"Uninterested in continuing a career in the corporate world, I ultimately made my way to Phoenix, AZ and the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. During my 5 months there, I continued to learn and grow as a builder and repair technician under the guidance of a first rate staff, and an outstanding group of student peers. Upon graduating from RV, I opted to stay on board as an assistant instructor in the acoustic guitar program, where I continued to learn and develop my skills. Along the way, my fellow instructors continued to teach me and educate me while personal experience began to meld with my formal education to mold and create the way that I approached the design and construction of the guitar as an instrument and a tool. During this time I opened my own shop and begin building Kostal Guitars full time when I was not working at Roberto-Venn. I remained a part of the staff at Roberto-Venn for three and a half years, teaching acoustic guitar construction, repair, and business development.
In November 2008, I had the opportunity to attend Ervin Somogyi’s week long voicing class, and returned to Ervin’s shop in December for a two week interview that ended with an acceptance offer to begin a two and half year apprenticeship. I closed my shop in Phoenix, and relocated to Oakland, CA in February 2009 to start a 30 month journey that would change the way that I view and understand the guitar forever. During my time with Ervin, I had the opportunity to build guitars under his tutelage and mentorship. He taught me how to look at the guitar, understand what it is capable of, and create a guitar that expresses my vision. With Ervin, I learned the most current techniques for building, voicing, and refining the instrument while elevating my craft to new levels of artistic expression.
When my apprenticeship was finished, I relocated back to the Phoenix area. I opened up shop in Queen Creek, AZ, where I build a small number of custom instruments each year.
The guitars that I build today are a culmination of over 30 years of playing and performing experience as a fingerstyle guitarist, coupled with a desire to make the best possible guitar that I am capable of. I pair this with the knowledge and teachings imparted to me by three distinctly different mentors, some amazing luthiers that helped me along the way, my own teaching experience, and my own ideas.
I am very proud of the guitars that I am creating today, and value them as a player as well as a builder, and I look forward to the opportunity to share my guitars with the world.