I spent a very memorable four days at the Montreal Guitar Show
--the official name is the Salon de Guitare de Montreal
--over 4th of July weekend. No win its fourth year, this show has established itself as the premiere east coast event of its kind, and in many aspects, its completely unique.
Held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Montreal at the same time as the world-famous Montreal Jazz Festival, it's hard to imagine a more musical setting for a guitar festival. I've never witnessed a festival or perhaps any event that is run as well as the Montreal Jazz Fest, which features an amazing array of music for almost three weeks.
Being part of the jazz fest obviously means that there are lots of opportunities for cross-promoting guitar shows. Imagine this: Even though I wasn't able to catch every guitar show that happened over the weekend, I still managed to hear Sylvain Luc, Charlie Hunter, Bob Brozman, Andy McKee, Don Ross, Yamandu Costa, Tony McManus, Craig D'Andrea, and Gareth Pearson, and that's without peeking into a few mini concert/luthier demonstrations!
But the heart of the Salon de Guitare is the luthier exhibition, which is similar to events such as the bi-annual Healdsburg Guitar Festival in Northern California. Acoustic Guitar
is a media sponsor of the event, and as such, we were present with a table of our own, giving away magazines and meeting contributors and readers.
The level of the instruments displayed was of course stunning. Rather than trying to come up with descriptions of everyone I checked out and played, here's a selection of photos that I hope will speak for themselves:
Advertising Manager Cindi Kazarian at the Acoustic Guitar table.
The main exhibition hall.
Joshia de Jonge with two of her classical guitars.
Michael Greenfield's harp guitar built for Andy McKee
Al Carruth's harp guitar
Tom Ribbecke's latest Halfling model.
An experimental guitar with aluminum sides by Edward Klein.
Marc Saumier's "Cherry Seven" project (seven guitars built by six luthiers using cherry back and sides from the same tree).
A Charlie Hoffman 12-string built with a Sonic Sitka project top.
John Monteleone with his latest archtop.
The inlaid back of a Kathy Wingert guitar,
Michi Matsuda's original take on the flamenco guitar.
Don Ross answering questions during a clinic.
Charlie Hunter plays a Ken Parker archtop.
Tony McManus plays his brand-new Greenfield guitar.
George Lowden discusses guitar voicing.
Charles Fox lectures on how to get started in luthiery.