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D’Angelico Guitars at Promenade Music











Promenade Music are delighted to be one of the largest stockists and main dealers for D'Angelico in the UK.

Take a look at the D'Angelico Guitars at Promenade Music

Here's the background to D'Angelico

1905 – The Legend Was Born
John D’Angelico was born in Little Italy, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. At the age of nine, he became apprentice to his grand uncle [Signor Ciani], an expert violin and mandolin maker. This apprenticeship became the basis for the construction principles he later incorporated into his world-renowned archtop guitars.

1932 – John D’Angelico's First Shop
John D'Angelico's first shop was located at 40 Kenmare Street in New York City’s Little Italy. The shop was small and perfect for his humble business. D'Angelico's instruments were strictly hand-made, and made in 'very' limited numbers. During the late 1930s, John made around 35 instruments per year with the help of two workers which was how the master-luthier preferred to work.

1944 – A Symbol of New York
1940s New York was defined by the wake of World War II. Guitar players in the services and at home turned to John D'Angelico for their instruments. John's recognition as the “finest builder of archtop guitars” later brought offers from larger companies, but John already knew his answer: "Big money? Big title? For what? "I want to build guitars under my own name, for my own customers, the way I do it! For me, that's a good life!"

1952 – John D'Angelico's Apprentice (James D'Aquisto)
James D'Aquisto was a New York-based jazz guitarist and bassist. As a teenager, he visited John D'Angelico's workshop and was immediately entranced by the idea of instrument building. James was offered a job – as an apprentice – in 1952 at the age of seventeen. James D’Aquisto was on $35 a week, cleaning the windows, running small errands and sweeping the floors. Unbeknownst to both James and John, D’Aquisto would go on to preserve the D’Angelico legend for generations to come.

1964 – John D'Angelico's Death
Throughout the early 1960s, John D’Angelico’s health was slowly failing. As the only other worker in the workshop, James D’Aquisto gradually took over more of the instrument production. In the bitter cold winter of 1964, John D'Angelico passed away from heart failure at the age of fifty-nine years old. After inheriting “the bench,” James D’Aquisto eventually purchased the shop from the D'Angelico family, but later built guitars under his own name. Today, both John D'Angelico and James D'Aquisto are regarded as the two greatest archtop guitar makers of the 20th century.

1999 – D'Angelico's New Owners

In 1999, Guitar industry guru Steve Pisani, American entrepreneur John Ferolito Jr, and D'Angelico CEO Brenden Cohen purchased D’Angelico from John Ferolito Sr who’d owned D'Angelico since the early 1980's. Steve Pisani is a fantastic guy with many years of experience in the guitar industry. When Steve talks about the desirability of a D'Angelico guitar, he talks about when Les Paul tried Bucky Pizzarelli’s D’Angelico guitar. Les took it away to play, and a year or so later, Les still had it and was doing a concert and photographed with Bucky's D'Angelico. Bucky saw the picture and called Les and said, "Les, listen, I want my guitar back." Les said, "I’ll give you two [Gibson] Les Pauls for it." Bucky told him to "go jump in a lake." Love that story! Brenden Cohen [D'Angelico's CEO] said "Our team at D'Angelico promises to build instruments that respect and honor John D’Angelico’s legacy of excellence and carry on the tradition of one of the world’s finest guitar brands,".

2011 – D'Angelico's Return
Renewed desire for quality archtops and a major 2011 exhibition featuring John D'Angelico at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art ['Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York'] fueled interest in D'Angelico guitars again. The timing was perfect as D'Angelico had new management, state of the art manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. In the early months, D'Angelico were working under the radar; creating and perfecting a line of authentic reissues that delivered the legendry D'Angelico quality, for an affordable price. The new models were enthusiastically embraced by a revitalized audience and D'Angelico soon found itself among the most established brands in the industry.

Today – D'Angelico at Promenade Music
Over the years since 1932, D'Angelico's moved from that first tiny shop in 'Little Italy' to a sprawling showroom in bustling midtown Manhattan. D'Angelico's promise remains the same today as John D'Angelico's in 1932 which is "to produce exceptional guitars". They are upholding the legacy of John, and Promenade Music are proud to be a part of it. D'Angelico guitars are in the hands of hugely influential artists [see below] and their guitars are back for good! They offer reissue models, new semi-hollow designs, acoustics and solid-body collection which are defined by their remarkable quality and tone. D’Angelico maintain their legend by guaranteeing the utmost quality instruments made with the utmost passion. If you're ever in Manhattan, make an appointment and visit the D’Angelico showroom at 141 West 28th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001. [They ask you give them at least three days notice prior to your intended visit].

D'Angelico Players, Owners & Collectors
When he began building guitars in 1932, John D’Angelico held the belief that the player comes first. Over the years, D'Angelico players, owners and collectors include;
– Pete Townshend (The Who)
– Eric Clapton (Recipient of 18 Grammys)
– Bucky Pizzarelli (Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli)
– Chet Atkins (Recipient of 14 Grammys)
– Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
– Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
– Johnny Smith (Count Basie, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton)
– Joe Pass (Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald)
– Kenny Burrell (Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith, Billie Holiday)
– Barney Kessel (Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Sam Cooke)
– Chuck Wayne (Woody Herman, George Shearing, Tony Bennett)
– Bob Weir (Grateful Dead)
– Kenny Loggins (Michael McDonald, 'King of the Movie Soundtrack')
– Chino Moreno (The Deftones)
– Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)
– Russell Malone (Harry Connick Jr, Diana Krall)
– Kurt Rosenwinkel (Gary Burton, Eric Clapton)
– Fabrizio Sotti (Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston)
– Luke Pritchard (The Kooks)
– Isaiah Sharkey (John Mayer)
– Lionel Loueke (Herbie Hancock)
– Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band),
– Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan)
– Elliot Easton (The Cars)
– Jared Scharff (Saturday Night Live)
– Nels Cline (Wilco)
– Jon Oddie (Wolf Alice)
– Bootsy Collins (James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic)
Take a look at the D'Angelico Guitars at Promenade Music

Call Promenade Music on 01524 410202 for more information or email us at [email protected]