Benedetto Guitars Moves Headquarters, Manufacturing and Design Operations to Savannah

Apr 20, 2006, 01:00 ET from Savannah Economic Development Authority from ,The Creative Coast

    SAVANNAH, Ga., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's foremost archtop
 guitar-maker, Robert Benedetto, no longer affiliated with Fender Musical
 Instruments Corporation of Corona, CA as of March 2006, will locate his new
 headquarters and manufacturing operation to Savannah this year.
     Benedetto guitars are internationally renowned for their exquisite
 design and craftsmanship. They represent the highest class of jazz guitar,
 already part of the Smithsonian's collection. Last December, master jazz
 guitarist John "Bucky" Pizzarelli donated one of his famous seven-string
 guitars -- made for him by master craftsman Bob Benedetto -- to the
 Smithsonian. On April 26, they will celebrate the generosity of this jazz
 icon with a concert.
     Benedetto Guitars will be leasing 15 - 20,000 sq. ft. in Savannah and
 is expected to initially employ eighteen individuals -- from master guitar
 makers to purchasing and sales professionals. They expect to produce 60
 instruments per month after 15 months, and 110 per month after 36 months.
 The diverse product line will range from one-of-a-kind custom instruments
 priced at $45,000+ to their professional line priced from $3,000.
 Operations are set to begin with the identification of a facility and
 financial coordination.
     While Benedetto himself continues to carve out the future of his
 product line, local musician and former Chatham Steel executive Howard Paul
 will focus full time on the daily operation of the business as president.
 Benedetto Guitars will continue to offer flagship models, such as the
 Manhattan and Fratello, and will also focus on new, competitively priced
     "With its culture, enthusiasm and charm, Savannah is the perfect fit,"
 said Bob Benedetto.
     The impressive and diverse board of directors includes Jerry Sims,
 President, Sims Music; Percy Leaper, Chairman/CEO Alta Technologies; David
 Miner, President, Miner Vineyard; and Randall Kremer, Director of Public
 Affairs, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. (Bios
 included in media kit.)
     Once again, the Savannah Economic Development Authority and The
 Creative Coast Initiative partnered successfully to land this unique
 project and showcase the local assets that make Savannah the best fit for
 Benedetto's company. In their search, company officials met with economic
 development officials in Nashville and Atlanta.
     With the addition of Benedetto Guitars to the area, Savannah is further
 building on its reputation as a creative hotspot for a growing cluster of
 exceptional instrument and furniture craftsmen. In excellent company,
 Benedetto will join Randy Woods Guitars, Gretsch Guitars, Guenther Wood
 Group and Harry Lane Banjos.
     Currently, Benedetto guitars can be purchased in Savannah through their
 exclusive local distributor, Annie's Guitars. There are other Savannah
 connections, too. In 2000, the Savannah College of Art and Design featured
 the Benedetto Players Concert and Blue Guitar Exhibit. And, a 2004 Savannah
 Music Festival production in Trustees Theater showcased the extraordinary
 Benedetto guitars. Residents and festival-goers can expect more of such
 musical opportunities in the future!
     Note to editors:
     Robert Benedetto is widely acknowledged as today's foremost maker of
 archtop guitars. Over a prolific four-decade career, he has personally
 handcrafted nearly 800 instruments, including 500 archtops. In 2006,
 Benedetto joined forces with Howard Paul to bring Benedetto Guitars to the
 next level, manufacturing a broad line of more affordable professional
 instruments without compromising the unparalleled Benedetto worldwide
 reputation for singular quality. The company, to be located in Savannah,
 Georgia, will play a part in both the business and cultural communities.
 For more information visit
     The Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) works to improve the
 standard of living for all citizens of Chatham County by stimulating the
 economy through the attraction of new investment, the creation of jobs and
 the support of established businesses in the area. In 2005, SEDA was
 involved in the creation of 1,434 new jobs at build-out and the generation
 of $269,200,000 in new investment in Chatham County. For more information
     The Creative Coast Initiative (TCCi),, is
 designed to grow and attract knowledge businesses to add to Savannah's
 growing higher-wage economic capacity. Since its inception two years ago,
 TCCi has been instrumental in assisting fourteen companies to locate in
 Savannah and hire employees in the area.

SOURCE Savannah Economic Development Authority; The Creative Coast