acoustic guitars

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Islander ‘Ukulele is a brand name of Kanile’a ‘Ukulele - a Hawaiian family-owned and operated ukulele maker. The Islander ukuleles are more affordable than the Kanile'a branded instruments and the Islander range includes concert. soprano and tenor ukuleles as well as guitarleles and mini guitars.

Raponi (Orlando)

Orlando Raponi was an Italian master luthier working in Rome who lived from 1916 to 1978. He studied with R. Paralupi and later in Spain. He mostly built guitars and he received international awards for his instruments. He had two workshops: via G. Volpato, 4 and via della Magliana Nuova where his son Amenio Raponi (born 1944) now works.


Raleigh was a brand name of Aloha Musical Instrument company - named after founder Jack Raleigh who was a 1920s steel guitarist.

Manouk Papazian

Manouk Papazian was born in 1914 in Smyrna, Turkey into an Armenian family. His family soon left Turkey for Argentina, escaping the Armenian Genocide of 1914 - 1923. While in Buenos Aires Papazian became a self taught luthier in 1934 and worked there professionally from 1949 to 1956. In 1956 he moved to New York, where he made violins, violas, cellos, lutes, vihuelas and classical guitars. By 1981 he had made over 50 classical guitars, nearly 50 lutes and around 25 each of the other instruments. Manouk Papazian died in 1999.

Source: Amati Auctions website (1 April 2009)

Source: Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers. Susan Caust Farrell. 1981

Fabio Ragghianti

Fabio Ragghianti was inspired to become a guitar maker when he visited luthier Carlo Raspagni’s workshop to order a guitar. In 1981 he started an appreticeship with the luthiers Leo Biancardi and Paolo Vettori - he soon gave up his day job as a languages teacher to become a luthier himself. Over the following years he continued learning at Malden School of Musical Instrument Repair in England & Maestro Matter’s Workshop in Portugal and visits to various luthiers such as David Rubio and Daniel Friederich. Ragghianti received awards in 1993 and again in 1995 at the International Contest of Baveno and in 1998 as Artisan of the Year from the Rotary Club. Ragghianti also speaks about guitar making at international conferences and has taught luthiery.

Source: Fabio Ragghianti website (30 March 2019)

Pickard (Jason)

Jason Pickard gained a Masters Degree in music performance from East Carolina University, studying classical guitar. He also taught music and worked as Director of Education for MARS Music, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.  By 2006 he was making classical guitars, working out of the Music 49 shop in Charlotte, NC - while also teaching music. Circa 2018 Jason Pickard seems more involved in making custom electric guitars than in the classical models.


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