Stu Cohen

Stu Cohen's Music Emporium has been a hub for fretted instrument fanatics since its founding in 1968. Last year, Cohen delighted us with tales from the last several decades of instrument foraging; this year he's going back even further...  he'll be discussing the "Banjo Wars: Innovations and Marketing of the Banjo, 1865-1898."

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TJ Thompson

Dana Bourgeois 
Every time we talk to Maine’s Dana Bourgeois we learn something new about guitar construction and tonewoods. Bourgeois was featured in The Fretboard Journal, but he’s also been a guest on our podcast and a frequent resource for our magazine’s editors and writers. At the Summit, he’s offered to give us a top voicing demonstration, finally showing us all what the fuss is about.

Pearl Works

Tony Marcus

Tim Luranc

Rick Turner

Mark Stutman 
Since founding Folkway Music in 1999, Mark Stutman has quickly earned a reputation for not only carrying some of the world’s finest instruments but being able to fix them, as well. A former student of Sergei de Jonge, Stutman is one of the go-to repairmen for high-end vintage instruments and counts among his clients Ry Cooder and Joe Henry. We interviewed Stutman back in 2013 for this site.


Howard Klepper 
Howard Klepper began repairing guitars in the late 1960s. In the 1970s he had a repair shop in Berkley and began building acoustic guitars. He then took a 20-year break from instruments to pursue careers in law and philosophy. He decided to return to working with his hands in 1997 after holding academic positions at institutions including Harvard and Stanford Universities. In 2007, Howard moved to the wine country of Sonoma, California where he built his dream shop for lutherie. He mainly build steel-string flattop guitars, but also makes arch tops, classicals and solid-body electrics. Howard is also known for restorations, conversion, and reproductions of vintage Martin and Gibson guitars (subjects that he will discuss at the Summit).