About Robert Benedetto

Premier archtop luthier Robert Benedetto since 1968_revRobert Benedetto is widely acknowledged as today’s foremost maker of archtop guitars. Over a prolific 50 year career, he has personally handcrafted nearly 1,000 instruments, including 500 archtops. “My roots are in jazz guitar. It’s been my love and my focus since Day One.”

Luthier_Robert_Benedetto_in_1976Young Bob Benedetto with archtop circa 1959Robert Benedetto was born October 22, 1946 in the Bronx, New York, into a family of artists, cabinet makers and musicians. He made his first archtop guitar in 1968. His reputation grew as he crafted guitars for noted players Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, Joe Diorio and Cal Collins, and, later, Johnny Smith, Jack Wilkins, Ron Eschete, Martin Taylor, Howard Alden, John Pizzarelli, Andy Summers, Jimmy Bruno and Kenny Burrell (collectively known as “The Benedetto Players”). His guitars appear on countless recordings, TV & film soundtracks, in videos, books, magazines, museums (including the Smithsonian Institution) and concerts worldwide.

Bob and Cindy Benedetto Uncle Mike Farm 1975BenedettoPlayersCONCERTGROUP98Benedettoblueguitar smithsonianpostereschetevignolaandysummersmackenzielagtrfestival1999bobbarryphoto-galleryIn 1975, Bob and Cindy (Whyte) were married. For 40 years, Cindy has photographed and extensively documented Bob’s guitars and their players. In 1994, they published the landmark book, Making an Archtop Guitar, following it in 1996 with its companion video, Archtop Guitar Design & Construction. That same year, Cindy organized the Benedetto Players in Concert series. In 2004, Mel Bay Publications produced the acclaimed “Benedetto: Body and Soul” DVD, a biography by William Doyle.

BillSchultz-Fender&BobBenedettobob-benedetto-and-bucky-pizzarelli-walking-at-bucky-saddle-river-nj-home-1995Benedetto Guitars-Americane made since 1968Johnny Smith and Bob Benedetto Corona 2004From 1999-2006, Benedetto had a licensing agreement with Fender Musical Instruments to produce his models in a small, controlled manufacturing environment. Signature models for Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Jack Wilkins and Howard Alden were also created.

Bob Benedetto Howard Paul at Benedetto Guitars, Savannah GA 2006 photo by Chris MassaBenedetto-Guitars-Board-of-Directors-Savannah-Georgia-2006bob-damon-and-howard-in-hr-office-11-12-13-for-fb-TEXTBob Benedetto (with Larry Camp's guitar) Benedetto Guitars Savannah GA Feb 2014In 2006, Benedetto joined forces with Howard Paul to create Benedetto Guitars, Inc, in Savannah, Georgia, manufacturing a broad line of more affordable professional instruments without compromising the unparalleled Benedetto worldwide reputation for singular quality. The company plays a part in both the business and cultural communities.

Bob Benedetto Bill Neale with Benedetto Amps Cherry Hill NJ Nov 2014Benedetto Carino Amps press photoIn 2014, Benedetto partnered with Bill Neale to make Benedetto Amps,  American made jazz combo amps.

In 2018, a Benedetto 50th Anniversary concert was presented by the Savannah Music Festival featuring Howard Alden, Chico Pinheiro, Romero Lubambo, “King” Solomon Hicks and Pat Martino. The Second Edition of his book “Making an Archtop Guitar” was published in 2018 (Centerstream Publishing/Hal Leonard).

Beginning January 2015, Benedetto began a change in composition:  Bob and his wife Cindy are enjoying a “retirement” lifestyle that allows them to focus on their other interests including Benedetto Amps, Bob’s painting and sculpturing hobbies, Cindy’s archival of the Benedetto history, and of course lots of guitar gigs for Bob!  Bob’s longtime apprentice, Master Luthier Damon Mailand has taken the reigns as Production Manager, training new luthiers, carving magnificent arch tops at Bob’s personal workbench, and providing the quality control to maintain Benedetto’s unimpeachable reputation as the best in the world.

Benedetto Body and Soul DVD“Bob Benedetto is the foremost builder of archtop guitars in the world. With tools that had belonged to his grandfather and tools that he made himself, he started making guitars entirely by hand (in 1968). He rose to become the standard bearer of a tradition of hand craftsmanship that threads its way back through the work of John D’Angelico, Orville Gibson, Lloyd Loar and even further to the centuries-old reverence for artistry and craft that is so much a part of the Italian and Italian-American heritage.”   TOM WHEELER, Renowned Guitar Historian, Author of The Guitar Book; American Guitars; The Stratocaster Chronicles; former Editor in Chief, Guitar Player Magazine

Bob Cindy Benedetto Bio Photo WebCindy and Bob Benedetto LA BELLA booth NAMM 1989“I can think of no two people in the history of lutherie who have done more to increase appreciation for the archtop guitar than Bob and Cindy Benedetto.”
Randall Kremer, Smithsonian Institution

Bob Benedetto in his NJ shop 1975BOBBenedetto-Players-Guild-JazzMastersConcert-LA-NAMM-2000-galleryVelvetonesBand with Bob BenedettoRobert Benedetto Violin No 149 made in East Stroudsburg PA 1997 gallery photo April 2014BenedettoPizzarelliEatPasta EStroudsburgPA1997 AJohn-and-Bucky-Pizzarelli-with-Bob-Benedetto-and-25th-Anniversary-Benedetto-Guitar-May-1993-galleryBob Benedetto with Concord Jazz Guitar Collective Philly 1996galleryjackbobfratellospa1998gallerybobmetalblueguitarchinerysgallerygrappellihugscindybobnj95galleryaldensbobcydpa92galleryaldenbobbensongenebertjohnnysmithcindybenedetto98lespaulcydbobbenedetto96nycMel Bay and Bob Benedetto NAMM 1996randallbobbrunoburrell97johnpizzbobpashop96NorbertSketchOnConcer97tProgramNewsJackWilkinsWithCindyB-left-andFriend4-92PAJackWilkinsWithBobB4-92PAShopGtr15588scottchineryblueguitartv10-97_abenedettosmithsonianelectricgtrexhibitnov1996BarneyKesselTributeNYC6-97randallkremer-cindy-benedetto-smithsonian-1996benedetto-guitars-christmas-postcard-1995-posted-dec-2013-front-gallery1Quotes from Benedetto's Making An Archtop Guitar Rear Coverbobbenedettostardusters1968buckygrappellinicefrance1979Bob-Damon-great-shop-pic-laughing-1-22-14-GalleryBob Benedetto with archtop guitar 1960TRIOminerbenedettowineWilkinsAldenBruno_KesselTribute6-97Newsbenedetto-guitars-group-photo-savannah-ga-7-31-13-aAugi LoPrinzi Joe Diorio Bob Benedetto NAMM 1979 galleryBenedetto-Players-Savannah-Jazz-Festival-2004-JJG-ad-galleryBenedetto Players Jazz Guitar Heaven marquis SMF 2004 for Steve WagnerBenedetto Players backstage Savannah Music Festival 4-1-04 group photoBenedetto Players concert 1997 group photo LIAdrian Ingram with Benedetto Players 1998BPConcert1998_GroupNews1-22-10Benedettofingerplanesonbenedettograppelliviolin Photo by Jon LevinTony Mottola Bob Benedetto BuckyPizzarelli NJ April 1980Bob Benedetto and Bruce Bolen Summer NAMM June 2008Cindy Benedetto & Atilla Zoller NAMM 1995 La Bella boothMiner Benedetto Wine DSC_0060Smithsonian Institution April 2006 Bob Benedetto with Howard Paul Gary Sturm Pizzarelli 7-stringWillie Fritscher, Tim Shaw and Bob Benedetto Guild Guitars circa 2000Chuck Wayne with his custom Benedetto 1982benedettodevitochuckwayne1981NAMM 1980 Chicago - Mel Bay, George Van Eps, John D'Addario Sr, Augi LoPrinzi, Bob BenedettoDan Armstrong and Bob Benedetto NAMM 1980 ChicagoNAMM 1987 Benedetto Guitars booth Joe Diorio Cindy Benedetto Jack CecchiniEd Benson and Bob Sally's duo 2-25-14 smiling Gallery photoAlden Bruno Vignola Pizzarelli Benedetto Waterloo Village Jazz June 1996bobcindybenedetto-savannah-ga-shop11-8-11-webBenedettos and Gretsches Dinner 7-25-0920th Anniversary of Making an Archtop Guitar by Robert Benedetto 2014Bob and Benedetto Carino Amps 10-29-14Bob Benedetto Oct 2014Howard Bob and their Benedettos 12-10-14