Jason Vieaux Picks Out a New Guitar

From 'Sevilla'

Vieaux plays Isaac Albeniz:

From 'Manuel Ponce'

From 'Performance Today'

Vieaux adapts Pat Metheny's jazz to a baroque style:

Jason Vieaux. i i

hide captionJason Vieaux.

Jason Vieaux.

Jason Vieaux.

Playing guitar at St. Stanislaus is Jason Vieaux

hide captionJason Vieaux tries out a guitar at St. Stanislaus.

Alice Winkler, NPR
The new guitar. i i

hide captionJason Vieaux's new guitar. (Enlargement shows both guitars.)

Alice Winkler, NPR
The new guitar.

Jason Vieaux's new guitar. (Enlargement shows both guitars.)

Alice Winkler, NPR

Framed by a stained-glass window at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus — a gothic cathedral in Cleveland — classical guitarist Jason Vieaux recently made a big decision. He chose a new guitar.

He was introduced to the instrument by Armin Kelly, one of the major classical guitar dealers in the country. Kelly is based in Cleveland, where Vieaux does most of his recording, so the musician gets to try out a lot of guitars.

But recently he got serious about a light-blonde model that seemed to have a lot of potential to replace the guitar he's used for about four years.

So Vieaux went to St. Stanislaus to play a selection from the recent CD Sevilla — and then some Bach — on both instruments. Debbie Elliott gets a crash course in what a top-flight musician looks for in his instrument... in this case, a guitar that can sometimes sound more like a cello.

Others might play a new guitar for a year or more before taking it on the road. But Jason Vieaux will use his new guitar Sunday at a tour stop in Carlisle, Pa. And he asked that we not identify the guitar specifically out of respect to the luthiers of both instruments.

NPR's Alice Winkler produced the audio for this piece. Rob Byers was the audio engineer.



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