“Zebulon Turrentine is the son of a timber framer and visual artist, born in the first log cabin his father ever built and was raised as the 4th generation on that family farm. His grandmother, a Julliard trained pianist, exposed him to classical music at a young age, and he later came to study classical guitar performance at Shenandoah Conservatory. During and after conservatory studies, he built guitars for Gallagher Guitar Company in Wartrace, TN. He later worked in the Peace Corps and ran a non-profit organization. These experiences coalesced into the creation of his own workshop where he works full-time handcrafting classical guitars near Cookeville, TN. Owners of these guitars include performers and collectors around the world.
Aesthetics aside, building the great guitar is the ultimate fusion of intuition and objective reasoning. In many respects the guitar is an infinitely complex system, but it has many properties that are quantifiable. My general rule with a system so complex – quantify and record what is known without losing sight of the big picture. In this case, “the big picture” refers to visualizing the end product down to the smallest sensory detail. For instance, luthiers can record everything knowable about the material properties of their work, but if they lack a strong, sensory perception of the end product, then they are working without the most vital metric.
Every guitar I build begins with handling the materials involved and forming that initial visualization of the guitar they are about to create. As I visualize this completed instrument throughout the various stages of the building process, I am continually placing this vision within the context of measurable criteria. These criteria always represent my current understanding of how the ideal guitar can be measured and iterated.”
- taken from Zebulon Turrentine website
Quite a few players use Zeb’s guitar, including Dieter Hennings, Stanley Yates, John Rivera-Pico. Rafael Scarfullery, Tom Torrisi, Chris Lee and Chris Roseland
For my part, a conversation with Zeb made it an easy decision to have him send me an example of his work. He is quite knowledgeable, funny and most talented.
Turns out #60 a 640mm scale Cedar with Wenge was a happy discovery with clean lines, excellent workmanship, a great sound, forceful and pointed in her tonal reproduction. I am quite pleased to have this guitar in the gallery, to welcome Zeb to my family of luthiers that I work with, all while looking forward to seeing much more of his work during the ensuing years.