Seattle-based luthier Ethan Deutsch has been building guitars on and off since the early 1970's, and full-time since 1997. He was first attracted to flamenco music in his teens and in 1970 as a young flamenco guitarist, he moved to Morón de la Frontera, Sevilla in Spain for a year. It was there that Ethan had the good fortune of learning flamenco and befriending the legendary Gypsy guitarist Diego del Gastor. After returning to the US in 1971, he started to build guitars, at first learning from Irving Sloane’s book "Classic Guitar Construction", but for the most part he was self-taught. In the ensuing years, as Ethan made his way through life, including the completion of a PhD in chemistry from Princeton University, he continued to build guitars, build furniture (he even at one point owned a furniture store in Chicago, building the furniture himself) all the meanwhile performing flamenco under the stage name "Mario Amaya".
Like his background as a player, his guitars are very traditional. They are notably lightweight like the mid-century flamencos coming from Andalucia and have a strong, quick snap to the attack of each note. The quality of sound itself is quite lyrical for a flamenco, but can quickly become aggressive if pushed. It is extremely easy to play for the left hand with a sleek and easy contour to the neck. Additionally, it is ultra-responsive to the touch so very easy on the right hand. Players nervous about the use of traditional wooden pegs will be happy to know that Ethan has installed the Planetary friction pegs into this guitar, so they're actually 'machined', even though they have the old-school look and feel. For the serious flamenco player looking for a fantastic traditional concert flamenco negra, we can recommend this instrument highly.