(Duplicated from my Facebook page)

For those looking for something refreshingly different at Anaheim, California’s NAMM show this weekend, I would highly recommend seeking out Italian guitar virtuoso Filippo Bertipaglia. He’ll be playing throughout the weekend for 4 vendors: L. R. Baggs, Godin, D. V. Mark and Gokko. Readers may recall that I wrote about serendipitously discovering him at NAMM in my blog last year: https://www.harpguitars.net/2019/01/winter-namm-2019/ (if you’re curious, the first thing he played for us last year that I fell in love with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx2VVONj_iw

My opinion of The World’s Greatest Guitarist You’ve Never Heard Of has only intensified, especially after these last two full days of being privately serenaded when my wife and I hosted Filippo at our home.

As Filippo can play every style of plectrum, fingerstyle, hybrid-picking and classical guitar, I had grandiose plans of capturing him playing various guitars in my museum. As he was nursing a sprained finger, I didn’t dare try to force the issue, though the sounds I heard on these instruments were astounding (and he got his first harp guitar lesson)! Someday…

Left, with my 1983 Peñalver “M. C. Escher inside-out” Spanish guitar.
Right, getting his 24 frets with the 1920s Maccaferri harp.

I did manage to capture a new never-before-recorded piece (video to come).

With his custom 24-fret steel-string

Here’s an abbreviated description of his music (mind you, I’ve got zero stake in his future, I’m just a fan): What springs to MY mind is:

What the French Impressionists from Debussy to Milhaud are to that genre, Filippo is to Italy. Aurally, his sophisticated flights of fantasy – originals and the occasional cover arrangement – consist of breathtaking complexity and unnerving beauty. And always melody (if not of the “easy listening” background music variety). Visually, it is simply mesmerizing – as if each finger has a mind of its own. This weekend I learned why. He doesn’t write on his instrument (a 24-fret cutaway Seagull), he writes in his head (and heart), meticulously notates it, then finds a way to PLAY it – inventing new techniques, growing extra fingers, whatever it takes! The result is always uncompromising and fearless, near-impossible yet flawless. What a thrill to fully immerse myself in his process and oeuvre this weekend. (More good news: his first CD has completed recording.) A musician’s musician, I hope the general public will stop and take him in.

Meanwhile, we treated him to a drive to the beach…

Zoolandering it up at Malibu Beach. One of us was once employed as a magazine model. You have to guess which.

Tidepool Jeopardy. What is “What the hell is that?”

Filippo’s first sunset on the Pacific.

Saying goodbye to Jaci and Maezi.