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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.
Here’s more of our friend Peter Fletcher playing some really interesting guitars for us, including a 2013 Paolo Coriani ‘Manuel Ramirez’ in spruce and CSA rosewood, a 2014 Antonio Raya Pardo ‘Torres’ in maple and spruce, a 2013 Woonsun Lee in spruce and Indian rosewood, a 2004 Kevin Aram ‘Dylann’ in cedar and Indian, and a great new Federico Sheppard ‘Camino’ in spruce and CSA rosewood.
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:
GSI is very proud to be a sponsor of the 1st International Antonio Marín Montero Guitar Making Competition which takes place in Granada this October 26-29 and is part of the 1st Annual Granada Guitar Festival. Among the panel of distinguished guitarists and makers who will comprise the jury will be our friends Jose Marín Plazuelo, Edmund Blochinger, Dr. Scott Morris (who organized the CSU Summer Arts program that collaborates with the Festival), David Collett, president of GSI, and many more. The winning guitar makers will have their instruments sold at GSI.
A while back we were contacted by two direct descendants of Antonio de Torres. They were making a film about Torres and asked if they could use some of our videos and photos of the many great Torres guitars we’ve had come through GSI over the years. We were of course more than happy to help, and now they need your help to finish the film. Check out their modest Kickstarter campaign and help them finish what looks to be a fantastic film about the man who developed the guitar as we know it.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Torres, and it is the perfect time to celebrate all things Torres. His instruments constantly astonish us with the quality of their sound and even the volume they produce. You can see some of the great videos we’ve shot on Torres guitars here, and you can read a bit about the man himself here, but be sure to watch the video below then click here and consider contributing whatever you can to this film about the man who contributed so much to the instrument we all love.
When Tavi Jinariu told us he wanted to wanted to record a few movements of Torroba’s Castles of Spain we took it as a challenge to assemble some amazing mid-century Spanish guitars for the recordings. In the end we chose a few guitars that were made early in the 20th Century and even one, the Moya, made in the late 19th Century, but they all represent the Spanish tradition and are great examples of the work of these luthiers. The guitars include the 1896 Hijos de Melchor de Moya, a 1958 Ignacio Fleta, a 1925 Santos Hernandez, a 1929 Francisco Simplicio, and a 1949 Jose Ramirez II.
Tavi chose these five movements as representative of the range of Torroba’s collection, and Segovia customarily played 8 (of the 14 total) of them in concert. Tavi will play the 8 that Segovia played on his upcoming CD. Here are a few words from Tavi about the piece: