An Evening With Jens Ritter To Celebrate UK Launch
A huge thank you to the creative genius that is Jens Ritter for visiting us for our Ritter Instruments launch event held here at the The North American Guitar HQ last week. The night was a huge success filled with stories of Jens' first guitars, the inspiration behind his remarkable instruments and the artists that play them.
The night kicked off as always with a complimentary champagne reception in our showroom, and it was wonderful to see up-and-coming luthiers travelling from all over the UK and Europe to talk to the man behind the guitars, as well as jazz lovers and collectors.
For the evening's guitar demonstrations, it was imperative we had a player who could give Jens' stunning instruments the showcase they deserve, and who better than renowned session player and Guitar Techniques contributor Dario Cortese?
After already playing a matinee performance for London’s best selling show ‘School of Rock’ he calmly arrived at the showroom ready for a night of jazz and a little bit of ROCK. Dario took us through the paces of each of the guitars, focusing on the tone and feel of our new Princess Isabella 'Dirty Blue' to the sheer grit of the Ritter ‘Rock’ guitar The Porsch 'Early dream' guitar.. Yes there may have been a little bit of AC/DC but the neighbours didn’t complain about the noise!
The most enjoyable part of the evening though was the style in which we planned it out. There was none! Jens and I simply sat as we had done the previous week in his home town of Deidersheim over a glass of local wine and talked. It was not an interview as such but more of an insight into who he is, where he started and some incredibly funny and heartwarming stories along the way.
Jens has a wonderful ‘honest’ charm that comes across in everything he does, from his stunning unique guitar designs, to his future art pieces to the brutal honesty of his ups and downs in the guitar business. I think I speak for the entire audience when I say listening to Jens talk about his life and his passion for music and the electric guitar was truly inspiring.
On speaking about how he got to where he is now, he simply said "work hard"! And while the younger luthiers in the audience asked many questions about how he got started and where he got his design ideas from Jens replied, “I built many many guitars and made many many fires from them”. In essence he just said don’t be afraid to build, get it wrong and build again.
As well as many of his anecdotes about some of the incredible artists he has built guitars for, including Prince, George Benson and Mary J Blige, we also took time to discuss his passion for charity and art projects. The most recent being his ‘Pechstein’ Project, where he and local Deidesheim wine maker Kirk Bauer of Kirk’s Total Wine teamed up to build a guitar that had been fermented in wine for one year!
The Pechstein Guitar:
- Body: German Oak ("fermented")
- Neck: Switenia Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Inlay: Vine leaves (designed by Simone Rutz and made from left over wood from the wine barrel)
- Frets: 22 Dunlop 6150 frets - Scale: 24.75"
- Finish: Custom frosted transparent
- Bridge: Schaller STM Custom
- Tuners: Gotoh SGL HAP-A 510
- Electronics: Volume, tone and PU switch
- PUs: Ritter HB-F Humbucker
Watch the Pechstein Project here:
The night ended with a video of Jens' recent art project ‘The Fox’ played by our good friend Adam Miller. This is an art project with his partner Simone Rutz.
We are very proud to have the following Ritter Instruments in stock now:
For more information on Ritter Instruments, please call us on +44 (0) 207 835 5597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a private consultation or to discuss a bespoke Ritter Instrument build.