2013 Healdsburg Guitar Festival Starts Tomorrow

Posted on August 8, 2013

The after-party should be epic. And the main event—the 2013 Healdsburg Guitar Festival—will be a another  kid-in-a-candy-store–worthy gathering of hand-fashioned wood-and-steel as more than 100 top custom-guitar makers assemble in Northern California at the premiere show of its kind. The biennial festival, held August 9-11 in Santa Rosa, California, will feature exhibitions of acoustic guitars and other instruments, guitar-builder seminars, workshops on songwriting and playing technique, and concerts.

Acoustic Guitar editor Scott Nygaard will offer a master class on the Art of the Flatpick (and perform on Friday), and AG senior editor Teja Gerken will teach an Introduction to Fingerstyle Celtic Guitar workshop (he’ll also perform on Saturday).

Other workshop instructors include Kelly Joe Phelps, Brooke Miller, Walter Strauss, John Stowell, Jamie Stillway, Steve Baughman, Al Petteway (voted him one of the “Top Fifty Acoustic Guitarists of All Time” by the readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine), and AG contributor Pete Madsen, to name a few.

Performers will be paired with luthiers to demonstrate select instruments.

AG editors and staff will be blogging and posting photos and video of the event throughout the festival.

A pre-festival fingerstyle summit is being held tonight (August 8) at 142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley. The after-party takes places Sunday, August 11, at Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol.

The festival—the brainchild of Luthiers Mercantile International, a supplier to the guitar trade—has helped promote high standards for quality guitars as well as create a stable market for them.

“If there is a heaven, it looks just like the Healdsburg Guitar Festival,” wrote guitar buyer Henry Lowenstein in the 2005 edition of Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars.

“The nation's best luthiers get together to talk, play, and show the best of what they have to offer to the public. Every year they have the grand masters as well as fresh faces at the show. This is not only a great chance to meet the luthiers themselves and learn some really serious academic guitar-building theory, but also to make use of the numerous ‘quiet rooms,’ which allow you to actually play and compare these extraordinary instruments.”

The Healdsburg Guitar Festival began in 1995 in its namesake in the heart of Sonoma County wine country. It relocated to a larger venue in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square in 2003.

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