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The other day I posted Paco De Lucia playing the Aranjuez. Now here’s our friend Vicente Coves playing the Allegro from the ‘Aanjuez’ in the caves of Nerja with the RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television) symphony orchestra. It’s about the coolest place you can imagine to see a performance like this. Vicente is playing his Rafael Moreno guitar.
This Summer CSU Summer Arts will once again take place in Granada, Spain, in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Granada Guitar Festival and Antonio Marin Montero guitar building competition, and you can take part! Summer Arts is a three-week program of master classes and guitar instruction conducted by some amazing player/teachers, including Pepe Romero, LAGQ, Vicente Coves, Scott Morris, Kai Narezo (me!) and more. Also, Summer Arts is open to just about anyone – not only CSU students or California residents.
There is a substantial amount of financial aid available, too, and the best way to find out how much aid you might get is to apply. Granada is a stunning and inspiring environment in which to study guitar, and you can’t do much better than spending three weeks with the likes of Pepe Romero and LAGQ and surrounded by other talented students who are all there to learn live, eat and drink guitar. GSI is proud to be a sponsor of the CSU Summer Arts in Granada and the Granada Guitar Festival and we hope to hear about some of your adventures in Spain! Application is now open so click over here to apply.
It’s been another amazing year for guitar music over here at GSI and as the year wraps up we’d like to take a moment to thank all of the amazing musicians who have lent us their time and talent to create the great videos we publish every week. We obviously couldn’t do any of it without them and we are extremely grateful for the music and for the friends we’ve made over the years in our quest to record every guitar we can get our hands on! So here, in more or less reverse order of appearance, are the artists who have shared their talent with us this year:
The CSU Summer Arts program in Granada, Spain, is in full swing and culminates with a final student concert next week. In the meantime we’ve all been having a great time enjoying this amazing city. As the program coincided with the first annual Granada Guitar Festival, organized by our good friend Vicente Coves, it’s been an amazing experience all around and the mayor of Granada met with us to discuss doing it again as soon as possible. In the photo above from left to right are: Vicente Coves, Scott Morris, who organized the program, Joanne Sharp, the mayor, me, and the culture minister of the city.
The rest of the photos feature a lot of tapas and shots of Granada, along with Vicente and Scott, Florian Blochinger, who played a concert on the opening night of the festival, my friend Stephen Hill reunited with the guitar he made for me in 1989 (his 8th guitar ever), and luthier Jose Vigil. We’ll have lots more photos and a full report on the festival very soon.
We are very excited to announce the First Annual Granada Guitar Festival, being organized by our good friend (and great guitarist) Vicente Coves. The festival kicks off with a concert series entitled “The Spanish Guitar”, which will feature concerts by Rafael Habicuela, Florian Blochinger, Rafael Aguirre, Pepe Romero, Margarita Escarpa and more. The second stage of the festival is a series entitled “Legends of Music in Film”, featuring a concert by Pepe Romero conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and concerts in homage to Segovia and the great flamenco singer Enrique Morente. And the final stage of the festival is a luthiery competition in which GSI president David Collett will be judging. Check out the European Guitar Foundation for details and plan your trip to Granada now!
Here’s more of Nolan Harvel, this time playing Gaspar Sanz’ ‘Folias’ on a great 2013 Antonio Marin Montero cedar-top. This is one of just three such guitars made – two for Pepe and Celin Romero and one for our friend and great guitarist Vicente Coves (this is the guitar made for Vicente) and it features a cedar top, which is unusual for Marin, as well as a Rodriguez-style bracing rather than Marin’s more common Bouchet-style.
David Collett, president of GSI, just visited Spain to meet and spend time with many of the exceptional luthiers we work with. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to visit everyone, but at least he was able to bring back hundreds of excellent photographs of the trip. We’ve cherry-picked some of ours favorites below.
Rafael Moreno Rodriguez‘s Sueño model (sueño means ‘dream’) has some of the most intense wood and inlay work you’re likely to see in a guitar. Apparently Rafa (everyone calls him Rafa, and I’ve known him for over 20 years so it’s hard to call him anything else) was inspired by a 19th century guitar made by Joaquin Ruiz which he had in his shop for repairs some time ago. Structurally the guitar is all Rafa, and the inlay work is pure fantasy (of the sort that not too many guitar makers can pull off).
This particular guitar belonged to our friend Vicente Coves, also of Granada. He toured extensively with it, recorded a CD for Naxos with it and shot his DVD of the Aranjuez for Spanish television on it. It’s also the actual guitar featured in the book Guitarreros de Andalucia (Luthiers from Andalucia) in the chapter about Moreno Rodriguez.
You should take a look at Felix’s amazing photos of the guitar here to get a really good idea of the workmanship, and below we have some photos of Vicente playing in front of the Alhambra and with the Naxos orchestra, as well as the pages from Guitarreros de Andalucia that talk about the guitar. We also have video of Vicente playing the Aranjuez with the Madrid Symphony Orchestra and the Premiere of Anna Muzychenko’s Rapsodia Andaluza with the Moscow Youth Symphony Orchestra at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
You can read more about Rafael Moreno Rodriguez here.
We have our first guitar coming from Granada luthier Juan Miguel Carmona. Juan Miguel is from Granada and part of the Carmona family that includes Pepe Habichuela, Juan Habichuela, Josemi Carmona and the Ketama guys, and he’s been making guitars in Granada for 40 years now. Our first guitar from him is a spruce and rosewood classical, and you can see photos here of the guitar being built in Granada. The second gallery of photos is of players playing Juan Miguel’s guitars, including Josemi Carmona, Juan Habichuela, Pepe Romero, Ramon de Algeciras (Paco de Lucia’s brother) and Sabicas. The videos are of our friend Vicente Coves in Juan Miguel’s shop in Granada trying out the guitar right after it was finished. The guitar should be here next week.