The Mendocino Guitar Workshop is a week-long, all ages, intensive guitar retreat for intermediate and advanced guitar players interested in fingerstyle and classical guitar technique, performance, and composition. The workshop takes place every July at the Albion Field Station where the Albion River flows into the Pacific Ocean on the scenic Mendocino Coast of Northern California. Alex and Andrew share their insights into their unique styles via master classes, lecture demos, one-on-one lessons, and an opportunity to perform in the workshop ensemble.

Mendocino Coast

Guest Workshops at MGW 2019

badi assad & diego figueiredo on july 19

Albion Field Station, Albion CA

Over the years we have been fortunate to snag some great guitar players to do a guest workshop with us while they are on tour in the neighborhood. Previous guests have included Sean McGowen, Serge Merlaud (w/Tierny Sutton), Ed Gerhard and Badi Assad. This year Badi will be joining us for a second time along with another amazing Brazilian guitarist, Diego Figueiredo.

The two will be performing on a double bill at the Mendocino Music Festival on Thursday, July 19 and they will be visiting our workshop earlier that day.

Badi Assad
Ms Assad takes the listener on a personal musical journey – diving deep in to fiery lusciousness….Assad’s astonishing guitar lines and voluptuous vocals abound…
“Diego Figueiredo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life." (George Benson)

Mendocino Guitar Workshop

Monday, July 15 3pm – Sunday, July 21 11am

Albion Field Station, Albion CA

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Mendocino Summer Guitar Workshop with Alex de Grassi and Andrew York will be taking place July 15-21 at the Albion Retreat and Learning Center in Albion, just 7 miles south of the historic town of Mendocino on California’s stunning north coast.

This is a hands-on interactive workshop for intermediate and advanced guitarists and for singers who play guitar. The workshop will focus on performing, arranging, and composing for fingerstyle and classical guitar, but we welcome players of all backgrounds. 

Alex and Andrew will share their insights into the techniques and inspiration that have become an integral part of their unique styles.

Alex de Grassi and Andrew York, Photo by Irene Young

North Coast Luthiers Exhibit

July 12- 27

Panache, Highlight, and Prentice Galleries on Main Street, Mendocino

July 18, 4:30-6:30pm Reception with the luthiers simultaneously at all 3 galleries

Guitarists, like other musicians, are perpetually on a quest for an instrument that offers both playability—some might say a great “feel”—and the sound quality that best meets their needs for expression. If they can’t find what they are looking for among the big manufacturers of new guitars, they might turn to a limited production maker, or even order a custom instrument from a boutique builder where they can choose among tone-woods, top-woods, and other specifications within the guitar maker’s range of options. These are the kind of guitars typically shown at exhibits in conjunction with guitar shows and festivals all over the world and some of the makers of those guitars live right here in Mendocino County.

What is a luthier (LOOTH-ee-er]? The word derives from the French word for one who makes lutes—an early ancestor of the guitar—and while the term also applies to builders of bowed stringed instruments such as the violin family, today it is most often used to describe makers of plucked stringed instruments such as guitars, ukeleles, lutes, ouds, and yes, even banjos. Many keen observers of the history of guitar believe we are living in the Golden Age of lutherie, and certainly the quality, quantity, and diversity of handmade guitars being produced today stand as a testament to that notion. The multitude of choices facing a guitar player in search of their ideal instrument today is truly staggering!

This July, in cooperation with both the Mendocino Guitar Workshop and the Mendocino Music Festival, three of the art galleries on Main Street in the village of Mendocino—Prentice, Highlight and Panache–will participate in an exhibit featuring six of our county’s guitar makers with each gallery showing a few curated instruments alongside other works of art. The six luthiers participating are David Dart, Gregory Byers, Ken Franklin, Rick Micheletti, Steve Porter, and Morgan Daniel. The selection will cover a variety of instruments including classical guitars, steel-string acoustics, electric guitars, ukeleles, and perhaps even a lute.

The exhibit will run from July 12-27 and all three galleries will be hosting a reception with the luthiers present on Thursday, July 18 from 4:30-6:30 pm, just prior to the Mendocino Music Festival’s guitar concert across the street in the big tent featuring Brazilian virtuosos Badi Assad and Diego Figueiredo. Come check out some cool guitars, learn about the art of lutherie, and then hear two of the world’s finest guitarists make them sing!

Ken Franklin, Luthier – Cerise
David Dart, Luthier – Lap Slide
Gregory Byers, Luthier – Classical
Morgan Daniel, Luthier – T-Style Electric
Rick Micheletti, Luthier – Koa Acoustic
Steve Porter, Luthier – Classical

Guitars in the Village

Friday, July 19 3-5pm

Participating shops and galleries around the village of Mendocino

Most of the students who attend the Mendocino Guitar Workshop are eager for a chance to play for the public and nearly all of them have been performing in school concerts, coffee shops, competitions, and some been entertaining audiences professionally or semi-professionally for many years. With that in mind, we introduced the Guitars in the Village in cooperation with the Mendocino Music Festival in 2018, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic so we will be doing it again this year. Guitar players of all stripes will once again be deployed in shops and galleries throughout the village for two hours on Friday afternoon playing everything from classical to popular songs, adding a little spice to the already festive atmosphere of the Mendocino Music Festival.

Playing Guitar

Alex de Grassi & Andrew York & Workshop Students at the Mendocino Music Festival

Saturday, July 20, 2:30pm

Preston Hall, Mendocino

Alex and Andrew have been performing a number of concerts together for the past seven years in a program equally divided between duos and solos. Blending the sounds of steel and nylon strings, their repertoire consists of original compositions and arrangements that cross many genres—from classical, to folk, to pop and even improvisational jazz.  Original, contemporary compositions for two guitars stand side by side with arrangements of Mick Jagger’s Paint it Black and the folk classic Shady Grove.

The duo has been performing together at the Mendocino Music Festival every year since 2016 when Los Angeles-based Andrew York joined Alex in teaching at the Mendocino Guitar Workshop. A highlight of each concert is a guitar ensemble performance of an original composition composed expressly for the workshop by Alex—sometimes featuring Andrew and Alex in the ensemble as well. Check out the video to get an idea what to expect. Always something fresh off the page at this concert! 

Backstage at the Mendocino Music Festival