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February 16, 2021

The Guitar World Will Miss a Great Luthier. Thomas Norwood Has Passed Away.

We regret to inform you that a great luthier who resided in Paris, Thomas Norwood, passed away on February 14th, 2021.

Thomas Norwood was a great guitar maker who built instruments out of his atelier in Paris for over 40 years. Born and raised in Pasadena, CA, Tom moved to Paris in the mid-1970’s after he fell in love with the city during a bicycle tour through Europe. Thomas Norwood was great friends with another great luthier from France, Daniel Friederich. Friederich had always recommended Tom’s guitars to GSI. Tom had a great skill to be able to capture the charm and sound of the original instruments of the legendary masters of the past, such as: Manuel Ramirez, Domingo Esteso and Santos Hernandez. His craftsmanship was characterized by the highest level of precision and attention to woodworking details. Thomas was a phenomenal person and an artist. He will be greatly missed by all of us.

Comment (1)

I met tom at his shop in El monte in 1973. I was just starting in guitar making then and he was recommended by another ameteur builder. i had just bought my first batch of guitar lumber – spruce, maple, indian rosewood – and i asked him to resaw it for me. His shop was more unruley than his Paris shop – parts and sawdust everywhere. it was my first look at a guitar makers shop. He was making Dreadnaghts and 5 string banjos then. it was obvious to me then that His craftsmanship was very high, a good guide for my own future.

i left california within months of that and began my career in Missouri making steel string guitars. Never heard or thought of him again after that. By 1980 I had begun building classical guitars mainly but still made steel strings every now and then.

i was surprised about 3 or 4 years ago to find thru a GSI article that he had moved to paris decades before and was making classical guitars too. wow – wished i could have renewed our acquaintance and shared about our mutual love and interest in concert guitars. Sorry to see him go before i could reconnect again. my loss.

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