Mike Kelly Guitar

Local Luthier Donates Guitar to the Artists in Schools Program.


Local Luthier, Mike Kelly, has been woodworking all of his life and began making guitars about 9 years ago.  He makes about five or six guitars a year and enjoys it a lot.  “I was extremely lucky to find Brandt Larsen, a long time luthier and instrument builder, who patiently and generously shared his knowledge, skills, and encouragement while teaching me this very rewarding craft,” says Mike.  “I’m happy to say that several local musicians play guitars that I have built; Lynn Zanetta,  Mark Daigle, Paul Deville, B.J. Jordan, and my teacher, Brandt Larsen.”  


The students of Loyalton and Downieville Schools are also lucky because Mike has donated one of these fine instruments to the Sierra County Arts Council’s, Artist in School Program raffle/drawing.  In the wake of drastic cutbacks to arts education, the Artists in Schools Program brings local artists and musicians into our schools to teach our students. “This is a parlor size, steel string guitar.  The back and sides are made of Indian Rosewood.  The top is Sitka Spruce.  The bridge and fingerboard are Ebony.  The neck is Mahogany,” says Mike. 


This guitar was recently seen raising funds at the Loyalton School’s annual Christmas show where students from Randy Prichard’s Artists in Schools music program performed.  “I love my guitar,” says local musician, B.J. Jordan.  “I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 years old and have never owned a guitar that sounds and plays as beautifully as this.  There is so much hidden talent in Sierra County.  I can’t believe that we have guitars of this quality being made locally.”


To catch the sound of Mike’s guitars, come to the Yuba Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30pm right after the Cabin Fever Spaghetti Feed in Downieville.  Local musicians will be playing Mike’s guitars at Home Grown Talent open mic, sponsored by the Sierra County Arts Council.  You may also purchase raffle/drawing tickets and the chance to win this beautiful handmade guitar at this event.


If you are interested in owning one of Mike’s guitars you may contact him at (530)289-3588 or email at  katie@gardenfok.com.  Information on Sierra County Arts Council events and the guitar raffle/drawing may be found on the Council’s website, www.sierracountyartscouncil.org, email info@sierracountyartscouncil.org or by calling (530)289-9822.  A special thank you to Mike Kelly for donating this guitar to raise funds to keep art and music education in our schools.

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