I'll be kicking off my performances at this year's Holy Grail Guitar Show (Berlin Germany) with a mini concert for this ridiculously talented, ex-Somogyi apprentice Leo Buendia of Buendia Guitars (USA/Argentina). I'm really looking forward to this because while I'm familiar with Leo's exceptional instruments, it will be the first time I have played for him at a guitar show.
I have very fond memories of staving off some brutal jet-lag in Memphis Tennessee with a Buendia OM model in African Blackwood in 2015. It was a gorgeous instrument that despite all photographic evidence to the contrary really perked me up! It's such a good feeling to just let go with a guitar and Leo's instruments certainly offer that opportunity to lose yourself in the music. Thanks to Isaac Jang for capturing the moment.
Señor Buendia will be exhibiting an extremely special instrument at the show, a cutaway modified dreadnought in The Tree and Adirondack Spruce. He sent me these pictures of the guitar in question and it's got to be said, it's pretty spectacular, just look at that! Look at it!
Aside from the exotic, unobtainium wood choices and beautiful tone, this guitar features some intricate 3D hand carving around the rosette and in the end graft. All in all this is a wonderful ,exhibition-grade instrument and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces.
The whole guitar is finished in French Polish which will allow it to breathe and pump air to full potential. While this is a relatively fragile finish you can rest assured that I will be V E R Y careful with this exquisite creation... As we all know, an instrument's finish exists to protect it from the elements and not from the player.
This wonderful piece also features Linda Manzer's wedge design (first used on Pat Metheny's Pikasso guitar built by Linda in 1984). This makes a relatively large body (the MD is a full-sized dreadnought) feel a lot more manageable to the seated player, effectively eliminating the fatigue known as "Dreadnought Shoulder".
And as for good looking headstocks... here's one!
I'm something of a fan of cutaway Manzer-wedged Modified Dreadnoughts in The Tree so it will be an interesting exercise to see how Leo's voice differs from #32, the guitar Jason Kostal built for me while still an apprentice with Ervin Somogyi in 2010. You can learn more about that particular beast in this video.
If you're based on or near Planet Earth and have even a passing interest in guitars I can pretty much guarantee that the Holy Grail Guitar Show will have a lot to offer you. Grab a ticket to Berlin and come hang out for a weekend of the finest guitars on the planet. You'll like it, it's nice.
My demonstration concert for Leo Buendia begins at 13:00 on Saturday May 5th in the Lyon Room at The Estrel, Berlin Germany. After that I have a sneaking suspicion that this guitar might be coming over to London...