The Dutch Luthier Blog

On the heels of Ken's visits to Europe this year (2016), comes this wonderful story of the a meeting at one of the events and its meaning to the author of this article.

It's a GREAT read (click the image to read):

Guitar Aficionado Article

Vol 1 Number 4 features a great article
on Ken and new shots of Mira. Here's a photo of the cover and the spread. Not available online, you're gonna have to find a copy at the newsstand...



Premier Guitars' Feature Article On Ken

Check out the August 2011 for a GREAT arcticle on Ken, his history, his guitars and his vision.

Just click on the preview below!


ToneQuest Report Dec 09

The December 2009 ToneQuest Report has a GREAT article on Ken. They've graciously allowed us to share it with you. If you are seriously into your guitar and its tone, we stongly encourage you to subscribe to the ToneQuest Report. Click here to subscribe.

And click here to read the ToneQuest Report article on Ken!

The New Yorker Article


The New Yorker magazine featured an extensive review of Ken's career as well as a most interesting overview of his current work and philosophy in its May 14th issue. It's a fascinating read and is sure to surprise even the most ardent Kenophiles.

Click the illustrated image to download the article.

Just Jazz Guitar Article

Dave Stephens visited Ken last year and published a great article in Just Jazz Guitar magazine. It was in the November 2007 issue and can be downloaded here.


Ken Article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine Jan 09 Issue

Ken's latest article/interview is available in the January 2009 issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine - on the newstand right now. Read the article here.

Guitar Masters at Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY, July 5-7 -2018

GESmithCelebrating the artistry of the guitar with some of the music world’s finest talents, Guild Hall introduces the first annual Guitar Masters festival. This three-day gathering is a celebration of music, summer, and exceptional musicianship, and features concerts, documentary films, and book signings.

The festival will take place from Thursday, July 5 through Saturday, July 7 and features performances by Andy Summers, Ralph Gibson, G.E. Smith, Richard Thompson, Teddy Thompson, David Broza, Badi Assad, and Brandon Ross; documentary films curated by director Mary Jane Marcasiano; a talk by Ken Parker (on July 7th), and book signing with Galadrielle Allman.

Find out more

KnobPic2The Bronzeville Pickup & The Magic Knob

You've never heard a guitar pickup quite like this. A perfect fit for a guitar like Ken's.

Learn about it here.

Woodstock Luthiers' Invitational Oct 27 - Oct 29 2017

Our annual favorite show in the town that brought the 60s its biggest rock show ever. Ken will be there along with the other best guitar makers in the business.


Ken Parker Exhibiting and Lecturing at Artisan Guitar Show

April 7-9 at the Central Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg, PA. Ken spoke on the importance of embracing innovation in the design and construction of artisan guitars.

Lucky Being Played by Charlie Hunter at Woodstock

2016’s Woodstock Luthiers Invitational was a blast. And we had a special treat with none other than the great Charlie Hunter playing a full set on Ken’s personal guitar, Lucky. Check it out!

item14Woodstock Luthiers' Invitational
Oct 21 - Oct 23 2016

Our annual favorite show in the town that brought the 60s its biggest rock show ever. Ken will be there along with the other best guitar makers in the business.



Ken To Lecture at Tony McManus Elora Guitar Weekend

There are a couple of places available for the weekend of study and relentless music/ food indulgence! This year Tony has Chris Newman as guest instructor and the legendary Ken Parker as guest luthier. Chris will bring his partner, the incredible Irish harpist Máire Ní Chathasaigh. Dates are November 4,5 and 6, 2016. The location is the beautiful Drew House in Elora, Ontario where classes are held and students have private accommodation.

Click here for info


The Met Gets a Ken Parker Archtop Named Merlin

On January 29, 2016, Ken delivered Merlin, a brand new archtop, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC at a lovely reception. The Met had commissioned the guitar last year for its permanent collection.

Doug Wamble wrote a special piece called The Ken Parker Suite for three guitars, played by Doug, Brandon Ross, and Matt Munisteri, which was debuted at the event and then recorded the following day. We’ll be presenting that soon…

Here is a photo of Ken at the event holding Merlin, followed by a couple more.




Electric Guitars and the Origins of the Parker Fly
Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Musical Instruments Gallery Talk and Demonstration

Noted guitar maker Ken Parker will talk about the design concepts behind the stylish and innovative Parker Fly electric guitar, which he began developing in 1991. A Parker Fly Artist model guitar donated to the MFA by Parker in 1999 will be discussed and demonstrated by noted Brooklyn-based performer Doug Wamble, along with an assortment of vintage electric instruments acquired by the Museum in recent years.

This event was held on January 4, 2016

Lucky... Being Played by Doug Wamble at the Woodstock Luthiers' Invitational, 2015

This year's Woodstock show was a blast. We were fortunate to have thhe great Doug Wamble playing Lucky...

Used with permission of Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase Filmed by Aaron Weisblatt Post-production by Peter Wilson and Linda Wilson



item11Holy Grail Guitar Show - Berlin,
Oct 31 and Nov 1 2015

Ken will be exhibiting his exceptional archtops at The Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin, as well as giving a talk. If you are in the area, make sure you head to the show!







Woodstock Luthiers' Invitational Oct 23 - Oct 25 2015

Our annual favorite show in the town that brought the 60s its biggest rock show ever. Ken will be there along with the other best guitar makers in the business.


Inner Peace... Being Played by Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor

When Ken delivered his latest guitar to its new owner in Florida, they stopped by to see Martin Taylor and Tommy Emmanuel playing in Miami. Ken's "Heaven" was also there for the visit. It's always wonderful to hear Ken's guitars in the hands of amazing guitarists...

Note: Due to the size of this video, we hear it's not loading for everyone.
So, feel free to check it out on YouTube directly.
Click Here!




Inner Peace... Being Delivered in Florida

2-24-14: Ken is in Miami today, delivering THIS beautiful guitar, known as "Inner Peace." While there, Martin Taylor and Tommy Emmanuel will get a chance to play it. It has a very unique mahogany back and sides from "The Tree". It also feature a Mokume Gane tailpiece, tuning peg cover and soundhole strip, handmade by Ken.

Here are some notes from Ken about the unique features on this guitar:

This wood is from "The Tree", quite literally the most famous lumber tree in the world, cut in Belieze in the late 60's

There are 3 pieces of Mokume Gane on this instrument, and it's a new feature set for me.

Let's call it a Mokume Gane Grouppo, and mix the metaphors!

On Inner Peace, the specifics are these:

1) tuning peg cover - copper and sterling

2) soundhole strip - copper and sterling

3) tailpiece - copper, shakudo and shibuichi, which are silver and gold alloyed with copper

The first two pieces are very thin, about .020", or 1/2mm.

These parts are all made by me, that is, I developed the unique patterns in the multilayered material, by cutting and forging.  No two pieces could ever be the same.

Photo of Martin Taylor and Tommy Emmanuel playing a pair of Ken Parker Archtops...


Ken Parker: The Future of Guitar Design - with guest, Charlie Hunter
Video from the Oct 7th, 2013 event.

Ken gave a talk on the future of guitar design on Oct 7th at the Mannes School of Music in NYC.

From their website: Currently building world class, innovative jazz archtop guitars in his personal shop Ken Parker Archtops, Parker was the founder of Parker guitars in 1991, a company which developed radically innovative electric guitars utilizing cutting edge manufacturing and materials.

This lecture was accompanied by a special guest appearance by guitarist Charlie Hunter.

Ken Parker and Charlie Hunter: The Future of Guitar Design from Center for Transformative Media on Vimeo.


Courtesy: Roger Sadowsky


It Was a Great Time at Healdsburg 2013

As always, we had a wonderful time at Healdsburg this year. Great to see old friends and great to make new ones, too.

KenAtHealdsburg2013photo from guitarbage via tumblr



Forbes Online Article about Ken

Karsten Strauss has written a great article about Ken. Here's a link to check it out!

Verdi with Ken and its New Owner

It's always nice when a friend shows up in person to pick up his new guitar. Here is a pic of Ken's newest guitar, Verdi, made with Tulip magnolia wood cut in the 1860s in Kentucky, salvaged from the first RJ Reynolds tobacco drying barn. Good buddy and longtime friend Kingsley Durant visited Ken in Gloucester to pick up Verdi. He immediately took Verdi to perform at his son's wedding (see photo below - click to enlarge). Hopefully, Kingsley will provide some audio and video clips to share with you soon (trust me, it'll be a true treat).



Photos from Winter NAMM 2012

We had a great time at NAMM and brought back some wonderful photos, courtesy our good friend Dave Stephens. Click here to check them out!

Six String Bliss Interviews Ken

Six String Bliss is one of the coolest podcasts there is for guitar lovers. It's a weekly production and there's never a week where we don't learn something new. Be sure to visit their site and subscribe to their podcast by clicking on their logo to the left.

During the 2010 Newport Guitar Show, correspondent Larry Smith interviewed Ken. You can hear this insightful interview by simply clicking this link:

Ken Parker Interviewed by Larry Smith

DirectGraceFriselWamble1a1a1 KenDougBill1a1a1

Bill Frisell & Doug Wamble 45RPM Double Album from Direct Grace Records

"Bill Frisell and Doug Wamble are jazz guitar giants; what an amazing afternoon we had when they came by to jam and improvise beautiful standards. We recorded to four sides in one take each in under two hours in between good humor and admiring Ken Parker's beautiful acoustic guitars they played on."

DirectGrace Records is a unique music recording company that weds a passion for high-end vinyl recording to charitable giving. Dedicated to the world's most at-risk children, part of the proceeds from the sale of each unique, high-definition record goes to organizations helping children in extreme poverty.

NOTE FROM KEN:  "I'd like to request that people respect the intention of the efforts at Direct Grace, and not copy these recordings for distribution via digital media."

Ken Featured in Guitar Book

Ken's work as the creator of the Fly, as well as his new archtops, is featured in a new book called "Guitars: A Celebration of Pure Mojo" by David Schiller. This is a small format book that's just loaded with TONS of great inside info and gorgeous photos of some of the best guitars ever made. For more info, click here.

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