If you’re in the hunt for a great instrument at a great price, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out about some of Cusco's most skilled and lesser-known luthiers.
Tunquipa instruments is a great shop located on Bellavista street, where the weekly Saturday baratillo market takes place. This small shop is always bustling with the commotion of musicians and luthiers coming and going. When visiting their shop, it’s very likely you’ll stumble-in on an impromptu jam session.
Luise Tunquipa, owner of Instrumentos Tunquipa told me,
“It’s more art than anything. I can invest my energy into making a beautiful instrument for the love of making a piece of art. What I want to do is make great instruments. It’s not to make money and throw things together. Everything we make goes for providing our families and making a basic living. “
Guitarras Maque (Maque Guitars) is a reputable family run luthier shop, located on Bellavista street, which has been in business for over a hundred years. The family specializes in guitars, charangos, bandurias, and drums. They can whip you up a custom-made instrument in a few day’s time.
“I’ve been working on instruments from when my heart started beating. My dad made instruments, and in that way, I continue making instruments. I play music, and I love art, and so I build instruments.”
Without a doubt, Sabino is Cusco’s most well-known celebrity luthier. City tours make a point of visiting his shop on their trips through Cusco, because of his reputation, and his charming personality. You find his shop in the neighborhood of San Blas, in the street of Carmen Alto.
He is known as one of the best luthiers for the banduria and the mandolin. He is known around the world for his work. His instruments don’t come cheap though; expect to pay at least twice as much for an instrument as other luthiers are charging.
How to purchase an instrument from one of these luthiers, even if you don't live in Peru
Even if you can't make it yourself to Cusco in order to buy an instrument,
If you are able to visit Cusco
With the exception of Sabino, whose shop is located in San Blas, almost all of Cusco’s artisan luthiers can be found in the neighborhood of Santiago, on Bellavista street. This is the same street that is taken over on Saturdays by the Baratillo flea market. During the rest of the week, you’ll find a quieter environment where the sound of live music and the whine of carpentry tools can be heard.
If you live somewhere else in the world
If you can't visit the shops in person but still are interested in purchasing a musical instrument from one of these luthiers, fret now. I can help you to find the instrument of your dreams, or better yet, to help you to connect with and communicate with a luthier in order to custom build the instrument of your dreams.
If you have any questions about luthiers of Cusco and their shops, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]
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