Professional and amateur musicians alike who appreciate the sound, look and feel of a handcrafted guitar consider 3 Italians from New York to be their “guitar heroes”. Sometimes referred to as the “da Vincis of the guitar world” John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and John Monteleone together created a body of work that includes some of the world’s greatest guitars.
In the late 19th century Italian immigrants in the United States brought the traditions of Neapolitan mandolin makers and the violins from Cremona to the streets of New York with craftsmen who followed the well-regarded methods of their homeland. Soon their skills were translated into New World rhythms and the sounds of Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dion were played on D’Angelico guitars. Artisan skills were passed down from apprentice to student and today the tradition continues with an exhibition of guitars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art made by D’Angelico and his apprentice Jimmy D’Aquisto and his succesor John Monteleone.
The names of artists who have purchased and played guitars made by the above masters is said to read like the Who’s Who of American music including Paul Simon, Janis Ian and other performers who play on these legendary instruments.