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We have Federico Nuñez playing Soledad by Carlos Gardel on a gorgeous 2017 Felipe Conde ‘Centenario’, built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this guitar-making dynasty which began with Domingo Esteso. The Centenario is inspired by a guitar built by Domingo Esteso in 1928 for Daniel Fortea, and uses the very best spruce and CSA rosewood available, along with some of the most beautiful craftsmanship we’ve seen in some time.
We have more of Federico Nuñez, this time playing Arturo Quinteros’ Romance del Agua on a great 2003 Greg Smallman classical that belonged to Ben Verdery (and that he used to record on his duo album “First You Build A Cloud” (with Andy Summers of the Police) and also on “Start Now” which features Ben’s own compositions.
The following is a reprint from an interview with Federico Sheppard in “American Lutherie” by The Guild of American Luthiers, No. 106, Summer 2011. The author is Roger Alan Skipper.
Meet the Maker: Federico Sheppard
by Roger Alan Skipper
RAS: I’ve studied your website and other Internet articles about you. You’ve led quite an interesting life: you were born in Mexico City; you mentioned that one guitar stayed with you through “five different moves” and “three careers.” You’re a chiropractor, and have been a cab driver, sod cutter, lead Hawaiian guitarist for a Polynesian dance band, a consultant for the National Museums of Paraguay and El Salvador, and have ridden a bicycle around the world. I’ve even stumbled across a rumor that you traveled with a circus. Could you share some of that life with me, and tell me how you got started in lutherie?
FS: Everything you read about me on the Internet may not be accurate. I was tempted to join a Mexican midget circus I came across on a bike trip in France, but I didn’t meet the height requirements. And that is God’s own truth.
Here’s another video of guitarist Manuel Espinás – this time playing a lovely interpretation of Barrios’ ‘Julia Florida’ on a Federico Sheppard ‘1934 Esteso’. The Esteso was reportedly Barrios’ favorite guitar, and there’s a story about it being used to prop up a machine gun during the El Salvadorean civil war (apparently the reason the original is beyond repair). Check out the guitar, and some great photos, here.
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.
Jacob Cordover was back in town on his way to a music festival and he came by to record all five movements of the late Phillip Houghton’s ‘Ophelia… a Haunted Sonata’ on five different guitars for us including a 1983 Manuel Contreras ‘Carlevaro’ model in spruce and CSA rosewood (one of the more interesting-looking guitars you’ll see anywhere), a 2018 Stephen Hill in cedar and ziricote, a 2018 Andy Culpepper in cedar and cherry, a new Teodoro Perez Estudio C650 in spruce and Indian rosewood, and a new 2018 Teodoro Perez Antigua’ model in cedar and Indian rosewood.
Jacob has been playing the piece as part of his program lately and wanted a good recording of it in its entirety, so we were very happy to oblige. Houghton has contributed greatly to the guitar repertoire and will be very much missed. Jump the bottom, below the videos, to read Houghton’s own notes and thoughts on the piece (thanks to Jacob for providing these).
Rene Izquierdo, Elina Chekan and luthier Federico Shepard host the Camino Artes Guitar Workshop Palencia, Spain, and they will have guests Matthew McAllister, Andrew Zohn and the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo as part of their event.
It’s recommended that all serious guitar enthusiasts attend of all ability levels.
Guitarist Fred Lawton was in town for a few concerts and stopped by the showroom to record some guitars for us. He played David Kellner’s Phantasia in D on a beautiful Teodoro Perez ‘1884 Torres – La Emperatriz’ in spruce and maple, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Capricho #12 on a new Sakurai-Kohno Pro-J in spruce and CSA rosewood, and Federico Mompou’s Cancion y Danza on an outstanding 1928 Francisco Simplicio in spruce and CSA rosewood.