This guitar was built in the famous Jose Ramirez
workshop, which for over half a century has produced instruments performed on by countless professionals from Sting to Segovia, Chet Atkins to Sabicas and Lee Ritenour to Christopher Parkening.
Agustin Barrios Mangoré’s 1911 Jose Ramírez I is a legendary guitar, and undoubtedly one of the most significant guitars of the 20th century. This is the first replica of that historic guitar to be built in the Jose Ramirez (now IV) workshop, over a century after the original. As to the 1911 instrument, Barrios acquired it shortly after arriving in the Rio de Plata region in Uruguay. He got it from his acquaintance, Carlos Trapani, who operated a music store in Montevideo. Barrios played on this instrument during his first breaking commercial recording in 1913. Unfortunately, in the same year, the guitar was famously damaged when it sunk following a shipwreck in the Tanqueras River in Uruguay. This new replica from the Ramírez workshop was built with the look and feel of the original guitar as it would have appeared before it had succumbed to the water damage. The wood used for the soundboard is significantly clearer as the original is now as dark as cedar. Amalia Ramírez told us about her experience of seeing the original tablao guitar built by her great grandfather: "I visited Asunción in 2014, La Casa de la Música, where the original tablao guitar built by my great grandfather and that belonged to Mangoré, is exhibited in the entrance and it is one of Paraguay’s most valuable treasures as they told me… with the words written by Agustín Barrios on its soundboard, which is a legend. Almost six years later we have reproduced that guitar using the templates of the original Tablao model designed at the beginning of the 20th century, corresponding to Barrios’ guitar. Of course we have not reproduced his written dedication on the soundboard, but in every other respect the guitar is the same, with its spruce top and its rosewood back and sides and the intricate design of its mother-of-pearl rosette, as an initiative of my nephews Cristina and Enrique, being Enrique who built the first copy following the parameters of his great-great-grandfather, José Ramírez I." This beautiful instrument has an "antique" quality of sound to it, largely due to the flatter box depth and extra width in both bouts. It is absolutely charming to play, and has plenty of power for any concert setting. This is #1 in a limited series of this exciting and historic "Mangore" model.
The story behind this model.
For more information on Ramirez, be sure to read The Ramirez Family: Masters of the Guitar
, or for information on the Ramirez family members, from Amalia Ramirez back to Jose I
and for some interesting fact-checking on myths and facts about this legendary workshop