Danny Fonfeder is an entrepreneur. His love of music dates back to when he heard “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith for the first time at age 11. He was instantly hooked.
He began to carry a radio everywhere tuned to the local rock station. His world opened up to the music of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Jethro Tull and the Beatles. He memorized lyrics, chord changes and special “riffs” and “licks”. Then for his 13th birthday, his three cousins chipped in to buy him his first guitar. With single-minded focus, he taught himself to play and began writing songs.
He found that the guitar could express moods from joyous to pensive, dark to playful and witty. As he learned to play from the heart, the guitar became central to his life, an essential companion through good times and bad. Over time, his taste in music expanded to include the classical guitar of musicians like Julien Bream and jazz guitarists such as Pat Metheney.
Years later on a business trip to Asia for his company Buffalo East Cantra, he traveled to Bali to enjoy the island’s gentle life-style and see its renowned arts and crafts first hand.
But Danny had forgotten his guitar in Hong Kong. A taxi driver took him to the largest music store on the Island where he found four inexpensive guitars, none of them made in Bali and all of them third-rate musical instruments. Having no choice, he bought the best of the lot.Driving back to his hotel, he noticed hundreds of stores specializing in finely carved furniture, plates and bowls, sculptures and other wood artifacts using age-old traditional designs. On impulse, Danny asked his taxi driver to take him to the best woodcarving shop where he met owner and master carver, Wayan Tuges. Together Danny and Wayan cut open the new guitar to examine the structure, the wood, the way in which the neck was attached to the body. Both men were excited at the possibilities. Danny agreed to finance Wayan to build six guitars based on the now dissected instrument.
When Danny returned to Bali a few months later, Wayan had completed two guitars. The carved instruments were the most beautiful guitars Danny had ever seen, but their sound was abysmal. The search for a world-class luthier began.
Danny found George Morris in rural Vermont, George had been teaching the art of guitar making for over 25 years. Both George and his wife had spent time in Bali studying Balinese Batik art so he immediately recognized the potential of marrying the carving genius of the Balinese with the crafting of a fine musical instrument.
Shortly afterwards, Danny founded Blueberry Guitars (named after his third daughter, Talia Blueberry or “Bluey”) in partnership with Wayan Tuges and George Morris. Now they are bringing their unique line of guitars to the world.
“The world of music and particularly guitar music has been a source of joy and strength all my life. As a businessman, Blueberry Guitars is my way of giving back some of that joy. With my partners George and Wayan, we have achieved a singular union of aesthetic beauty and exquisite sound.”
How often do you get to actually talk to the owner,founder and maker of a guitar company. Danny Fonfeder is a great guy to talk to. He will tell you every thing you need to know and truly has a passion for his Blueberry guitars. This guitar is nothing short of spectacular to look at and sounds as good as it looks. If it were stolen, Oh yeah…I would replace it.