German Vazquez Rubio, USA
German Vazquez Rubio (sometimes referred to as G.V. Rubio or German Vazquez) was born in 1952, in the small town of Paracho, Michoacan, Mexico. He began his career in lutherie at the age of eleven. German consciously left school to become apprentice to his uncle Manuel Rubio with the intention of starting a lifelong career and also helping his family financially.

At his uncle's shop he would learn to work with many different types of woods and materials. He learned that the most precious woods require the utmost level of care and attention, for there is no room for error in craftsmanship. His uncle Manuel slowly educated him on how the texture and the grain of different woods react differently to the cut of the knife. He then developed precise techniques that have become integral to his style of building.

Because of Paracho's long existing lutherie tradition, the city fathers often invite many of the worlds greatest masters to visit Paracho to train and teach talented young artists. German was fortunate enough to take advantage of these workshops and was able to train with many fine luthiers, often impressing them with his talent, so much so that it urged one master to exclaim "I believe you are teaching me!." Some of the luthiers German studied with were Felix Manzanero, Jose Romanillos, Thomas Humphrey and David Daly.

German moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970's where he continues to reside to this day. He began working at Arturo Valdez's shop in Hollywood, California. There he would hone his skills not just as a builder, but as an excellent repairman. German believes that the abiliy to do all kinds of repairs is a very important skill for a luthier to have. "It develops your imagination, I think it is crucial to have a good imagination in this line of work. Aged guitars that have been highly used give you insight into the limits of the material and help you in creating designs that consider those limitations. I strive to build guitars that live one hundred years or more."

German went on to build many different types of guitars at Valdez's shop not just classical and flamenco. He was commissioned to build twelve D'Angelico jazz guitars, as well as building the original "Axe Bass" for Gene Simmons, and the "Popsicle Guitar" for Van Halen. He also worked for Bernardo Rico for some time at B.C. Rich guitars. All of these experiences proved extremely valuable in making German a very well rounded luthier.

In the late eighties German was already working independently out of his home, cultivating the art of selecting and storing great materials. It wasn't long before he partnered up with Armin Kelly and Guitars International. Although German's talents and skills were always appreciated by guitarists, he is very grateful for the partnership he started with Armin Kelly and Guitars International, "Armin helped me get recognition, by placing my guitars in the hands of Artists who would go on to play them around the world. We have come a long way together."

Over the years German Vazquez Rubio has won several lutherie competitions, made guitars for countless concert and recording artists (Naxos recording artists John Holmquist and Jason
being just two) and been the subject of many articles and television documentaries. Today with much deserved international acclaim to his credit, this great master's ethic remains unchanged: he works in his shop from early morning to early evening six days a week at the art which has inspired him since childhood - striving always to craft with patience, imagination and integrity the finest, most musically responsive, most beautiful instruments possible.
German Vazquez Rubio