The Second Coming of Taraffo

Many of us consider the music of Pasquale Taraffo (1887-1937) the pinnacle of harp guitar playing of the 20th – or any other – century. He even earned a legendary nickname – “U Roa,” (“The Wheel”) – for his inimitable right hand/arm motion.  Of course, choosing to commission (from local luthier, Settimio Gazzo) one of […]

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Spanish Super-Trebles

Check it out!  Here is an obscure guitarist with an even more obscure instrument. His name is Antonio Montaño, who I learned from Marco Bazzoti (good friend to in Milan) was a (Spanish, or Portuguese?) blind singer and famous player of the “guitarra-tiorba,” author of songs and poeta repentista (improvisational poet), who died in […]

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Michele Piromalli and the Titan-Guitar

This wonderful image (relayed via benefactor Franco Ghisalberti) comes courtesy of Carmelo Piromalli, Michele’s nephew. There is scant information on Piromalli, who Carmelo tells us was born in 1895 in Cittanova, a municipality of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, where he spent his whole life. He appears to have been a legitimate player, as […]

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The Birth of the American 12-String Guitar

And now for something completely different… What started out many months back as just an interesting little blog (from something I unearthed in my seemingly bottomless harp guitar “To Do” folders) ended up as an extensive and pretty exhaustive 6000+ word research project, so I ended up publishing it on the more permanent site.  (Note: […]

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Taraffo Display at the Conservatorio

As you may remember from my blog of March 13, 2011, which highlighted the discoveries and news after the conclusion of  our 2010 Genoa trip, Antonello Saccu had finished a beautiful reproduction stand for Taraffo’s original Gazzo harp guitar. This was at the behest of Franco Ghisalberti, who graciously donated the finished stand to the […]

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Jon Mendle, Archguitar Prodigy

This is the harp guitar surprise I mentioned in the last blog.  While browsing the CD table on our first night at the La Guitarra festival, Frank spotted a new CD of solo 11-string archguitar…we flipped!  It then hit me that this was obviously the young Bay Area player that Jim Kline had told me […]

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La Guitarra Arpa California

My title is meant as a little play on La Guitarra California, the name of the growing classical guitar festival held every two years in San Luis Obispo (a very lovely town, by the way).  “Arpa” being my little reference to the first inclusion on their program of a (borderline) “harp guitarist” – the great […]

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Foundation Fundraiser: Win This Harp Guitar!

We just added a new page for a special Internet Raffle, to be concluded at next month’s Harp Guitar Gathering. One lucky ticket holder will end up with the Ukraine-built Dyer copy harp guitar generously donated by Jay Buckey, as seen in my blog 2 weeks ago. Realizing that there a lot of you out […]

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September 11, 2011

We were given these pins at work on Friday…I’m wearing mine now, up in San Luis Obispo at the La Guitarra California festival, where Frank and I are enjoying two partial days of high caliber nylon-string guitar music.  Kathy Wingert and Monica Esparza are here as well, along with a few other builder and player […]

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A Noble Image, Indeed

Nice cover on the new Canadian online magazine Muzik, Etc – a great photo of Antoine Dufour with his Duane Noble harp guitar.  Inside, a short interview, that includes a mention of his last CD and Brad Hoyt’s tune, plus the solo recording of Solitude (coincidentally enough, originally planned for FBSS). Congrats on landing the […]

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