Thursday, January 26, 2017

Introducing The Hill 7-String

This is the first 7 String guitar we’ve made in a long time. We made quite a few 7 strings in the early 2000’s, but many years have passed since the last one. Then, last year at the GFA festival in Denver, Matanya Ophee asked me to make one for him. Matanya and I have known each other for a long time. He was looking at the guitars we had on display and he said “These look pretty good but there’s something missing.” Yep, missing one string. Ok. 

So we dug into our old notes and molds and jigs and made one for him. We had to reinvent some of it, R&D, and I think it came out quite nice. Matanya specifies a particular tuning, a “Russian” tuning which is dgbdgbd. It has a great resonance in that tuning. Of course, even in some more familiar tuning I’m personally thrown off when it comes to playing a 7 string. Even the addition of just one string requires some serious relearning for me. Still, it sounds wonderful in any tuning.

And this is cool. We are planning to make another one soon, hoping to get accustomed to it, and making it a regular offering. I know there is a whole group of Brazilian and other jazz players —as well as classical players — that are good with 7 strings. I’m not, but then I still have my 6 string beauties!

Coincidentally we are also making a very different style of 7 string for John Dearman of LAGQ. This one is even more of a challenge because the seventh string is extended by 2 frets, something developed by Tom Humphrey, Greg Beyers and some other builders. This new guitar is already built and just beginning to be French polished. We’ll see how that turns out in a couple of months. Should be good.

If any 7 string players have any comments please send me an email. I’d be grateful for some input. I don’t know how much demand there is out there, but it’s something we are developing, the designs and skills for production. Who knows? It might be the next thing!


Kenny Hill
January 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

South Bay Guitar Society and Noon Arts & Lectures Fundraiser!

The South Bay Guitar Society and Noon Arts & Lectures are hosting a fundraiser on January 27th, and you're invited!

Hors d'oeuvres and wine are included in the ticket price. Several Bay Area artists will perform. Interesting items will be available for bidding at a silent auction.

January 27th, 2017, 6:30pm
Scottish Rite Center
2455 Masonic Dr, San Jose, CA 95125

Our 13th annual ARTS PANORAMA gala (Fri Jan 27) will deliver a full evening of fascinating conversations among art lover friends, wine, hors d'oeuvre, desserts, diverse "best of" staged entertainment and a silent auction.

This year it's not produced under the Silicon Valley Arts Coalition banner  but instead by and for two small budget SVAC member organizations:

Noon Arts & Lectures Series and
South Bay Guitar Society.

Staged "best of" entertainment guided by emcee Susannah Greenwood a.k.a. "Princess of Artsalot" includes:

Lyric Theatre
Scenes from "Princess Ida"

Jifan Li, dizi (ancient Chinese bamboo flute) representing AiMusic and Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra OASIS

Exhibition ballroom dances (Dina Bistry & Federico Moreno) Bolero Latin jazz Country medley

Chamber Music Silicon Valley Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 for piano, flute & cello

Christopher Mann, classical guitar representing South Bay Guitar Society aAdaptations of Spanish Piano Music for Guitar

Sandra Wright Shen Piano Spectacular

In addition to this staged entertainment, you will also enjoy these lobby artists:

Danielle Nam Concert harp representing Silicon Valley Chapter, American Harp Society

Mighty Mike McGee, poet representing Poetry Center San Jose & Willow Glen. Readers

Liyuza Eisbach and friends exhibit. Visual artist.

Youth Shakespeare San Jose
Sample scene from March 2017 production; Macbeth 

Please mark your calendar, invite your family, friends, colleagues and display news of this ARTS PANORAMA on your networks.

Tickets (Wow! only $30) online at ...

Monday, January 16, 2017

NAMM 2017 is Here!

Hill Guitar is off to Anaheim!

We have been going to NAMM for many years, but each year brings a different experience, and we are excited to see what 2017 has in store!  
We will have a variety of Hill Signature's, Performance's and our New World Guitars for you to play.
Kenny, Owen and Maggie will be at the booth so please come by and try out some guitars, there's no better time than NAMM time!
We are located at our usual booth: Hall E Booth #1516

Friday, January 13, 2017

Xuefei Yang Concert in Carmel!

Come see Xuefei Yang Live in breathtaking Carmel Valley, CA!
About Xuefei
As a professional musician, Fei has performed concerts in 40 countries throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and North America. 
The demand for her music sees Fei keeping a busy international schedule including London's major venues (with several sell-out recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall), and concerts at the world’s most prestigious venues including Philharmonie Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, National Auditorium Madrid, Dvorak Hall Prague, Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center New York, plus the main venues across Asia.  Fei gave both the first solo guitar, and first guitar concerto, recitals ever in Beijing's National Centre of Performing Arts.
In 2003 she performed 54 concerts for the “Night of the Proms” Tour, appearing in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany, to a total audience of over 800,000 people. 
Fei is regularly invited to perform concertos with leading orchestras. This season sees Fei performing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, the Hallé Orchestra, China National Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her solo career, Fei regularly appears in collaborations with other musicians. This season sees her performing chamber music with the Elias String Quartet, giving duo recitals with cellist Jian Wang, collaborating with tenor Ian Bostridge in a recital at London's Wigmore Hall, and with flautist Sir James Galway at the Beijing Music Festival.

Concert Info
When: April 7th, 2017
Time: 7:30, Doors open at 7:00pm
Where: Hidden Valley Music Center, Carmel, CA
Tickets are $30 General Admission
$25 for CGS Members and Student with ID
Please call Ron Friedman at (831) 375-2486 for tickets
Remaining tickets will be sold at door