Musical Musings and Memories: An Oral History Conversation with Matt Umanov and Rick Kelly
Dec 14, 2020
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2020-12-14 18:00:002020-12-14 19:00:00America/New_YorkMusical Musings and Memories: An Oral History Conversation with Matt Umanov and Rick KellyMatt Umanov and Rick Kelly have both been immersed in the wo
Matt Umanov and Rick Kelly have both been immersed in the world of Village music for decades through their small businesses and community work. They’re also both subjects of Village Preservation Oral Histories. Join us to celebrate these oral histories, to hear their unparalleled stories, and to check in with Matt and Rick about their businesses and how things have been going.
A New York City native, Matt Umanov knew what he wanted to do from the start. At 18, he was already fixing guitars for the likes of Eric Clapton. In 1969, he and his wife founded Matt Umanov Guitars—a guitar and repair shop that held sway in Greenwich Village until 2017. Today, the brick and mortar retail store is closed, but Matt continues to provide guitar restoration and repair by appointment. In his oral history and Greenwich Village Stories feature, Matt regales listeners and readers with tales of the vibrant Village music scene of the past few decades, when famous folks like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash frequented his shop.
Rick Kelly is the founder and owner of Carmine Street Guitars. Since the 1990s, he has been crafting guitars from reclaimed New York City wood—making use of 200-year-old white pine that would otherwise be discarded from the ceaseless renovations throughout the city, as well as from any recyclable wood that a customer brings him. He has worked with big names like Jim Jarmusch, John Belushi, and David Bowie. In 2018, director Ron Mann made a documentary highlighting this cornerstone Village music institution.
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