Michael Cadiz, Austria
Michael Cadiz writes: It’s been a relatively long and meandering road that brought me to guitar building; the scenic route, so to speak. I was born in 1983 outside of Baltimore. My mother was from northern Michigan and my father, from the Philippines, hence the Spanish name.

I started playing guitar at the age of eleven. I studied with the Michael Nicolella throughout my high school years and then later in France with Jean-Pierre Billet and at the Chicago College of Performing Arts with Chicago with Sergio Assad. After finishing my studies, I felt unsure about making a career as a classical guitarist. After spending a few years driving around the country in a station-wagon playing music with bands, I became serious about guitar building.

I built my first guitar when I was fifteen years old with the now famous pickup maker Jason Lollar. I built my second guitar in the corner of my Seattle apartment with a make-shift workshop financed by the rather impulsive selling of the aforementioned station-wagon. I eventually discovered the Seattle Luthiers Group and ended up studying with Rick Davis and Cat Fox at Sound Guitar Workshop. I was later invited to spend some time in Oregon studying with Robert Ruck. After that, I started teaching at the Rosewood Guitar Shop in Seattle and was able to study almost every guitar that came through its doors over the course of several years. I was also lucky enough to have access to the private collection that included some rare and rather sought-after historical instruments. In 2016, I moved to Graz, Austria, which is where I plan to stay and work for the the foreseeable future.

I've worked for many years honing my woodworking skills, studying older guitars and trying to find my own voice as a luthier. I’ve built in many different styles over the years, but I always come back to Torres. After all these years, I still feel that the voice of a well-built guitar in this style is absolute perfection. There are obviously other ways to make a guitar, but Torres really defines what I love in the classical guitar and my guitars certainly reflect that influence.
I now build two models of guitars:

My Classic Concert Model is based on the quintessential late 19th/early 20th century guitar. It's mostly inspired by Antonio de Torres, but also by Hauser and Romanillos. It's a full size guitar, but a bit on the smaller side. It has a lush, lively and loose sound. It’s warm in character, but also clear with a defined attack and a very traditional Spanish character.

My Modern Concert Model is a slightly larger shape and my attempt to merge what I like about traditional guitars with what many modern concert players are looking for. That means a slightly stiffer action, a bit more homogeneous response and tone, elevated fingerboard and 20th fret. I do this guitar with a more traditional aesthetic and also with a minimal contemporary aesthetic in terms of decoration.

Michael Cadiz