My wife Sheila found Luthier Stephen Hill on the internet and discovered that he ran guitar building courses in La Herradura in Spain. We decided that this was an excellent opportunity for me to fulfil my long held dream of building a Flamenco guitar and in Andalucía the home of flamenco as well - perfect.

Having grown up in Central Africa, I wanted to have Africa in my first guitar and so after some detailed wood research I chose a lovely piece of figured Black limba (Terminalia Superba) for the back and sides of my creation. Black limba grows in Central and West Africa and has been cultivated in sustainable plantations for many years.

I found another maker on the web who has made a Classical guitar with this wood but I could not find any other examples that it has been used to make a Flamenco guitar.

I thoroughly enjoyed the month long course and finally hearing the guitar with strings on for the first time was quite an emotional experience. Although the course was quite intensive, it was not pressurised and with a lovely guitar at the end, it more than met my expectations.

You can see an "Elf like" face in the back of the guitar which lead to me name the guitar El Duende, which in Spanish means the Flamenco Spirit.

Hear how El Duende sounded just four days after he was finished, at the European Institute of Guitar Making end of course Diploma Ceremony, which was held at the former house of Andres Segovia in La Herradura, Granada, in Spain. El Duende is played by top local flamenco guitarist, Mark Shurey (Pimientito).


You can see the results in these two albums created around the building process and the final french polishing.

Duende Polished

Duende Polished

Duende Polished Photographs by Charlie G Jackson

Duende Build

Duende Build


  • Scale Length: 660mm
  • ​Nut: 52mm
  • ​European Spruce Soundboard
  • ​Black Limba Back, Sides and Head-plate
  • ​Brazilian Cedar Neck
  • ​Ebony Fingerboard
  • ​Madagascan Rosewood Bridge
  • ​Madagascan Rosewood Bindings
  • ​Der Jung Tuners

Not For Sale

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