Heritage & Art Exhibits

The Heritage Exhibit will present an educational display that traces the history of stringed instruments from the 2500 year old Chinese Guzheng through the 1700s English guittar, the renaissance & baroque lute family, Spanish vihuela, fine Classical examples, Civil War era steel strings, and significant contemporary benchmarks.

Historical experts will be on hand to explain the place of each in the development of lutherie.

Complimentary Seminars

Sit in on these complimentary seminars by guitar icons & experts to learn about lutherie in depth!

Jim Cathcart

The Marketing of Art & The Art of Marketing:

a special preshow seminar for SBAIC luthiers

Friday 10:30am

Class Description

cathcartSinger/Songwriter Jim Cathcart is best known as the Hall of Fame Professional Speaker and Author of 18 books, including “Relationship Selling”, on how to grow a successful business. He delivers lectures worldwide on success strategies and living an abundant life. When it comes to music, Jim is a professional musician and a lover of guitars. You may have met him in Healdsburg or here in Santa Barbara last year. We’ve asked Jim to craft a special presentation for SBAIC 2017 to explore ways to help more people enjoy and appreciate the instruments we create.

The Marketing of Art is quite different from the sale of most products or services. It carries a responsibility and a sensitivity that must be considered when planning how to brand your products and expand your customer base. In this presentation you’ll discover:
• The differences between selling Production instruments and a Luthier’s personal creations
• How to choose your desired Brand Identity and understand how the marketplace makes this decision for you
• How to master and enjoy the interaction with musicians and collectors at shows
• How to select the Marketing Process that works best for you
• Understand the nuances of Passive Marketing and Active Marketing
• See how your connections with fellow Luthiers, former Customers/Owners, Suppliers and your Community can be growing Assets for you
• Know how to increase your Sales without changing your Lifestyle
• Understand the different Buying Patterns of various people so that you can adapt to them when needed
• Find ways to get Instruments out of your Inventory and into Players hands
Jim Cathcart talks about the importance of Relationship Intelligence® when it comes to selecting who and how you connect with people. We will also talk about “Instrumental Intelligence” as it relates to our chosen craft as Luthiers. The more intelligent people become about instruments the more they will appreciate and desire to own our special creations. Both we and they can always become even more “Instrumentally Intelligent.”
Instructor Bio

Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is the author of 18 books including the international best sellers: The Acorn Principle, Relationship Selling and The Self Motivation Handbook. He has delivered over 3,000 speeches and seminars around the world and was inducted into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in London and the Professional Speaker Hall of Fame in the USA. Jim is a professional musician as well and performs regularly at clubs and events worldwide. For the past 3 years he has presented at NAMM in Anaheim along with Matt Forger, the man who mixed Michael Jackson’s most successful albums along with Quincy Jones. Jim is also a mountain trail runner and motorcycle enthusiast who has been playing guitars since 1965. You can see him daily on and on his frequent lecture tours. Contact Jim at

Paul Heumiller

Guitar Buyer Seminar

Friday 1pm

Class Description


Our shop sees over 500 guitars a year and we do a lot of custom building with wonderful luthiers. This presentation will be a discussion about some of the newer features becoming popular on guitars. Paul will present a slide show of some of the many ergonomic, aesthetic and construction advances we are seeing. He’ll discuss how things are perceived on the shop floor and there will be time for Q&A.This should be valuable to buyers and makers alike.
Instructor Bio
Founder of Dream Guitars, Paul has been a player, singer and songwriter his entire life. As the owner of Dream Guitars he has seen, heard and played more guitars then most people on the planet. Known for a great ear and his integrity, he matches players to instruments that will inspire them. He often consults with luthiers on custom builds for clients and offers consultation to makers as the develop new ideas and features for guitars. “It’s not a job, it’s my passion and purpose in life.”

Special Guests

Luthiers Roundtable

Friday 3pm

Class Description

Would you like to hang out and chat with some icons of lutherie?  Fred Carlson, Harry Fleishman, Charles Fox, Richard Hoover, Steve Klein, Jean Larrivee, and Ervin Somogyi will all be at the Celebration along with experts in heritage instruments.  Stop by for an informal get together and get answers to the questions you always wanted to ask.
Instructor Bio

Ervin Somogyi

Making Responsive Guitars

Saturday 11 am

Class Description


Ervin Somogyi will make a presentation on dual topics that he is most recognized as being an authority on: The First Principle of Good Guitar Design and The First Principle of Successful Guitar Bracing.
Instructor Bio

Ervin Somogyi is a professional luthier and artist in wood of more than forty years’ standing, whose work is known and respected internationally.  His guitars are played by many professional musicians who, while they play in widely different musical genres, do at least agree that these instruments are much better than they sound.

His relationship with the guitar began early on in his teenage years when, having failed as a singer with the Gospel group The Claptrappist Monks, he turned to playing in various garage bands.  In his twenties he played with the seminal groups Colloidal Suspension of Disbelief, the Aluminati (remember, they wore the tinfoil hats?), and the Detoxymorons.  Later, in his thirties, when his unfortunate habit of not having packed enough chords to take with him on his musical tours got out of hand, he struck out on his own (and Somogyi’s followers and critics agree that he has been strking out ever since) to form his own most influentual group, Guitar Mime.

Bolstered by this group’s watershed success Somogyi soon turned to guitar making where he, true to form, continued to work in an actual watershed.  His innate talent quickly showed itself and began to be widely recognized.  Somogyi’s lutherie work has been the recipient of many honors, including the prestigious Corrigan Prize given annually by the American Federation of the Conceptually Impaired, and the much acclaimed Silence Is Golden trophy of the National Association of the Tone Deaf.  Somogyi’s instruments are now used by most of the musicians at the prestigious Gallaudet University Conservatory of Music.

As to Somogyi’s unique oeuvre of fine woodcuts, when the Pope was given one of Somogyi’s artworks to include in the Vatican collection he was heard to mutter: “Deo Santi, En Veritas, De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est!”.  Regarding this one-of-a-kind body of artwork, the consensus among the doyens of the National Endowment is that Somogyi’s artwork, if not the artist himself, is well hung.  For more information please visit his website at

Harry Fleishman

Historical and Contemporary Design Innovations in Lutherie

Saturday 1pm

Class Description


In this presentation Harry will delve into how luthiers have moved from the accepted and imposed methods, techniques, voices, and aesthetics of their time to include innovations that expanded what the instrument could be.  His perspective is that there is no single formula for great tone, for interesting aesthetics, or for what constitutes a fine guitar. The guitar is always evolving; Harry will explore how past and present luthiers have, both subtly and dramatically, moved the guitar forward.
Instructor Bio

Chuck Erikson

Guitar Inlay Materials

Saturday 2:30pm

Class Description


The Duke of Pearl will present an introduction to shell species and their products including sorting/grading shell, along with some non-shell materials; pros & cons of solid vs. Abalam®; best choices for any project; visual tricks with shell; and with time allowing, discussion of new synthetics.  It’s paired with over 200 PowerPoint images, physical examples being displayed, and some Q&A time.

Instructor Bio

Harvey Leach

Thematic Inlays, Adding a Personal Touch to Your Instrument

Saturday 4pm

Class Description


Reknowned inlay artist Harvey Leach will talk about thematic inlays to add a personal touch to an instrument. He will show examples of personalized inlays and talk about the possibilities as well as the process that takes place, especially with adding inlays to existing instruments and working with their chosen builders on new guitars.

Instructor Bio

Ken Totushek

String Community Gathering: Music of Faith from Around the World

Sunday 9am in the Rotunda

Class Description
Join us for an exploration of and participation in the music of faith from various cultures of the world.  Come help us celebrate the gift and unity of life, language and culture – in the right place with the right people, the guitar comes out and a connection is made.  Free and open to and inclusive of everyone. Led by songwriter and hymnist Ken Totushek and friends, we will be meeting in the beautiful rotunda at the Fess Parker at 9:00.
Instructor Bio

Ken Totushek is an internationally known singer/songwriter, acoustic instrumentalist and worship leader, with six acclaimed CDs of inspirational work since 1994.  He has been playing guitar since his teen years, and has performed in Japan, Europe, the Middle East, throughout the U.S., and of course in the Ocean State.  Ken defines himself as a musician living and sharing “freedom Songs”.  His music is down to earth, inviting, and tends to capture the heart of the listener as he leads one through a calming and hope filled musical journey.  Ken plays venues worldwide, in which he shares and performs aspects of his own life and spiritual journey.  Venues have ranged from concerts and special music, house concerts, hospitals, restaurants and pubs to leading worship at international church services and conferences.  In 2013 Ken was awarded Japan’s Kansai Music Conference “Building Bridges Through Music” Award.  Ken resides with his wife Kathy in Barrington, RI.

Paul Heumiller

Yoga for Guitar Players

Sunday 11am

Class Description

heumillerYoga for Guitar Players: gentle movements and alignment to warm up to play.

This class will focus on back, neck, shoulders, wrist and fingers. Offering simple movements that you can use to make playing pain-free and ensure you can play a long long time.

Appropriate for anyone, all postures will be done seated or standing.

Instructor Bio
Founder of Dream Guitars, Paul has been a player, singer and songwriter his entire life. As the owner of Dream Guitars he has seen, heard and played more guitars then most people on the planet. Known for a great ear and his integrity, he matches players to instruments that will inspire them. He often consults with luthiers on custom builds for clients and offers consultation to makers as the develop new ideas and features for guitars. “It’s not a job, it’s my passion and purpose in life.”


Charles Fox

Getting Started in Lutherie

Sunday 1pm

Class Description

foxThe availability of classes, materials, and tools puts lutherie in most peoples’ reach for a fun, interesting and challenging hobby but a difficult way to make a good living. Charles will be speaking about getting started in lutherie, with the focus on building for pleasure, not commerce.

Instructor Bio

Pioneer American luthier Charles Fox has been active in the development of modern lutherie for nearly 50 years. Charles enjoys an international reputation as an artisan, designer, consultant and educator.  Charles has introduced hundreds of people to this craft and counts many of today’s successful luthiers among his former students.  Since 1968, Charles has been building guitars both as an independent luthier and as head of guitar production workshops.  In 1973 he founded the first school for guitar makers in North America, the School of the Guitar Research & Design Center in South Strafford, VT.  In 1993 Charles established the American School of Lutherie in Healdsburg, CA, where he also co-founded the Healdsburg Guitar Festival.  He’s been building and teaching in his Portland, Oregon workshop since 2003. To see what he’s up to, visit his websites: and”

Complimentary Luthier Demos

Recording musicians will be playing 20 minute demo sessions of the luthiers’ instruments, all day every day.

The schedule will be posted at the venue.

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