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New Orleans Luthier Jimmy Foster Dies

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New Orleans Luthier Jimmy Foster Dies

Foster Guitars Royal Archtop
New Orleans, LA (May 2, 2011) -- Acclaimed luthier and jazz guitarist Jimmy Foster passed away on April 26 at age 62. For more than 30 years, Foster honed his unique form of guitar craft by creating archtop, acoustic, and solidbody electric guitars, and counted Paul Simon as one of his biggest fans.

Originally, Foster made a living repairing cars, but soon after word got out about his guitar crafting skills, he closed down the body shop and began to design and create his own line of guitars. In addition to his reputation as a luthier, Foster was a very accomplished jazz guitarist who played regular gigs right up until his death.

Foster's love of his hometown of New Orleans extended into the names of the models of his guitars. Archtops such as the Royale, the Crescent City Classic, and the St. Charles Avenue were commonly seen in the hands of jazz guitarists Steve Masakowski, Howard Alden, and Howard Morgen. Foster sometimes worked as much as six months to create a high-end guitar.

In an interview published on his website, Foster describes how being a musician influences his designs. “Being a player has been the most important asset to my guitar building. It helps me to be in tune with other players’ needs. Most importantly, I have learned how to make a guitar that will last a lifetime and will hopefully give a player a lifetime of enjoyment.”

For more information:
Jimmy Foster Memorial Page
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