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December 4, 2018







Purchase Tickets


Celebrating the Electric Guitar – Past, Present and Future

Panel discussion with:
Jack Schwarz – President CEO Fano Guitars
Ryan Zalevsky – Senior Research & Design Engineer Fender
Richard Walter – Curator – The Electric Guitar Exhibit – MIM
Alan di Perna – Writer for Guitar World, Guitar Afficionado and others
Steve Davis – Custom Electric Guitar Builder, instructor at Roberto-Venn

Special performance by:
Anthony Mazzella – ‘Top Ten Guitarists in the World’ – Guitar One Magazine


The electric guitar is one of the most influential musical instruments of all time. Its fascinating history and the electrifying moments that have changed our world will be discussed by a panel hosted by the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, at The Listening Room in Phoenix on Tuesday, December 4th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

Noted fingerstyle and electric guitarist Anthony Mazzella will lead off the evening with excerpts from his ‘Legends of Guitar’ concert.  Panelists Jack Schwarz, Ryan Zalevsky, Alan di Perna, Dr. Richard Walter and Steve Davis will give an overview of the past, present and future of the electric guitar, in addition to their response to prepared questions and questions from the audience.

Dr. Richard Walter, curator of the newly installed exhibit ‘The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon’ at the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) will give a brief history of the ‘pioneers’ of the electric guitar, including visual images of rare instruments, their inventors and the players who popularized an instrument that has ‘revolutionized music and popular culture forever.’

Jack Schwarz, CEO/President of Fano Guitars and former Vice President of Fender, and Ryan Zalevsky, current Senior Research and Design Engineer for Fender, will share stories and give a behind the scenes look at the roles they’ve played, both as entrepreneurs and as employees in support of the design and manufacture of guitars made by Fender, the world’s largest guitar company.

Writer Alan di Perna will draw anecdotes and tales from his books and the many interviews he’s conducted with electric guitar rock royalty, and the impacts the electric guitar has had on cultural and music history, politics, and business.  A longtime contributor to Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado and many other music publications, Alan recently co-authored the book “Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar” –  a must read for musicians, guitarists and music fans.

Steve Davis, luthier and chief electric guitar instructor at Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery will provide personal reflections from the viewpoint of an individual builder, with slides of his 6, 7 and 8 string ‘extended range’ electric guitars.  Steve will also answer questions about the many pathways to a creative vocation in guitar building and repair.

William Eaton, co-founder and Director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, will act as moderator. Roberto-Venn is the longest running guitar making school in North America and since 1975 has graduated over 2500 students.  Graduates work for large and small guitar making companies, music stores, apprentice with custom guitar makers, tour with bands as guitar techs, create their own custom guitar making start-ups, and find other related luthier jobs. Roberto-Venn is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

While the panel will converse about the evolution of the electric guitar they will also discuss the current state of the ‘art’ and future predictions of this iconic musical instrument.  Recent years have produced many skeptics and articles from prestigious publications declaring “The Demise of the Electric Guitar in Music” (Forbes) and “Why My Guitar Gently Weeps – the slow death of the six-string electric” (Washington Post), among others.  While other sources report that “Guitars Aren’t Dying They Are Popular As Ever” (Rolling Stone) citing industry reports in addition to various surveys.  Who are today’s buyers of the electric guitar?  Has technology in music and recording equipment changed the role of the electric guitar?  Who and where are the present and future iconic players of the electric guitar?

Are you a guitar player, musician, fan of electric guitar music?  Are you interested in how guitars are made or a possible career in the guitar making industry?  Come listen at The Listening Room Phoenix, participate in the conversation, and enjoy live music with Anthony Mazzella, named as one of the Top 10 Guitarists in the world by Guitar One Magazine.


The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon

New Exhibit at the MIM:

Link to Alan’s book – Amazon: Play It Loud, An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar

Anthony Mazzella:



Important Information about your visit to The Listening Room Phoenix
The Listening Room Phoenix is centrally located in midtown Phoenix AZ and is open to audiences who appreciate great acoustic music.Some performances are pre-sale ticketed and some are at-door pricing. Your purchase will go a very long way in keeping each artist on their path to success and keeping The Listening Room a healthy destination for great music in Phoenix. Audiences are participating in a live video recording of the performance. Your entrance to The Listening Room Phoenix is consent to be photographed and filmed.

The Listening Room Phoenix shares its home with Mazvo Auto Car Care Center on the west side of 7th Street, south of the traffic light at E. Highland Rd., tucked away from the street at 4614 N 7th Street, Phoenix 85014. Additional parking is available on E. Meadowbrook Road, only steps from The Listening Room Phoenix.