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Hedvig Mollestad’s main guitar is a blonde 1988 Gibson ES-335 Showcase Edition, which she modified with ’57 Classic humbuckers, Bigsby tremolo, and gold hardware.

Photo by Julia Marie Naglestad

After seven albums with her trio, the avant-garde Norwegian guitarist branches out and collaborates with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra on a concept album, Maternity Beat, which explores themes of empathy and parenthood, inspired by displaced persons fleeing war.

For a stiff contraption of metal and wood, the guitar can convey an extraordinary range of human emotions. Combine it with an 11-piece ensemble and the options expand like a flower. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad, her blonde Gibson ES-335 in hand, revels in these myriad possibilities on her latest album Maternity Beat, a commissioned project with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. (Previous TJO guest collaborators include Chick Corea and Joshua Redman—not too shabby.)

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Rig Rundown: Ariel Posen [2023]

The silky smooth slide man may raise a few eyebrows with his gear—a hollow, steel-bodied baritone and .017s on a Jazzmaster—but every note and tone he plays sounds just right.

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Fender unveils a Blue Marlin finish for the historic H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster guitar—a launch that established H.E.R. as the first Black female signature artist in Fender’s 77-year history.

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