Linda Manzer in her workshop with The Blue Absynthe – 2022
Linda Manzer was born in Toronto, Canada and made her first guitar at age twelve. Manzer was able to follow her muse of woodworking at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. While at that school, Manzer made a fateful visit to the studio of Canadian luthier, Jean Larrivée with whom she apprenticed under from 1974 to 1978 and sparked her creative inspiration to quit art school and dedicate herself to lutherie.
In 1978, Manzer decided to set up her own guitar making shop, and four years later in 1982 met the legendary guitarist Pat Metheny, sparking a lifelong collaboration. Manzer has built over twenty five instruments for Metheny including one with three necks, two soundholes, and forty-two strings named the Pikasso. Shortly after meeting Metheny, Manzer received a grant to study archtop guitar building with James D’Aquisto at his Long Island studio. Manzer has gone on to be one of the most respected luthiers of our time, and continues to hand craft beautiful instruments for celebrity musicians and the general public at her shop in Canada.
Since making her Blue Guitar, Linda has become in a sense a spiritual center of the luthiers involved. As John Zeidler grew ill shortly after the Collection was completed, Linda organized 14 luthiers, many of whom she met for the first time through Scott Chinery, into “the Zeidler Project“, where they each contributed some element, be it front, the back, the sides, the neck, the inlays, the bridge, etc., onto a commemorative guitar that was sold with the proceeds going to help finance the Zeidler children’s college education. While she has been at the center of other important guitar collections (most notably the “Group of Seven” project comprised of Canadian luthiers connected to Jean Larrivée, in 2022 she created the Sunflower Guitar project, which is raising money to help Ukrainian families displaced by war. The Sunflower Guitar is passing from hand to hand between many of the great guitarists and luthiers in the world, with people like James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Gordon Lightfoot, Geddy Lee, Pat Metheny, Bruce Forman, Graham Nash, Emmy Lou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Glaser and others collaborating to raise humanitarian funds for the Ukrainian families torn apart by war. You can contribute to this effort as well by donating to sunflowerguitar.com.
Linda Manzer’s Blue Absynthe was inspired by absinthe, a very popular liqueur in turn-of-the century France. Like the drink, this guitar truly is highly intoxicating and ever so mythical with its creative and innovative design. The most distinctive feature of this guitar is the sliding sound door on the upper bout made of ebony with an underside of curly maple and allows the player to redirect a significant amount of sound to or from the source of the music. The guitar is constructed with a European Spruce top, European flamed maple, back sides and neck wood. The fingerboard, bridge, tailpiece, pickguard, tuning buttons, truss rod cover and headstock veneer, are all ebony as are all the bindings. Abalone inlays are used on the fingerboard, and floral headstock display, and pearl is used for the logo inscription on the headstock.