I’m Jim Kozel, a Cleveland-based luthier. I am also a guitarist, songwriter and teacher. Music is the heart and soul of my life. I have been performing my musical stories for well over half a century; setting up, repairing and building instruments for nearly that long. Your instrument needs to fit you like a comfortable old pair of jeans. I approach every repair, setup or commission with that in mind. This website was created as a BLOG space so you can leave comments and ask questions.
When I’m not repairing, restoring or setting up guitars for local and not-so-local musicians, you can find me playing one of my guitars. Today I took a musical lunch break to relax with one of my compositions, Moonrise.
This 60 year old DiMauro gypsy jazz guitar came into the shop with a previous headstock repair. It had failed. This challenging repair required lot’s of planning. Here’s the long repair process condensed into a 7 minute video.
As a Cleveland area luthier, it’s a joy to return a repaired or restored instrument to its owner. Sometimes I get lucky and the shop gets filled with music for a bit. That’s exactly what happend when Toni Huff Medley picked up her 1965 Gibson J-45 12-string. This video is less about the repair and more about Toni getting re-acquainted with her old friend, new strings and all.
I will be giving a workshop on fingerstyle ukulele at the Blue Sky Folk Festival (www.neomha.com) in Kirtland, Ohio on Saturday, September 16th. The workshop is from 2 – 2:45pm. Here’s a short video on some of the content that will be covered.
Beard cones and spiders are considered a high end upgrade for most dobros. Here’s how we did the Beard cone and spider upgrade on Josh Stevens‘s dobro. The first part of the video talks about the difference between dobros and resonators.
As a Cleveland area luthier, it’s always a pleasure to hear some of the finest local professionals play their instruments after I’ve done a repair or setup for them. I spend time with every customer when they bring me an instrument to ensure that the repair and setup is matched as much as possible to their playing style. Here’s a short clip of Ryan Manthey playing his repaired and setup 000 “Donna”.
The seasonal changes in the Great Lakes region, including the Cleveland area and northeast Ohio, keep my life as a luthier and guitar repair person busy with frequent adjustments to optimize guitar setup. Here’s a video on how truss rod adjustment can address buzzing rattling strings and stiff action.