Grit Laskin created this guitar inspired by the work of F.H. Varley. Laskin will be in discussion with celebrated guitarist Jesse Cook in a moderated conversation as well as a live performance, with Cook playing this very special guitar.
William “Grit” Laskin wears many hats. His primary one is that of guitarmaker, a profession he has pursued since 1971. His steel-string, classical and flamenco guitars are known and coveted around the world. Players of his instruments include: k.d.lang, Ben Mink, Rik Emmett, Tom Cochrane, Jesse Cook, Wayne Johnson, Tom Chapin, Garnet Rogers, Stan Rogers, Ottmar Liebert, Ken Whiteley, James Keelaghan, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Kobukuro (Japan), Lillebjorn Nilsen (Norway). Commissions from guitarmaker colleagues and others within the trade include: Bill Collings (Collings Guitars, Texas), Roger Sadowsky (Sadowsky Guitars, New York), Dick Boak (director, Martin Guitars, PA), Larry Sifel (pres., Pearlworks, MD), Chuck Erickson (Duke Of Pearl Llc.) His current waiting list of commissions is over 25 months long. In 1997, He received Canada’s prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award For Excellence, the first and only instrument maker to be so honoured. He is also an elected fellow of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, (RCA) and included both in the University Of Toronto’s “Who’s Who In Canada” as well as the Encyclopedia of Music In Canada. In 2010 He was awarded the Estelle Klein Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Folk Music. Most recently (2012) he was named to the Order Of Canada (C.M.)., Canada’s highest civilian honour.
Jesse Arnaud Cook is a Canadian guitarist, composer, and producer. Widely considered one of the most influential figures in nuevo flamenco music, he incorporates elements of flamenco rumba, jazz and many forms of world music into his work. He is a Juno Award winner, Acoustic Guitar Player’s Choice Award silver winner in the Flamenco Category, and a three-time winner of the Canadian Smooth Jazz award for Guitarist of the Year. He has recorded on the EMI, E1 Music and Narada labels and has sold over 1.5 million records worldwide.