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The Healdsburg Guitar Makers Festival

by Jay T. Hargreaves

Each day, before the Gallery of Guitars exhibition, a symposium was held on one subject. Good idea, many times at these shows there are too many subjects going on at the same time and you have the difficult task of deciding which one to go to. Each symposium had multiple speakers on the same subject. Also a good idea, as that gave different perspectives on each subject. Kenny Hill

Classic maker and player, Kenny Hill
Prenkert, Taggart, Taggart, Isbin

Classic builder Richard Prenkert, LMI president, Todd Taggart, his wife, Mary, Classic guitar player Sharon Isbin
The evening concerts were some of the finest! Wednesdays concert by Aire Flamenco was held at the Mark West Winery. Thursday evening The Acoustic Cafe, sponsored by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, featured Alvin Youngblood Hart, Alex de Grassi, Hot Club of San Francisco, and Sharon Isbin at the Raven Theater.
On Friday there was a blues and jazz jam session at the Bear Republic Brewery with archtop maker supreme Tom Ribbecke running the show, yours truly was one of the many fine builders to muster up the courage to step on stage in front of the crowd of luthiers! Over at the Flying Goat Coffee Roastery a classical guitar jam session took place with classical builder Richard Prenkert holding court. To wrap up the festival, the Penguin Jazz Quartet performed a great show outdoors at the Healdsburg Plaza on Sunday. Ukuleles and guitars by Tony Graziano

Ukuleles and guitars by Tony Graziano
Guitar by John Greven

Guitar by John Greven, of Greven Guitars
On Thursday, an Exhibitors and friends barbecue dinner was held on the grounds of the Villa. And on Saturday, Luthiers Mercantile, American School of Lutherie, and Ribbecke Guitar were all open for visiting. These were great opportunities for all of us guitarmakers to get together and talk.

Rene Baarslag

Granada, Spain luthier Rene Baarslag teaches at the American School of Lutherie
Guitars by Michael Dolan

Guitars by Michael Dolan (Dolan Guitars)
The location of the festival in Healdsburg was perfect. Besides the lutherie fest there were many other activities in the area and many fine restaurants to dine at within walking distance of the Plaza. It was quite a beautiful place to be at this time of year and next time, I'll even let my family come!
Entrance to Villa Chanticleer

Entrance to Villa Chanticleer
Planning for next years festival is already underway. The location will be the Villa Chanticleer again. If this festival can continue every year it could become the 'primo' place to show your instruments or check out others on the west coast!

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