Pimentel Guitars celebrates 65 years with wide-ranging concert at NHCC

Each guitar maker has his discipline.

From classical to country, the Pimentels continue to be a force in the music world.

Sixty-five years after patriarch Lorenzo Pimentel began the business in New Mexico, his family continues to construct one-of-a-kind guitars.

To help mark the anniversary, Pimentel & Sons Guitar Makers will host a concert on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

“We usually do two concerts a year as part of our Pimentel concert series,” says Rick Pimentel, president of Pimentel Guitars. “This year, we thought we’d celebrate our 65th year.”

The concert will consist of 16 artists, whose music ranges from classical to flamenco and jazz and country.

The show will also be a tribute to the late guitar makers Lorenzo and Augustin Pimentel.

The story begins with Lorenzo Pimentel, who began apprenticing at his brother’s guitar making shop in Mexico.

At age 23, Lorenzo Pimentel moved to the United States and began making guitars at a violin store.

In 1951, he moved to Carlsbad, where he opened his own shop.

Four of his sons embraced his legacy, which has grown worldwide.

“We’ve done so much since my father first started,” Rick Pimentel says. “My father taught us about innovation. This is a big part of our success.”

In the Pimentels’ Northeast Heights building, on any given day, one could find Rick working on a classical or an acoustic guitar.

Meanwhile, Robert specializes in classical guitars.

And Victor specializes in mandolin and ukulele.

“We’ve broken into so many areas of guitar,” Rick Pimentel says. “And the genres of music has grown.”

The company prides itself on building each guitar by hand.

“We build each piece one by one,” he says. “My father taught us about that. It does make a difference, and I think people respect us for still putting the craft into all of it.”

Making a guitar usually takes anywhere from 45 days to three months, depending on the style and aesthetics.

“If there’s a lot of inlay work, then it takes longer,” he says.

Another aspect that makes Pimentel Guitars unique is that the lumber used for the guitars is aged about 15 years inside the warehouse.

“It’s naturally air-dried,” he says. “My dad used to buy lumber and just store it. The aged wood gives the guitar a beautiful tone. You can notice it immediately. We’ve also developed our own way of bracing and patterns for the guitars, which set them apart from others.”

WHERE: Albuquerque Journal Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth SW

HOW MUCH: $22-$32, plus fees at nhccnm.org or 724-4771

Mariachi Tenampa – mariachi

Gustavo Pimentel – classical

Dan Lambert and The Creatures of Habit – jazz-rock fusion

Ambrose Rivera with Trio Bravo – jazz

Harry Irrizarry – world music

John Truitt – flamenco

James Crabtree – popular music

Cali Hughes – indie, country

Gerardo Perez Capdevila – classical

Intermission

The Cibola Quartet – classical

Up a Creek – country

Dennis Hatfield – Americana/folk

Ken Gilman – Celtic

Jerry Robbins and the Mungos – classic rock

Out to Nowhere Jazz Band – Latin jazz

The Water Mountain Jug Band – bluegrass

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