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Welcome to the preliminary Fretboard Summit schedule for 2016!

Sessions are subject to schedule changes and additions but we think we’re about 90% complete. As of October 5, 2016, we still have some rooms and tickets available if you want to sign up. Just go to fretboardsummit.com. But act fast... 
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Annals of Lutherie [clear filter]
Friday, October 14
 

12:30pm

To India and Back with David Murray (Dehradun Guitar Company)

A lot of luthiers make sacrifices to pull off their craft but David Murray has taken it to a whole nother level. Murray will talk about the journey he’s taken since 2010 with the creation of the Dehradun Guitar Company in India. Through guitar making, Murray and his wife have given a second chance to individuals who were living on the fringes of society, many of whom assumed they had no salable skills. It would be a riveting, inspirational story even if the guitars weren’t beautiful, but they certainly are.



Speakers
avatar for David Murray

David Murray

Founder, Dehradun Guitar Company
David Murray has one of the guitar world's most unlikely backstories: He grew up in Tennessee and became a guitarmaker through the traditional channels. But in 2010, he ended up moving with his wife, Mel, to the Himilayan foothills, teaching local artisans the craft of lutherie and giving them a chance at a better life. 


Friday October 14, 2016 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

1:30pm

John Dopyera and his Resophonic Wonders: The Original National and Dobro Guitars with Robb Lawrence
In 1970, Robb Lawrence met inventor John Dopyera at his Fiddle & Fret shop in nearby Escondido. Upon hearing numerous novel-like depictions of those wild times when the famous ampliphonic guitar was born during the twenties... and all about the illustrious cast of characters (Brothers Emile and Rudolph, nephew Paul Barth, George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker), Robb set out to interview them and share their fascinating story in his Guitar Player Magazine Rarebird column and an upcoming extensive tome. Also listen to John's talented apprentice David Flood's reflections and see the very first National guitar. 

Speakers
avatar for Robb Lawrence

Robb Lawrence

Robb Lawrence has been writing about guitars and guitar players since the early 1970s, when he penned the "Rarebird"column in Guitar Player. In 2008, he published The Les Paul Legacy through Hal Leonard, the culmination of his many years spent with Paul, as a tech, friend and even housemate. Lawrence has plenty of great guitar stories and at the Summit he'll be talking abou his time spent with Les as well as John Dopyera. 


Friday October 14, 2016 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

1:30pm

Forty Years of Guitar Making with Richard Hoover
Forty years into guitar making and Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitar Co has more to say than ever. Listen to him recount some of SCGC's best moments as well as some of the challenges that keep him up. He'll also be fielding questions from the audience. 

Speakers
avatar for Richard Hoover

Richard Hoover

Santa Cruz Guitar Co.
Richard Hoover is a living legend, and for good reason. His Santa Cruz Guitar Co. is celebrating its 40th year of making fine acoustic guitars. At this year's Summit, Hoover will be reflecting on his four decades of building. 


Friday October 14, 2016 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Vintage Vault (Aragon IIIB)

2:30pm

A String Thing with Gabriel Tenorio (Gabriel Tenorio String Co.)

You've met guitar and pedal builders, have you ever met a string maker? Gabriel Tenorio, longtime business and product manager/designer at Guadalupe Custom Strings, just launched his new company, the Gabriel Tenorio String Co. It's a small, artisanal operation focusing solely on round core handmade products for acoustic and electric instruments. He will be sharing insights on just how strings are actually made, why round core matters and more.

 


Speakers
avatar for Gabriel Tenorio

Gabriel Tenorio

Founder, Gabriel Tenorio String Company
For the last few years, the Fretboard Journal has followed Gabriel Tenorio as he does the unthinkable: create an indie, handmade string empire. We originally profiled Tenorio when he was working under the Guadalupe String Co. moniker. Now, he's focusing on guitar and bass strings with his own Gabriel Tenorio String Company. 


Friday October 14, 2016 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

2:30pm

Myth Busting with TJ Thompson
Adirondack you say? What makes you think so? Is it possible to build a new guitar just just like the old guitars? How long is long scale? Is hide glue really better? Should you have that popsicle brace removed? Internet bloggers who believe they know the answers to these questions beware, this lecture may not be for you. TJ Thompson will present incontrovertible evidence to support his long-held belief that no one really knows what they're talking about. join him on this journey to the unknowing. 

Speakers
avatar for TJ Thompson

TJ Thompson

TJ Thompson Guitars / Pro Luthier Tools
When it comes to priceless Golden Era Martins and Gibsons, it's safe to say that TJ Thompson is one of the most trusted repairmen around. His own guitar creations - exacting reproductions of old Martins - are also some of the most coveted new instruments available. TJ has been featured on the Fretboard Journal podcast before, as well as in our magazine and on our website. At the second annual Summit, he'll be debuting his "Myth Busters" talk... Read More →


Friday October 14, 2016 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Main Stage (Aragon I)

2:30pm

The Building Blocks of Amplified Tone with Giovanni Loria (Black Volt Amplification)

Join Black Volt Amplification's Giovanni Loria as he walks us through the fundamentals of electric guitar amplification. This electrified session will cover all of the most crucial information you need to know when it comes to attaining great amplified tone. Some topics to be covered will include transformers, tubes, biasing, components, speakers,  vintage vs. new, acoustic amplification and more. Questions encouraged!



Speakers
avatar for Giovanni Loria

Giovanni Loria

Black Volt Amplification
Though his company Black Volt Amplification is relatively new to the scene, Giovanni Loria is already gaining alcolades for his guitar and harp amp creations and his exacting repair work to vintage amps. The Fretboard Journal profiled Gio Loria on our website earlier this year (read the article here) and we're excited to have him show off some of his new models as well as walk us through the building blocks of guitar amplification... Read More →


Friday October 14, 2016 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Vintage Vault (Aragon IIIB)

3:30pm

Guitar Voicing 101 with Dana Bourgeois

Every time we talk to Maine’s Dana Bourgeois we learn something new about guitar construction and tonewoods. For this year's Summit, Dana is revisiting his ultra-packed session from last year. Ever wanted to voice your own top? Here's your chance. During this session, he walks us through voicing basics.

Note: On Saturday from 1-3 pm, there's a two-hour demo outside on the Aragon lawn where the fingerplanes come out and you can try your hand at shaving some braces for a few minutes. 


Speakers
avatar for Dana Bourgeois

Dana Bourgeois

Bourgeois Guitars
Every time we talk to Maine’s Dana Bourgeois we learn something new about guitar construction and tonewoods. Bourgeois was featured in The Fretboard Journal, but he’s also been a guest on our podcast and a frequent resource for our magazine’s editors and writers. His talk at the first Fretboard Summit was such a hit, we couldn't resist asking him to bring it back to our 2016 event. 


Friday October 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:15pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

3:30pm

The Early Days of Taylor with Tim Luranc

Forget everything you think you know about Taylor guitars today: Master luthier Tim Luranc has known Taylor founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug for four decades and has seen everything. During this talk, Luranc will walk us through Taylor’s unique history and describe how a trio of guitar makers ended up creating a global brand.



Speakers
avatar for Tim Luranc

Tim Luranc

Taylor Guitars
Tim Luranc is, quite simply, the longest running employee of Taylor Guitars. He was there when Kurt and Bob formed the company and even penned a short piece about the company's early days for the Fretboard Journal #10. He's seen all facets of guitar production, worked on the R. Taylor line and has watched Taylor grow to the global powerhouse it is today. 


Friday October 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:15pm
Main Stage (Aragon I)

3:30pm

The Summit OM Guitar Unveil with T. Drew Heinonen

For nearly a year, the Fretboard Journal has been following up-and-coming luthier T. Drew Heinonen as he builds us a custom OM-style acoustic guitar. On numerous podcast episodes, Drew has walked us through his build process, explained what he learned from fellow luthiers such as Jim Olson and Dana Bourgeois, helped us decide on tone woods and more. Well, the wait is over… during this session, we’ll get to finally see the finished product and pass it around. 


Friday October 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:15pm
Vintage Vault (Aragon IIIB)
 
Saturday, October 15
 

9:00am

Lyon & Healy and Washburn Instruments: 1864-1940 with Mark Demaray and Peter Howorth

Lyon & Healy was a leading innovator and producer of stringed instruments for many years.  Fretboard Journal contributors Peter Howorth and Mark Demaray explore the fascinating history of the early days of this company. They will also show many examples of their instruments. Invited musicians will have a chance to play in a guitar orchestra comprising instruments over 100 years old.


 


Speakers
avatar for Mark Demaray

Mark Demaray

Seattle-based attorney Mark Demaray is an avid guitar collector and researcher. Over the years, he's turned us onto several great stories and innumerable guitars (here's Kenny Smith playing a couple of Mark's guitars). He was a speaker at our first ever Summit and he's returning once again to talk about some of the great vintage acoustics built by Lyon & Healy, Washburn and others.  
avatar for Peter Howorth

Peter Howorth

California's Peter Howorth first contributed to the Fretboard Journal in our 31st issue, when he shed light on the guitarmaking of the Lyon & Healy and Washburn brands. At our first Summit, Howorth gave a compelling talk that will soon become a Fretboard Journal article about Hawaii's kiawe wood. At this year's Summit, he'll be doing a deep dive on the guitars of Lyon & Healy. 


Saturday October 15, 2016 9:00am - 9:45am
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

10:00am

The First Bigsby with Gary Hustwit

Paul Bigsby began creating musical instruments in 1943, when he built his own aluminum lap steel guitar. He showed this first instrument to Joaquin Murphey, steel guitarist for Spade Cooley, who ordered one and kickstarted Bigsby’s building career. Bigsby went on to pioneer the solidbody electric guitar and invent the vibrato system that bears his name, but the whereabouts of that first instrument have always been a mystery. After a 75-year odyssey involving a teenaged Beatles fan, a Cadillac and the Freemasons, the First Bigsby unexpectedly resurfaced this year. Join us for a special session where we’ll unveil the guitar to the public for the first time, hear the story of its rediscovery from owner Gary Hustwit and experience it played live.



Speakers
avatar for Gary Hustwit

Gary Hustwit

Gary Hustwit is the guitar-obsessed director of documentaries Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized. He's also the CEO of Scenic, a virtual reality studio based in Brooklyn. As one of the world's best authorities on design, we can't wait to hear Hustwit interview some of the electric guitar makers at the second Summit. 


Saturday October 15, 2016 10:00am - 10:45am
Main Stage (Aragon I)

10:00am

Why Small Things Matter: A Repair-Person’s Look at Some of the Little Things that Make a Big Difference to a Guitar’s Tone

Mark Stutman, Folkway Music founder and restoration specialist, will share some of his observations from 20 years of repairing and restoring guitars, old and new. A guitar’s tone is affected by hundreds of variables - many of which most players rarely give much thought to. From the height and fit of a guitar’s saddle to the mass of the tuning machines, every little detail makes a difference - and these can add up to affect your instrument’s tone in a significant way. Getting that last 5% of tone out of your guitar is just a few steps away. This discussion will arm you with some solid insight into how to make sure your guitar is sounding its best.



Speakers
avatar for Mark Stutman

Mark Stutman

Owner, Folkway Music
Since founding Folkway Music in 1999, Mark Stutman has quickly earned a reputation for not only carrying some of the world’s finest instruments but being able to fix them, as well. A former student of Sergei de Jonge, Stutman is one of the go-to repairmen for high-end vintage instruments and counts among his clients Ry Cooder and Joe Henry. We interviewed Stutman back in 2013 for this site. Stutman appeared at our first Summit in 2015 and... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 10:00am - 10:45am
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

11:00am

Banjo Wars: Innovations and Marketing the Banjo, 1865-1898 with Stu Cohen

The post-Civil War till the turn of the century was a period of innovation leading to the banjo we know today. The five Dobson brothers were at the vanguard of these innovations. The Music Emporium founder Stu Cohen walks us through their history and that of their commercial rival, S. S. Stewart.



Speakers
avatar for Stu Cohen

Stu Cohen

Co-Founder, The Music Emporium
Stu Cohen has been buying, selling and trading instruments since the early '60s. He opened the Music Emporium in 1968 and is an expert on American fretted instruments, including guitars, banjos and mandolins. 


Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 11:45am
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

11:00am

The Dialogue of Tone with Bryan Galloup

Bryan Galloup will lead an interactive demonstration using his Galloup Wood Management and Instrument Making System. The goal of this demonstration is to create a dialog about tonewoods used in the instrument making process and the effects they have on the final instrument. This hands-on seminar invites participants to “tone tap” tonewoods and analyze them with this easy to use, real-time software. In addition, participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments to analyze as to create a better understanding of the properties of acoustic instruments to encourage a conversation about tone.


Speakers
avatar for Bryan Galloup

Bryan Galloup

Founder, Galloup Guitars
In addition to being one of the world's best acoustic guitar makers, luthier Bryan Galloup is also one of the world's best guitar educators. His Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair has taught countless builders the finer points of how to be full-time guitar makers and guitar techs. 


Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 11:45am
Main Stage (Aragon I)

11:00am

What Is Handmade? with Howard Klepper

Bay area lutherie veteran Howard Klepper addresses the age old question: Just what constitutes a “handmade” guitar? He’ll review some of what has been said by others about the physical differences between hand- and factory-made guitars, but he’ll also distinguish hand craft from production work in general and why people may value handcraft apart from whether or not it creates a better product. Klepper will apply those distinctions to some of the changing guitar building methods now used by individuals and boutique factories, including his own shop. Discussion among those attending is welcome.



Speakers
avatar for Howard Klepper

Howard Klepper

Howard Klepper began repairing guitars in the late 1960s. In the 1970s he had a repair shop in Berkley and began building acoustic guitars. He then took a 20-year break from instruments to pursue careers in law and philosophy. He decided to return to working with his hands in 1997 after holding academic positions at institutions including Harvard and Stanford Universities. In 2007, Howard moved to the wine country of Sonoma, California where he... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 11:45am
Vintage Vault (Aragon IIIB)

1:00pm

It’s the Little Things with Preston Thompson

Preston Thompson started off guitar making in the ‘80s with his interest in pre-war guitars being heightened by his friendship with Charles Sawtelle and his vintage collection. When Preston acquired his 1892 Martin Parlor it was an inspiration to craft something modern day from the best of the past because of the how the little guitar packed a “big wallop.”



Speakers
avatar for Preston Thompson

Preston Thompson

Founder, Preston Thompson Guitars
Preston Thompson has a fascinating backstory: A graduate of Charles Fox's School of the Guitar Research & Design Center in Vermont, he went on to work at Randy Wood’s legendary Old Time Pickin’ Parlor. In the 1980s, Preston’s custom acoustic guitars attracted the attention of the top flatpicking and fingerstyle guitarists in the world, most notably Charles Sawtelle of Hot Rize. After a long hiatus away from guitars... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

2:00pm

The Luthier's Apprentice with Elizabeth Jayne Henderson
For the last several years, Jayne Henderson has been learning the craft of guitarmaking from one of the best, her dad, Wayne Henderson. During this talk, Jayne will reflect on some of the best lessons she's learned from her father as well as reveal some of her own guitar and ukulele creations. 

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Jayne Henderson

Elizabeth Jayne Henderson

EJ Henderson Guitars and Ukuleles
Elizabeth Jayne Henderson was on track to have a career in environmental law when she decided to learning how to build instruments from her father, Wayne Henderson. Several years later, she has now established her own full-time business building fine acoustic guitars and ukuleles in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Henderson is an exceptional storyteller - just check out her candid blog on working alongside her dad - and we can't wait... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

3:00pm

Beyond Kalamazoo: A Look at the Enduring Legacy of the Women-Built ‘Banner’ Gibsons with John Thomas and Dale Fairbanks

Author and FJ contributor John Thomas and luthier Dale Fairbanks talk about the replication of the only “Banner” Gibson every reinspected by its WWII-era inspector. Flatpicker extraordinaire Bob Minner will demonstrate the original and the replica, signed by one of the original Gals and bearing bits of wood that somehow escaped the Gibson factory during WWII, before passing the guitars to the audience.



Speakers
avatar for Dale Fairbanks

Dale Fairbanks

Luthier, Fairbanks Guitars
While there are several builders who are able to mimic the sounds of a pre-war Martin, building an accurate reproduction of a vintage Gibson has proven to be more ellusive. Connecticut builder Dale Fairbanks is one of those rare builders who seems to channel the sounds and vibe of the early Kalamazoo-built instruments, including Smecks, Nick Lucas and "Banner" Gibsons. 
avatar for John Thomas

John Thomas

Frequent FJ contributor John Thomas has penned stories for us on nearly every facet of the guitar world: from CITES, to Jackson Browne, to the art of lutherie (his issue nine profile of builder Kim Walker is here). Thomas recently blogged about his first guitarmaking project with builder Jay Licthy, but perhaps is best known as the author of Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 3:00pm - 3:45pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)

3:00pm

Electric Guitar Design with Saul Koll, Creston Lea and Gary Hustwit

Film director, guitar collector and design aficionado Gary Hustwit (HelveticaObjectifiedI Am Trying to Break Your Heart) interviews Saul Koll, Creston Lea and TK Smith about the aesthetic choices that go behind each instrument they make, what motivates them and where they’re headed. A deep dive into the world of design with some of the best.


Moderators
avatar for Gary Hustwit

Gary Hustwit

Gary Hustwit is the guitar-obsessed director of documentaries Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized. He's also the CEO of Scenic, a virtual reality studio based in Brooklyn. As one of the world's best authorities on design, we can't wait to hear Hustwit interview some of the electric guitar makers at the second Summit. 

Speakers
avatar for Saul Koll

Saul Koll

Owner, Koll Guitar Co.
Though he has yet to get the full Fretboard Journal feature treatment (we're working on it, we promise), Portland, Oregon's Saul Koll has long been one of our favorite electric guitar makers. For thirty years, he's created some truly original creations, including his legendary Glide body shape. Famous Koll owners include David Torn, Elliot Sharp, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Henry Kaiser and longtime FJ friend Bill Frisell. This will be Koll's... Read More →
avatar for Creston Lea

Creston Lea

owner, Creston Electric Instruments

Artists
avatar for TK Smith

TK Smith

Guitarmaker TK Smith has one of the most fascinating back stories around: He's been a Disney “Imagineer," a surfboard shaper, a professional musician (playing guitar in Big Sandy & Fly Rite Boys) and now he's building electric guitars and mandolins full-time. Smith's work harkens to the classic designs of Paul Bigsby but nearly everything he does is built from scratch out of his Southern California workshop. TK was featured in... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 3:00pm - 3:45pm
Main Stage (Aragon I)

4:00pm

Masonite in the Night: Danelectro Tips and Tricks with Jim Washburn

Danelectro smartypants Jim Washburn shares decades of Danelectro tales and tips on how to eke the most from your Dano, plus some dreadful mods. FJ contributor Washburn co-authored (with Richard Johnston) Martin Guitars: An Illustrated History of America's Premier Guitarmaker and (with Dick Boak) the upcoming The Martin Archives. He has covered music and popular culture for the LA Times, the OC Register and a host of guitar mags, commencing with a 1983 Guitar World article that remains the primary source of information on Danelectros.



Speakers
avatar for Jim Washburn

Jim Washburn

Fretboard Journal contributor Jim Washburn is a prolific writer on guitars: He co-authored (with Richard Johnston) Martin Guitars: An Illustrated History of America's Premier Guitarmaker and the upcoming The Martin Archives (with Dick Boak) . He has covered music and popular culture for the LA Times, the OC Register and a host of guitar mags, commencing with a 1983 Guitar World article that... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)
 
Sunday, October 16
 

9:00am

One-on-One with Michael Gurian
A couple of months before his official retirement, guitarmaking legend Michael Gurian gets interviewed by his longtime friend, Dick Boak of Martin Guitars. 

Moderators
avatar for Dick Boak

Dick Boak

Martin Guitar
Pennsylvania-based graphic artist, writer, woodworker, musician and long time Martin Guitar employee Dick Boak is a familiar name to anyone who is passionate about guitars. For forty years, Boak has tirelessly worked at Martin in a variety of roles, from his start as a drafsman to his current title as the Director of the Museum and Archives and "Special Projects." Boak is perhaps best known for helming Martin's legendary Artist... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Michael Gurian

Michael Gurian

Founder, Gurian Instruments
Michael Gurian is a living legend in the world of guitars. A product of the Greenwich Village scene of the 1960s, Gurian started out making and repairing classical guitars, ouds and lutes. As his business grew, he expanded to steel string guitars and eventually created one of the first “boutique” guitar factories of the modern era. Today, Gurian is no longer building guitars but he is supplying nearly every major manufacturer with... Read More →


Sunday October 16, 2016 9:00am - 9:45am
Lecture Hall (Aragon IIIA)