The following interviews were recorded in 2010 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, unless otherwise indicated. Complete transcripts are also available.

Bob Grillo

Bob Grillo, a native New Yorker, studied with Al Peterson, then Sal Salvador. At a New York gig in 1960, he met James D’Aquisto, who was a bass player and an apprentice to John D’Angelico. He visited D’Angelico’s shop on Kenmare Street and ordered a blonde New Yorker, which was finished in November 1961. After ten years of touring, Grillo’s guitar needed cosmetic repairs, and D’Aquisto re-lacquered and re-bound it in 1970. Grillo continues to play his D’Angelico New Yorker, most recently with the Andy Farber Orchestra, both in live performances and on the 2009 album This Could Be the Start of Something Big.

Bob Grillo remembers meeting John D’Angelico, and discusses his D’Angelico guitar.

Bob Grillo talks about the damage sustained to his D’Angelico guitar.

Bob Grillo on each guitar’s unique voice.

Bob Grillo explains the benefit of the cutaway.

Mark Knopfler

A brief biography of Mark Knopfler is available at

Mark Knopfler discusses John Monteleone (audio only).

Woody Mann

Woody Mann is renowned both as a performer and as a teacher. He received his first musical schooling in the living room of the Reverend Gary Davis, the legendary blues, gospel, and ragtime guitarist. He has performed with modern-day blues musicians John Fahey, British great Jo-Ann Kelly, and early masters Bukka White and Son House. He complemented the tutelage of the Rev. Davis with formal training at the Juilliard School and a period of intense study with noted jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. He has toured the world, recorded eleven solo albums, been a faculty member at the New School in New York, and taught countless guitarists through his many books and DVDs. His close personal friendships with James D’Aquisto and John Monteleone have been a unique part of his life and music.

Woody Mann talks about ordering a custom Monteleone guitar.

Woody Mann explains what it’s like to play a Monteleone guitar.

Woody Mann discusses Monteleone guitars.

Woody Mann talks about how a guitar affects his playing.

Woody Mann explains how every guitar has a different voice.

Woody Mann talks about the acoustic and visual aesthetics of his guitars.

Woody Mann talks about guitar voices and the skill of luthiers.

Woody Mann talks about how he can learn from a guitar.

Woody Mann talks about his visits to D’Aquisto’s workshop.

Steve Miller

A brief biography of Steve Miller is available at

Steve Miller talks about James D’Aquisto (audio only).

Steve Miller discusses his D’Aquisto guitar (audio only).

Jeffrey Mironov

Jeffrey Mironov is a Manhattan-based guitarist who has enjoyed a very active and prolific career in the New York recording scene. He has performed on numerous albums with Michael Franks, James Taylor, Art Garfunkel, Gladys Knight, Paul Simon, Dave Grusin, Herbie Mann, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Natalie Cole, to name a few. He has also performed on many movie soundtracks, as well as for television and radio commercials. He has been awarded the noteworthy NARAS [National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences] Best Player Award for electric guitar performance a number of times. Throughout his career, Jeffrey has owned, played, and treasured several guitars made by John D’Angelico and James D’Aquisto. Of his relationship with James D’Aquisto he writes:

I came to own a number of Jimmy’s instruments and spent rare and wonderful days in his small Greenport, Long Island, workshop. While working on the guitars that needed adjusting or repairs, he shared many lovely, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous memories with me regarding his apprenticeship with John D’Angelico and the uninterruptible creative evolution and tradition he came to fulfill and extend. I am blessed and honored in knowing John D’Angelico through the guitar he made, which I played for many years, and then in knowing and being known by James D’Aquisto, whose friendship and trust continue to guide, influence, and change my life.

Jeffrey Mironov discusses the relationship between guitarists and their instruments.

Jeffrey Mironov remembers Grant Green and his guitar.

Jeffrey Mironov remembers buying his first D’Angelico New Yorker.

Jeffrey Mironov remembers visiting James D’Aquisto’s workshop.

John Monteleone

John Monteleone talks about learning from his father.

John Monteleone describes his early acquisition of woodworking skills.

John Monteleone talks about learning how to build guitars.

John Monteleone discusses working for the Mandolin Brothers.

John Monteleone discusses his innovations to the mandolin.

John Monteleone discusses how musical needs affect his work as a luthier.

John Monteleone talks about Mario Maccaferri.

John Monteleone discusses knowing James D’Aquisto.

John Monteleone explains his inspirations for the Radio City instruments.

John Monteleone discusses the Sun King guitar.

John Monteleone discusses the Four Seasons guitars.

John Monteleone talks about the guitar as an art object.

Bucky Pizzarelli

For more than six decades, the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli has been a fixture in jazz since the early fifties. The list of big bands and vocalists with whom Bucky has performed and recorded reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” of jazz. One of the most solid rhythm players, Pizzarelli has always been in high demand, playing and touring early on with Benny Goodman, Zoot Sims, Bud Freeman, and Stephane Grappelli, and, later, recording with George Van Eps, Carl Kress, and George Barnes. His superior mastery of the seven-string guitar is unparalleled, and his very personal style sets him apart. [Adapted from "Bucky Pizzarelli" in All About Jazz (February 2011).]

Bucky Pizzarelli demonstrates the use of a rhythm guitar.

Bucky Pizzarelli explains the white D’Angelico guitars.

Bucky Pizzarelli talks about the recording use of his D’Angelico sunburst guitar.

Bucky Pizzarelli discusses the importance of the rhythm guitar.

Bucky Pizzarelli talks about how Tony Mottola loved Pizzarelli’s D’Angelico sunburst guitar.

Bucky Pizzarelli remembers visiting D’Angelico’s workshop.

Bucky Pizzarelli shares a story about Les Paul’s reaction to playing Pizzarelli’s D’Angelico sunburst guitar.

Paul Simon

A brief biography of Paul Simon is available at

Paul Simon discusses James D’Aquisto (audio only).