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I got to sit down with legendary Flamenco guitar builder Manuel Reyes Sr. in his shop in Córdoba and discuss how he got started, his philosophy of building and a lot of other cool stuff. We have a Negra of his in stock at the moment (despite what he says about preferring to build Blancas), which you can check out here. There’s a lot more footage of Reyes, and I’ll be posting it in coming weeks.
Manuel Reyes Maldonado was born in Jayena, Granada, Spain, but he has long been associated with the beautiful neighboring city of Córdoba, where his famed workshop was established and is now run by Manuel Jr. Reyes was born on July 18, 1934 and just recently passed away on November 10, 2014. We would like to express our admiration for both his life as a lover of music and for his masterful craftsmanship that we were priveledged to experience over many years of playing and selling his passionately-inspired guitars. His instruments, to us, have always been the epitome of the true flamenco sound – one of boldness, snappy attack, great balance, percussive yet creamy qualities (when necessary) – overall, instruments of Spanish character. Manuel Reyes was a first-class luthier, and we feel very fortunate to have known him so well for the last few decades of his life.
At 77 years old (at the time of this interview), Marcelino Lopez continues to build his own classical guitars while, in between his own models, also restores and repairs historical instruments such as violas, vihuelas and violins, of which he has an extensive personal collection, for his clients around the world in Japan, the US, Belgium, France and Spain. Lopez spends most of his time in his workshop, dedicating his nights to studying the guitar, which he plays everyday and upon nightly investigation, he recently learned that it’s possible that the classical guitar could have roots dating back to the 2nd century B.C in Roman times, which dismount the popular theory that the classical guitar has Arab origins. Marcelino’s hobbies include opera, the singing artform that he practices regularly for many years now and an artform which is the subject of many of Marcelino’s paintings.