Desde el Escritorio de Randy Osborne
Guitar Makers of Granada
April 10, 1997
Copyright Randy Osborne F.F.S.I. La Guitarreria Fina, 1997
Antonia Ariza - Born 1939. Cabinet maker at first, then studied with Casa Ferrer. He went solo in the mid-sixties. He has a son who is learning to build.
L. Arostegui Granados - Born in Granada in 1932. Now is located in Madrid. Started as cabinet maker. He studied with Manuel de la Chica and others. Settled in Madrid in 1960 and since then has been influenced by the Madrid school of builders. Builds more classicals than flamencos. Now he is the treasurer of the SPanish Society of the Guitar.
Juan Miguel Carmona - Born in 1960. Cabinet maker at first. At 14 years of age he began working for Manuel Lopez Bellido for about 6 months. Then for between 5 and 6 years with Antonio Duran. Afterwards for about 1 year with Francisco Manuel Diaz. He then set up his own shop in 1982. He is very interested in the secrets of the master makers.
Manuel de la Chica - Born in 1911. Cabinet maker til '38 or '39 when he began building Santos Hernandez inspired forms. Built bandurrias, laudes, bandurrins, laudins, laudons and guitar basses. He taught Antonio Lopez of Paris and Francisco Manuel Diaz of Granada. Has not built since '73 due to poor health. His instruments were played by Andre Segovia, Celedonio Romero, Luis Sanchez, Manuel Cano and Sebastian Maroto.
Francisco Manuel Diaz - Born in 1943. Studied with Casa Ferrer later and later with Manuel de la Chica. Has built guitars with transparent acrylic back and sides as well as guitars with 14 strings. He has taught Antonio Arroyo, Juan Miguel Carmona, Rafael Diaz (his brother), and on a certain occasion, the great grandson of Antonio de Torres.
Rafael Diaz - Born in 1941. He started in the Casa Ferrer making castenets. Was vocalist and arranger for his music group. Started to learn lutherie with his brother F.M. Diaz in '69. He opened his own shop in '75.
Antonio Duran - Born in 1940. Became cabinet maker at age of 10. Later he made castenets in the Casa Ferrer. He lost his right arm in an accident in 1957 but opened his own shop the very next year. At first he timidly sold his guitars without a label to music stores but then took pride in putting his own label where it belonged. He taught Juan Lopez Aguilarte, Antonio Velazquez, Rafael Moreno, Juan Miguel Carmona and also physically disabled people to make castenets.
Manuel Fernandez Fernandez - Born in 1930. Cabinet maker at age 9. Studied with Eduardo Ferrer and has been building since the mid-50's. He also builds Bandurrias & laudes.
Francisco Fernandez - Born in 1930. At 15 years of age he was a restorer of art works. Then at 22 he began making guitars. He learned from his brother in law Manuel Martinez. In 1954 he moved to Madrid and opened a shop with Miguel Robles. About 1960 he left to work for 8 years for the widow of Santos Hernandez. Afterwards he opened his own shop alone, his brother-in-law having left Madrid.
Benito Ferrer - Born in 1845. Studied with Jose Ortega. He built Andre Segovia's first guitar. Later he taught Nicolas Ortega, Jose Castano, and his nephew Eduardo Ferrer. He built guitars from 1875 until 1925 when he died.
Eduardo Ferrer - Born in 1905. In 1915 or 1917 he began working in his uncle's shop. A few years later he thought he might like to become a priest. He changed his mind and in 1925 when Benito died, he took charge of his uncle's shop. In 1966-1968 he spent 3 months each year in Japan showing Yamaha workers how to build guitars. He also taught every guitar maker in Granada.
Jose Ferrer - Born in 1926. After the Spanish Civil War he moved to Barcelona where he continued to make professional castenets as he had in Granada, though now in Barcelona he was at the side of the Enrique Sanfeliu, student of great Enrique Garcia. He stayed in Barcelona 7 years then moved to Palmade Mallorca and stayed there 10 years. In 1974 he set up shop in Granada. He died July 1, 1976.
Isidro Garrido - Born in 1922. Was a cabinet maker at 14 years old. Started building guitars in 1948. Studied with Eduardo Ferrer and later with Rafael Morales. Antonio Fernandez Ladron studied with him.
Francisco Guardia - Born in 1936. He studied with Miguel Robles.
Juan Lopez Aguilarte - Born in Seville in 1941. He moved to Granada at age of only 2 years. At 14 he became a cabinet maker. He studied with Antonio Marin, Manuel Bellido, Eduardo Ferrer, and Antonio Duran.
Jose Lopez Bellido - Born in 1943. At 13 he was making castenets. Then made bandurrias for Casa Ferrer. Afterwards worked in his brother Manuel's shop til he went on his own. At first he made guitars without a label that were sold in a Madrid luthier's shop. Many years later Antonio Raya Pardo studied with him.
Manuel Lopez Bellido - Born in 1939. At 13 he became a cabinet maker. He began his study in the Casa Ferrer. He maintains a shop in which to build as well as a shop run by someone to sell guitars and give lessons. He makes more flamencos than classicals. His sons Roberto and Jesus have studied with him from time to time.
Miguel Lopez Munoz - Born in 1907. At 12 he began as a cabinet maker. He set up his furniture shop and when his sons were old enough to run it, he began making guitars. Basically self taught but he is known to have consulted with Benito Ferrer. By the 1980's he had been building over 40 years. His guitars seem to be inspired by Marcelo Barbero.
Antonio Marin Montero - Born in 1933. From 14 until about 20 years of age he built cabinets. Then he started his apprenticeship with Eduardo Ferrer. Years later after becoming reknowned, his two nephews Jose Marin and Francisco Santiago Marin now study with him.
Manuel Martinez de Milan - Born in 1923. When he made a great guitar his canary Frasquito would sing and when mediocre not a peep uttered.
Rafael Moreno Rodriguez - Born in 1954. At 13 he began to study with Manuel Bellido and Antonio Marin when they shared a shop. Rafael spent 5 years there. Afterwards he studied with Eduardo Ferrer and Antonio Duran. He went solo in 1976 though he had an agreement to share a shop with Antonio Reinosa.
Jose Ortega - Born in 1836. He worked at the side of his faterh until about 1875. It's obvious that he was influenced by Torres for an example from 1880 in the collection of F. M. Diaz.
Nicolas Ortega Ruiz - Born in 1861. He worked with his father and brother and later with Benito Ferrer.
German Perez Barranco - Born in 1940. At 16 he began as a cabinet maker. In his 20's he studied with Eduardo Ferrer, then with Manuel de la Chica. Built more flamencos than classicals and is rather well known in Japan. By 1983 his shop was closed and he became a manager of apartments.
Antonio Raya Pardo - Born in 1950. Moved to Granada in 1966. He began to study with Jose Lopez Bellido in 1973. By the early 1980's he was a sought after builder. He makes more classicals than flamencos.
Antonio Reinosa Velazquez - Born in 1954. At 13 he began to study with Eduardo Ferrer and later with Antonio Duran. He went solo in 1976. He shared a shop with Rafael Moreno but later they each went their own way. Both Moreno and Reinosa are considered the last students of Eduardo Ferrer.
Miguel Robles - Born in 1902. In 1920 or 1922 he began his studies with Benito Ferrer. Later in 1932 with Ramirez in Madrid. After a falling out in 1938 or 1939 he returned to Granada. Ramirez, having much to lose, went to Granada to get Robles to come back to Madrid. That was in 1940. In the mid-40's he returned to Granada; and again to Madrid in 1954 to be associated with Manuel Martinez de Milan & Francisco Fernandez. In 1960 he was in Granada again where he died in 1970. Manuel Cano & Trio Los Panchos played his guitars. It is also well known that Jealous Madrid luthiers put their own labels in his guitars to bask in his glory.
Juan Roman Padilla - Born in 1928. At 14 he began as a cabinet maker. He consulted with Eduardo Ferrer and Manuel de la Chica but basically is self taught. In 1966 the Japanese guitar company Kurosawa invited Don Juan to move to Japan. The mountain had come to Muhammed. Being the genius that he is he sent his brother to share the secrets of the masters.
Antonio Rosales Lopez - Born in 1928. Fascinated at 9 years with lutheria. But it was not until the 1960's that he studied with German Perez Barranco. He experimented a lot until other luthiers began seeking his advice. Also, he has invented a new varnish. He calls it "petrified". Seems it fills all the pores but leaves the guitar exuding more sound.
Francisco Santiago Marin - Born in 1946. At 11 or 12 years he began as a cabinet maker. He studied with his unclde Antonio Marin. At first he sold all his guitars to other artisans. At one point Yamaha paid him to come to Japan. Before leaving they made an agreement to buy his total production. Therefore his is more well known in the Orient than his own town.
This information was translated from Spanish without exagerration or guessing February 10 & 11, 1995. We thank Eusebio Rioja for his insightful book "Inventario de Guitarreros Granadinos 1875-1983". It was first published in 1976. My copy is a 3rd edition. Included are living guitar makers. Excluded are 19th centurey makers, not out of prejudice but to make available information on luthiers we are more than likely to come across.
Randy Osborne - Owner
Fine Fretted String Instruments 1645 S. Bascom Ave., 1-B
Campbell, CA 95008
Coming next week
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