamored with his guitars after hearing one in concert. It was not a “loud” guitar, but had something much better, more refined than other guitars I’d heard, and that was its projection. It was astonishing.
    RIP Manuel.


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