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Jazz: Montreal Guitar Show: Finger pickin’ good

Finger pickin’ good

Montreal Guitar Show: The one place where visitors are encouraged to sample the wares

The Montreal Guitar Show ready to outdo its already considerable self

Despite only being in its second year, the Montreal Guitar Show is already a significant piece of Jazz Fest programming, and lays claim to the title of Canada’s largest guitar exhibition. Part trade show, part art exhibit, the MGS shines a light on a world of artists so rarely recognized in discussions of music: the world of artisan luthiers.

"It came out of SIMM [The Montreal Musical Instrument Show] three years ago. We had invited some luthiers, and we felt it was a good idea for us to give them their own show as it is a very important industry in the guitar world, guitar making," explains Jazz Fest VP and guitar nut Jacques-André Dupont, who created the MGS. "They needed to have a place to showcase their great work."

Work of this type is underrecognized because of the small scale of most luthiers’ operations. "It’s one guy doing 12, 16 guitars a year," says Dupont. "I call them, laughingly but [lovingly], the Geppettos of the modern time, because they take their own logs and they create masterpieces."

This year’s MGS will be chock-full of the world’s best luthiers, who will be coming in from Europe and the U.S., as well as various locations in Canada (including, of course, Quebec). As well as offering the public a chance to meet and talk shop with luthiers, the MGS will also have workshops and performances.

"I describe it as ‘the ultimate high-end guitar destination,’" says Dupont. "The fact that you have the luthiers, where you can try out and even buy the guitars, is a big part of it, but also you’ll have over 50 free mini-concerts with top musicians that will be featuring the guitars from the luthiers.

"It’s the ultimate combination of guitar talent."

The Montreal Guitar Show
At the Hyatt Regency Montreal (1255 Jeanne-Mance), June 27-29
For concert and other info, visit montrealguitarshow.com

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