The Newport Guitar Festival will feature a series of interesting
talks, presented by renowned experts in their respective fields.
How the Guitar Conquered America: Tim Brookes, author
of Guitar: An American Life In this presentation, Tim shows through stories
and slides the guitar's glorious metamorphosis from humble 19th century folk instrument
to 21st century art object and cultural icon.
Friday, August 4, 12:00 Noon
Guitar Connoisseurship: Charles Fox, pioneering designer,
luthier and educator, presents an overview of the knowledge and expertise that savvy collectors and
dealers use to recognize instruments of exceptional quality and significance.
Charles Fox has been active in the development of modern American lutherie for nearly 40 years. He enjoys an international reputation as an artisan, designer, consultant and educator. His original design concepts, such as the thin-line acoustic guitar, and his building techniques and production devices, such as the universal workboard and universal side bender, are used by guitar makers and factories around the world. In 1973 he founded the first school of lutherie in N. America, the School of Guitar Research & Design in VT. In 1978 Charles’ GRD Guitars production shop helped define the market for high-end acoustic and electric guitars. He established the American School of Lutherie in CA in 1993 and co-founded the Healdsburg Guitar Festival in 1996.
Friday, August 4, 1:30 PM
Getting Started in Lutherie: Harry Fleishman, director of
Luthiers School International and innovative luthier of over thirty years experience,
discusses a variety of options for learning the art and craft of guitar making.
Harry Fleishman has been building custom guitars for more than 35 years. In his Sebastopol, California shop he builds about eight guitars and acoustic basses each year. Fleishman guitars are each unique works of art, finely crafted for superb tone, aesthetics, and playability. Harry teaches at Luthiers School International, and formerly directed the American School of Lutherie. Harry also designs guitars and basses for Fender Musical Instrument Corp. As an active member of the Guild of American Luthiers, Harry has lectured on acoustic guitar amplification and chaired a panel on unconventional acoustic guitar design. He has lectured internationally on the topics of guitar design, amplification, acoustics, and multi-scale fretboards. His research and experiments in asymmetric design, multi-soundport and multi-tonewood instruments, and lightweight basses have influenced many builders. Harry is a former Revell model car contest winner and has built for George Holmes of the Inkspots.
Friday, August 4, 3:00 PM
Wood Alchemy: Kevin Ryan, dynamic luthier and former
aerospace engineer, discusses and illustrates every step in the design and construction of the
modern steel string guitar, from the raw materials to the finished instrument.
Kevin Ryan began building guitars in 1987. With a background in Aeroscience Research,
he has redesigned the modern acoustic guitar, pioneering features that are now benchmarks
in this Golden Age of Luthierie. His unique fingerstyle scale-length accommodates modern,
alternate tunings. Kevin originated a distinctive, graceful back arch for comfort and projection.
His proprietary micro-adjustable, truss-rod/neck stiffening system creates a neck that is
ultra-fast, comfortable and stable. He pioneered the modern UV finish for the small shop.
His latest invention (now widely copied in Africa, Europe, Asia and America) is the Ryan Bevel
which creates comfort, elegance and acoustic balance. Recent clients Rich Williams of the
band Kansas and Jason Truby of POD have joined Kevin’s growing list of the world’s
finest guitarists, which includes icons Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, Pierre Bensusan, Peter Finger,
Pat Donohue, Laurence Juber, Michael Chapdelaine, Muriel Anderson, Al Petteway and Amy White.
Friday, August 4, 4:30 PM
Your Guitar's Playability: Ervin Somogyi - the Nuts and Bolts of
Action, Intonation, and the Physics of the Fingerboard . . . explained in everyday language.
Ervin Somogyi entered the field of guitar making in 1970, when instrument building by
individuals was all but unknown in this country. Since then he has become one of the most
prominent of first generation American luthiers, by making some of the most tonally successful
guitars known, by continued work in lecturing, teaching, and training of young luthiers,
and by writing and publishing dozens of articles on every aspect of lutherie.
Friday, August 4, 12:00 Noon
Note: This schedule might not be final, and is subject to change.