Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Prodigal Guitar

Kay Ezkanazi's Hill Crossover guitar was stolen out of her car. Kay has played a Hill Guitar Crossover for a number of years. She is a well known performer in Northern California, an influential teacher and one of our very good customers. I got a call from her early one Monday to tell me that her guitar had been stolen out of her car, along with her laptop and a briefcase full of sheet music. This is terrible, and she left me the serial number, date etc., just in case someone were to contact us about it. I promised to at least mention it here on the blog — you never know. She was offering a reward for its return, no questions asked.

So, small world, when my right hand man Larry came in and I told him the story, and he said "Really? That's odd. Last week I was talking to to so and so at Fine Fretted Friends in Livermore about a completely unrelated French polish question, and while on the phone someone came into their store wanting to sell a Hill Crossover. Could this be a clue?"

Yes, it could. Most retailers have been in that situation, with a stranger trying to sell something well below it's value for cash, and Michael went ahead an purchased the guitar, knowing that either there was something fishy, or he was at least going getting a good deal. And, as crazy luck would have it, Michael got their drivers license, vehicle license and address. Then, when they cashed his check, they were even captured on the bank video system.

We were able to put Michael and Kay together, and sure enough it was her well loved guitar, they are working out a reunion. At this moment the police have custody of the guitar, but it should be eventually released to Kay. The cost of buying the guitar from the scoundrel SHOULD be picked up by the insurance company, in my humble opinion. I hope that's how it comes out. Regardless it's a small price to pay for the return of the guitar.

There's more. They identified the perps and were going to get them. Two guys, one on parole, an the other on a no-bail parole, meaning when they pick him up he's going back to the slammer, period. I mean, how dumb are these guys? It sounds like they wanted to go back to prison.

I worked for many years teaching guitar making in Soledad prison. I got to know a number of very serious offenders, and became close friends with some. I learned the humanity of many of these people, and understood something about how they got there. There was some crazy stuff, and eventually I started to see them as "Volunteers", felons who just keep doing bad stuff, way past the point of no return. Really, there's no explaining it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kenny Hill Plays San Francisco

Kenny Hill in concert
With Teja Gerken and Mokai

Wednesday, May 28, 7:00PM
Bazaar Cafe

5927 California Street, between 21st & 22nd Avenues
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 831-5620

Teja Gerken invited Kenny to play at his monthly acoustic guitar showcase at San Francisco's Bazaar Café, which features both established and emerging players. The performance format is a unique "round robin" where the three players are all on stage for the whole show, each playing one or two pieces, then passing on to the next player, and on around. It's a fun way to listen, and should prove to be an interesting evening of diverse guitar playing.

Kenny will be performing on a guitar he made himself, his most current design Stand-up SIGNATURE model.

Music he will play might include some Scarlatti sonatas, music by James Kline, Andrew York, Barrios, Kottke, Albeniz or Hill.
Kenny has been a performing musician since childhood, playing guitar for over 40 years. His unique ability with the guitar as both an accomplished guitar maker and an accomplished guitar player brings a very personal relationship to the music and to the instrument, and his spin on repertoire for the classical guitar is diverse and refreshing.

You can check out and purchase his PILGRIMAGE CD of classical guitar music - international, mostly contemporary, all beautiful and distinctly personal.

About Teja Gerken:

Today, Teja is no stranger to those familiar with contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music into a style that is uniquely his own, Teja's playing reflects his diverse musical interests. While many of his composition employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, others simply rely on his keen sense of melody and movement. Within this framework, Teja has created a repertoire that appeals to fellow guitarists as well as to listening audiences, and while original material is his main focus, he can also be found playing Irish traditionals, the occasional jazz standard, or improvising on themes by classical composers.

An active participant in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area acoustic music scene, Teja is a regular performer at many of the region's venues.

About Moki:
Putting a twist on traditional folk and folk blues styles, Mokai accompanies his soulful vocals with powerful grooves and smokin' blues riffs. His show-stopping set has earned him a reputation as a performer who delivers every time.

His propulsive, fingerstyle guitar drives Mokai’s music, colored by elements of jazz and world music. Playful, then moving, his compositions touch both on big themes and intricate details. The deep commitment in his lyrics reflects years on the front lines of seminal political and environmental movements. This is the same dedication he brings to his performances at benefits for non-profits and important causes, as well as in hospitals and shelters with the Bread and Roses series.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rodriguez Model News

Here's a recent email we received from Rodriguez owner David Norton:

"A very well-known concert performer was in Salt Lake City this weekend for a recital and masterclass. I played in the class, and as I was setting up, he looked at my guitar and said "A Rodriguez. Nice." I played my selection; all went fine. At the end of the session, he asked "What year is your Rodriguez? It sounds wonderful." When I told him it was a Kenny Hill replica, and brand-new at that, he was astounded. "No way! Really? Wow. That's just amazing." He was 100% convinced it was a genuine Rodriguez."

Thanks for sharing, David.

Photo of David Norton's 2008 Rodriguez model. 640mm string length.