Felix Martin: Venezuelan Guitarist Wows Pittsburgh

Words and photos:  Stephanie Connell

On Wednesday, March 8, Felix Martin and his band entered the ballroom at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy in Pittsburgh.  The James Street Speakeasy is a unique venue.  It has a jazzy, 1920s prohibition feel.   The ballroom itself, complete with a small bar and a man painting in the corner, felt more relaxed than I expected.  The venue had a formal, historic air mixing with today’s informal culture.

It was the perfect setting for Felix Martin, and his band (bassist Killian Duarte and drummer Victor Alvarez).

I have had minimal experience with musicians who play specialized guitars.  Most of my experience included very traditional sounds.  It had never crossed my mind that a guitar with more than six strings would be used for heavy metal.  Felix Martin greatly raised my expectations of this type of music.  His music has a heavier sound than I expected.

The band had a very positive attitude throughout the show.  Some technical difficulties stopped the show for a few minutes, and, even then, the group smiled and laughed.  The songs they played included Cardboard Roofs and Flashback.  Felix Martin left the crowd smiling and excited for the headliner for the night, Consider the Source.

FELIX MARTIN is a Venezuelan guitarist who is pioneering a style of playing the electric guitar by performing simultaneously with two of them as if they were one, creating a new sound on the instrument.

Felix is pushing music into new boundaries by mixing Rock and Metal with different styles such as Jazz, Progressive, World, Latin, Fusion, etc. The uniqueness of his guitars and technique allows him to create distinguished sounds that makes the music sound unique.

Felix has toured with his band that includes Berklee Alumni drummers and bassist Kilian Duarte throughout the USA, Europe and South America. Played in festivals such as Progressive Nation, SXSW, Euroblast, Tech-Fest and many more.

Felix uses his self-designed 14 and 16-string guitars, which are two regular guitars in one, in a way never seen or heard before. This opens up a new and hidden world for the electric guitar and instrumental music. Felix pioneered this style of playing at the age of 13, and as of 2014, he remains the only one in the world who plays this way (Felix Martin Facebook).

 

Funny or Die: Shawn Mendes Is A Diva

Canadian pop star and teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes may appear sweet and polite on the outside, however behind closed doors he is nothing but a self-absorbed diva!

Shawn Mendes Is A Diva

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Real Guitars Made from Real Skateboards

Real Guitars Made from Real Skateboards

From Skate Park to Studio: Prisma Guitars Makes Musical Dreams a Reality

SAN FRANCISCO —What started as a love for two hobbies is evolving into a passion for one business. Today, Prisma Guitars is driven by the goal of building custom guitars with a one-of-a-kind style where instruments are all 100% handcrafted from the wood of recycled skateboard decks and custom engineered for the highest quality sound.

Prisma offers musicians the opportunity to customize every feature in building their dream guitar, from body shapes and pickups to necks, bridges, and knobs. Prisma electric guitars have six body shapes that can be built entirely with skateboards, a skateboard top and mahogany or alder back, or with a hollow body. In addition to using their own stock of skateboards, Prisma is able to build a guitar with a customer’s skateboards at no extra charge.

Necks are available in multiple profiles in four styles: skateboard, mahogany or maple with rosewood fingerboard, or one-piece maple. Each neck has a 12’’ inch radius and 25.5’’ scale length with a hand-shaped Graph Tech nut at 1 5/8’’ width. Prisma uses only hand-wound pickups from McNelly Pickups and David Allen Pickups, and all guitars are built exclusively with Emerson Custom electronics. Tone Pro or Mastery bridges are available, and an Allen key Hot Rod truss rod anchors the body, which has a 100% nitrocellulose instrument lacquer finish.

Prisma also builds custom bass guitars in two body styles with three wood options: mahogany back with skate top, alder back with skate top, or full skateboard. A maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard is available along with three finish types and several other customizable features.

 

Pricing for custom guitars begins at $2,500 and orders take approximately eight to twelve weeks to complete. Left-handed models are available at no extra cost, and all instruments come with a travel-ready MONO bag. Guitars can be shipped internationally.

Tapping into local SF culture, Prisma also offers pre-built series guitars with select customizable features. The Sunset Series pays homage to Prisma’s Sunset District neighborhood, home to Ocean Beach, where surfing and skateboarding are a way of life. Each guitar in this series is a vibrant pastel that is meant to represent a house in the neighborhood. Loaded with McNelly x Prisma pickups, the series features handmade skateboard knobs and a custom Decoboom pickguard inspired by 1970s surf culture.

“Skateboards are made with seven layers of hard rock maple— a familiar guitar wood— and some of the layers are randomly dyed colors. Through working the materials, we get the colors to come through,” says Nick Pourfard, founder of Prisma Guitars. “Every single time I build one, it’s a different result. I never make the same guitar twice.”

For a behind-the-scenes look at the Prisma design process, check out this video that features a demo by professional skateboarder and musician Tommy Guerrero. To learn more about custom Prisma Guitars, visit www.PrismaGuitars.com.

About Prisma Guitars 

Prisma Guitars was founded in 2015 by 24-year-old Nick Pourfard, a self-taught woodworker and industrial design student based in San Francisco. Inspired by his love of skateboarding and music, Nick decided to combine the two to create colorful guitars using broken and used skateboard decks. He has created custom guitars for stylistically diverse musicians at home and abroad, including international icon Steve Harris of the band Iron Maiden. Prisma Guitars are all 100% handmade in the USA, and the colors are completely one-of-a-kind for every build. To learn more, visitwww.PrismaGuitars.com.

Cort Guitars Releases AB850F Acoustic Bass Model

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—In the spirit of back-to-school season, Cort Guitars invites you to meet the new acoustic bass in class: the AB850F. The AB850F features the same high-quality craftsmanship as its classmates with the latest Fishman electronics resulting in a big natural acoustic sound with plenty of volume to anchor the low-end in any musical setting.

unnamed (4)A signature feature of Cort acoustic basses is the full-size, jumbo body that measures 110-135mm. This depth produces a huge, full-bodied sound with plenty of bass and volume. Available in natural or black finish, the AB850F body features a dovetail neck joint and Venetian cutaway for easy high-fret access. Advanced scalloped x-bracing provides exceptional sturdiness beneath the surface.

The AB850F’s wood construction is best-in-class and best-in-sound. Spruce is an overwhelmingly popular choice for the acoustic top because of its ability to provide an excellent balance between strength and flexibility. The AB850F’s spruce top has a versatile sonic character that makes it ideal for a variety of musical genres and playing styles. Equally as popular on acoustic models are the AB850F’s mahogany back and sides that are bright, yet natural with a strong and warm midrange.

This quality acoustic bass has a 43mm nut width at the neck and a standard 34’’ scale length that complements the jumbo-size body for an expansive sound with enhanced string vibration. The 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay leads down to an esthetic multiple rosette that complements the rosewood bridge.

The AB850F is equipped with the Fishman ISYS + EQ. Featuring a 2-band equalizer, LED tuner and phase control along with Sonicore pickup, these high-quality electronics deliver the signature Fishman sound as well as excellent amplification.

Competitively priced at $449.99 MSRP, the AB850F provides big sound at big value and comes standard with a gig bag. For more information, and to find a Cort dealer, visit the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.

About Cort Guitars

Cort designs, manufactures, and delivers some of the finest guitars and basses to musicians and music enthusiasts all around the world. Over the past 50 years, the company has worked with some of the largest and most well-recognized guitar companies in the industry as well as artists of international recognition. Cort remains focused on providing instruments that will last generations with the best workmanship possible, the best materials and components, and the best service long after the instruments have been purchased. For more information, visit www.cortguitars.com.