Dear Harry & William,

Just a bit of holiday cheer to the two of you from a very satisfied client.

Your craftsmanship and personalities make you both gentlemen & scholars in my book.          Sincerely, Salvador Rojas, Milwaukee WI  (see scrapbook)

William Cumpiano and I met in 1964 at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. where we studied Industrial Design. We received our degrees in 1968. Our forty year friendship has been sustained by mutual respect and admiration. I’m extremely fortunate to have known William all these years and am grateful for his influence. In addition to our normal activities of building, repair and teaching we are planning to make a video on guitarmaking, a companion to his book “Guitarmaking, Tradition and Technology” www.w      The video will be one of three planned for the next several years. I enjoy the knowledge that our association is in it’s 5th decade and look forward to the project with a sense of great promise. It appears that  some of our best collaborative creations are still yet to come.

William’s personal accomplishments are too numerous to list here. Aside from being a highly respected and well known Luthier and author, having written “the bible of guitarmaking” as it is referred to in catalogs , he is a musician, teacher, artist  and inventor. He designed a unique device that is pictured here called a “Remora”. It is a bass harp that attaches to a guitar he made for a wonderful musician/composer Sean MacLean. Here you can listen to Sean play one of his compositions.You can read more about this interesting object in William’s scrapbook:  You can read more about Sean MacLean at: 

In addition to the enormous body of work related to guitarmaking Bill has an equally long list of accomplishments related to the Puerto Rican Cuatro, the instrument of his homeland. He has provided a wealth of information about the history and design of this wonderful instrument, available in book and videos, and is regularly hired to lecture on the subject. You can read more about “The Cuatro Project” at: .

It has been my good fortune to have such a learned and interesting person as a business partner. William introduced me to the world of guitarmaking forty years ago. I’ve had the pleasure of becoming familiar with the many different fretted instruments of the Caribbean, Central and South America. I’ve made more than twenty Puerto Rican Cuatros (pictured above) and a  few marimbolas as well. Here I am playing an exceptionally fine mohogany and spruce cuatro made by William. It’s always been a privilege for me to try out William’s instruments. I’ve never played one that didn’t have a wonderful voice, superb craftsmanship and handsome design. Naturally having studied Industrial Design together many years ago we relate to and appreciate each others sense of aesthetics.

More pictures of William’s traditional  Latin American instruments, can be seen at:

Read more about the work of William Cumpiano at