Rochester , N.Y.
First guitar 1961 a little "no name" from Shebarassi Music, and Saturday lessons w/ Marty Shebarassi, an accordion playing big band leader .
In my mother's mind, guitar meant classical/flamenco. A style that I balked at for years . My Conde Hermanos flamenco guitar from Madrid set me on a whole different course than originally planned.
All good. A few years later I started studying with Stan Watson at Hochstein Music School where my siblings and I were taking lessons. Another teacher there was Vinnie Ruggiero . My brother was taking lessons with him, and my dad struck up a friendship which led to our families hanging out on holidays. Dad was a charmer, but soon I was hanging out with Vinnie on gigs, and at his home, which led to opening my ears to new music. So Stan was teaching me to play and Vinnie was giving me a crash course through listening to classic Miles, Coltrane, and most especially Bird. The language of Jazz.
Early teen years I spent learning current tunes off the radio, House of The Rising Sun, Simon and Garfunkel. That sort of thing. The Beatles, acoustic guitars, and coffee houses .
A first band with Paradise Hotel led me to electric guitars and amps another whole world divided from
nylon strings , acoustic guitars and playing without a pick.
Stan Watson was as much a composer and philosopher as he was a world class guitarist. To me at that time, he was my guru.
Vinnie and Mary Ruggiero in our living room in Perinton, NY. Wonderful people I loved them both,Vinnie was a monster drummer and dedicated teacher.
Moving to Arizona in 1977 led me to studying at Mesa College, playing corporate events, and putting together a career that allowed me to work and play with many fine performers and
Dennis Sexton & Yonattan Miller, Sedona wedding
Grant Wolf ; I got kicked out of band in high school. Bad rap if you ask me.
Grant Wolf welcomed me back to the fold when I started college in 1980. I was his secretary, a work/study job which opened some interesting doors for me. Trips to play at Disneyland and my years with the Monday Night Big Band are great memories.
John Knowlton, and Dennis Sexton veterans of the Phoenix music scene. They've performed together in many musical groups and productions around Arizona and the Phoenix area. Most recently, a ten year steady engagement in Chandler.
Occasionally paired as a duo, playing jazz and pop standards, John and Dennis have also focused on the music of Mose Allison who passed away in 2016. Since the late 70's, Mose hired Dennis as his bassist when touring Arizona and surrounding western states. Having admired the work of Mose for many years, John performs several of his obliquely humorous compositions.
My wife Kathy has been a tremendous support, and has given me strength to move creatively through life.
Our daughter Janelle reminds me that there are good people all around that want to help.
Love and Happiness,
Jai Guru Dev,
Cheers and Ciao!
REGAL Model 27
Often, players will gravitate toward one particular style of music and or instrument. This hasn't been the case with me. as I mentioned before, my early nylon string playing was not self induced, nonetheless It did give me a sense of the guitar as a fluid medium to play with.
Fast forward, I'm now feeling like a kid again because I've acquired these 2 new voices quite unexpectedly through a family connection.
Both from the same household, The original owners John and Jaretty both musicians in the Ozark area of Missouri, were good players judging from the fret board wear, and general condition of the instruments. Nonetheless, one could tell that they were kept in repair
at least to the point of playability.
What they didn't realize in guitar history is that the medal body National Triolian had many features that were engineered by John Dopyero. He wasn't quite satisfied with the bridge /biscuit assembly and wanted to change it but the owner of National Guitars wanted to hurry the production of their new instrument.
Unsatisfied with National for a variety of reasons, John Dopyero leaves National, and forms Dobro with his 2 brothers, thus the name Dobro.
Below, the National Triolian is a good example of the guitar that spun into Dobro. The Regal company for about a decade was the Dobro brand east of the Mississippi. This wooden body model 27, although being their least expensive model, has the "improved" resonator design which John Dopyero wanted to use for the Triolian.
John and Jaretty Nesbit
A special thanks to the Pitchford family for placing their family heirlooms in my care. Here's to another 80 years of music.
Thanks also to Marc Schoenberger from National Guitars for his superb knowledge about the Triolian and the restoration of my instrument to playability. I have no doubt that it will probably outlast me. Play on....
Regal model 27
Medal body, National Triolian