Orfeo Magazine’s 10th release is particularly special to us – it showcases builders from our side of the world as the writers and photographers document their trip up and down the West Coast. It’s great to see so many of our friends in this issue! Pepe Romero Jr., down in San Diego, talks about his family legacy, how he makes guitars and shows us his personal collection. We’re excited to see Richard Reynoso here representing Los Angeles as he lets us into his inspiration for making such tasteful instruments. Then, we head to NorCal in Berkeley where we get a nice look into the Harris Guitar Foundation collection of instruments, which are available to the students at SFCM. Gregory Byers, in Willits, CA, is next and gives us a look at his extensive and unique research into guitar-making. Orfeo then visits Portland Oregon’s Jeffrey Elliott to learn about his history as a luthier, his building process and the kind of sound he looks for. Their last stop is in Spokane, WA for none other than Eric Sahlin. Eric talks about being self-taught, his wood preferences and his innovative “twisted” fingerboards.
Orfeo No. 10 is almost like going on an actual road trip along the West Coast, and it is nicely guided by quotes by Jack Kerouac. Read the full Orfeo Magazine No. 10 in English here.
Our friend Adam Levin was in town on tour the other day and stopped by to play some guitars. We recorded him playing the Villa-Lobos Mazurka-Choro on an amazing 1900’s Manuel Ramirez in spruce and cypress, and the Barrios Danza Paraguaya as well as La Primavera, from Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Platero y Yo, on a gorgeous 2012 Jeffrey Elliott guitar in spruce and CSA rosewood. Be sure to check out Adam’s Kithara Project, which brings guitar instruction to truly underserved communities in the US and Mexico. They do really great work!
Here’s Flynn Hase Spence playing Joaquin Rodrigo’s Sonata Giocosa on a great 2012 John Ray ‘1892 Torres’, based on an original Torres, SE 153 from 1892, the last year of Torres’ life, which John has personally inspected, photographed and measured.
Flynn is a Los Angeles based film composer, and he studied guitar at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Lewin and David Russell. He also works as a session guitarist and composer.
Here’s guitarist Carlos Santi playing Sergio Assad’s Farewell on a 1972 Jose Ramirez 1a in cedar and gorgeous CSA rosewood. Santi teaches guitar and chamber music at the Universidad de Córdoba in Argentina and has toured the world as a performer. We have some more great videos of him coming very soon.
Here’s Wesley Park playing Sylvius Leopold Weiss’ Passacaglia on a gorgeous 1953 Manuel de la Chica classical that belonged Maestro Pepe Romero. The Romeros have been champions of de la Chica’s guitars for decades, and they believe, as we do, that he was one of the greatest luthiers of the 20th century.
There seems to be no shortage of options when it comes to online classical guitar lessons, but when we heard about Tavi Jinariu’s new project we became very excited. Over the past several years GSI and Tavi Jinariu have collaborated on a number of projects. Most visibly Tavi has done numerous performance videos on our guitars, which have been among our most popular. We are therefore very pleased to recommend to you the classical guitar lessons and repertoire tutorials site EliteGuitarist provided by Tavi Jinariu and other great instructors.
EliteGuitarist’s approach is aimed to help get busy people playing great pieces of music quickly and easily. The repertoire tutorials bypass hours of drills and exercises and instead gets students playing actual classical guitar pieces quickly. Each of these lessons is taught note-for-note. You can learn how to play studies by Fernando Sor, Tarrega’s ‘Capricho Arabe,’ Myers’ ‘Cavatina,’ and many other classics from the standard repertoire. Additionally, the instructors at EliteGuitarist generously share performance pointers, phrasing options, tonal variation suggestions and other practical aspects of guitar playing. The repertoire tutorial library is quickly expanding and, for the price of roughly 3 or 4 in-person lessons, students can get full access to the entire library for the year. Elite Guitarist also offers separate technique packages in addition to the repertoire tutorials.
EliteGuitarist’s direct approach to teaching the repertoire in this way has already helped many people get playing who were previously admiring the classical guitar repertoire from the sidelines. Tavi’s vision to enlarge the number of enthusiasts playing the classical guitar in the community is aligned with our mission here at GSI. GSI has agreed to support EliteGuitarist by providing concert-level instruments to be used for the performances and repertoire tutorials.
Here is the first lesson highlighting this collaboration. The piece is the second movement from Agustin Barrios Mangore’s famous ‘La Catedral’. The Andante Religioso is somber and reverent in character resembling a religious procession. It is generally believed that Barrios’ ‘La Catedral’ is a tribute to J.S. Bach. Classical guitarist Ines Thome, effectively teaches the mechanics of this piece and provides useful performance insights that will help you understand the inner workings of the piece and increase your interpretive vocabulary for the Andante Religioso.
Drop us a comment and let us know how these lessons are helping you in your guitar pursuits.
We have more of the Park Brothers, Alex and Wesley, this time playing Drewries Accordes as transcribed by Patrick Russ and Christopher Parkening, with Wesley playing a fantastic 1953 Manuel de la Chica in mahogany and spruce that belonged to Pepe Romero, and Alex playing a great 2009 Jose Ramirez 2a in spruce and Indian rosewood.
Here’s Vladimir Gapontsev playing Roland Dyens’ arrangement of the Django Reinhardt classic Nuages on a beautiful new 2017 Fructuoso Zalapa ‘Romanillos’ model in spruce and cocobolo. You can also check out Dyens himself playing Nuages at GSI on a historic 1947 Robert Bouchet guitar (the first one he ever built).