SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Legendary guitarist Frank Gambale has just concluded a traveling acoustic guitar clinic in Asia. Beginning in China and ending in South Korea, the tour gave audiences a rare glimpse into Gambale’s acoustic guitar prowess and inspirational wisdom. It also spotlighted the Frank Gambale Luxe Signature Model, an acoustic-electric guitar by Cort. Ideal for all types of playing from high speed soloing to strumming folk songs because of the unique strings and action set up. The Luxe is a truly unique acoustic envisioned by the man himself. Spanning three weeks, the Gambale clinics traveled to nine venues in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Audiences at these venues varied from experienced, gigging guitarists to self-taught players. They all came to watch and learn from Gambale, a GRAMMY® Award-winning innovator and the originator of the “Gambale Sweep Picking Technique.” Gambale has written hundreds of songs published on more than 20 albums. He has toured internationally with his own groups, as well as the band Vital Information and several of jazz pianist Chick Corea’s bands. A “musician’s musician,” Gambale has authored many of the popular and best selling guitar instructional books and DVDs ever produced which have had a huge impact on guitar players’ musical understanding worldwide. His styles vary from rock, funk and jazz, to R&B and some Latin and Brazilian influences. Through his collaboration with Cort, Gambale set out to create an acoustic guitar for electric guitarists.
“I really love being involved in the design of guitars,” Gambale told an audience in Jakarta. “So I had a lot of ideas for this guitar, and I’m very happy to say that Cort listened to all of my ideas.” He explained how a lot of guitar companies approach musicians for sponsorship and maybe change only one feature on a pre-existing model, and put their name on it with no innovation. However, Cort allowed Gambale to start from scratch, making this a unique collaboration. He specifically wanted a small-bodied, concert-style guitar with a big tone. He also wanted the instrument set up to his specifications—low action from the factory, extra-light strings, and a plain G string that can be bent.
Cort also achieved Gambale’s ideal sonic quality by using fine materials. The Luxe Signature Model has a solid Adirondack spruce top and a flamed Australian blackwood body—a material that nods to Gambale’s roots. The neck is solid mahogany, while the fingerboard, bridge and headstock are ebony. Gambale designed a custom wood rosette and a unique inlay on the neck that takes design cues from the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 30s. Inspired by his daughter, he also added a three-jeweled design on the headstock. The Luxe has a sonically enhanced UV finish and is equipped with the L.R. Baggs EAS-VTC EQ. This electronic system is invisible because the volume and tone wheels are tucked inside at the top of the soundhole.
“Cort has delivered a really beautiful instrument, and it plays like a dream! All Frank Gambale Luxe come set up from the factory exactly the same as mine, which was very brave of Cort to take this chance. It is the first guitar of its kind to come from the factory set up with this kind of custom light gauge strings and low action. This is amazing to me in 2016. In my opinion acoustic guitars are generally way too hard to play with standard factory set up. It’s time to change that. It’s a simple thing, but it has never been done before. I want people to pick up the Frank Gambale Luxe, and not want to ever put it down. No fatigue, no sore fingers just straight to playing and the joy which a beautifully set-up guitar brings to the player, right from the factory!” Gambale said. As a point of comparison, he added “Cort’s Luxe matches the quality of a Martin or Taylor for a fraction of the price.”
To learn more about the Frank Gambale Luxe Signature Model by Cort, visit www.cortluxe.com.
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.