José Ramírez I

jose1José Ramírez de Galarreta Planet, was born in Madrid in 1858. At the age of 12, he began working as an apprentice in the workshop of Francisco González, who was later to become his Maestro. The Gonzales shop was located on the Carrera de San Jerónimo Street in Madrid.

In 1890 Jose I established himself at Concepción Jerónima nº 2, where his descendants continued to build guitars until the year 1995. Later, the store was relocated to La Paz nº 8, very near the old shop.

Although Francisco González had José Ramírez as his only pupil; José was teacher to his younger brother, Manuel Ramírez, as well as his son, José Ramírez II.

He also taught Enrique García, who later established himself in Barcelona, where he taught Francisco Simplicio, and Julián Gómez Ramírez. He also imparted the trade to Antonio Viudes, Rafael Casana, as well as to Alfonso Benito and Antonio Gómez. Thus, the Ramirez Dynasty began in José Ramírez’s workshop.

José Ramírez was recognized as an outstanding master guitar-maker. Flamenco guitarists would frequently approach him to find a solution for better projection of sound, which lead to José creating the “tablao guitar.”

Although he was in agreement with the design by Torres, he built a larger flamenco model than most classical guitars in those days. The tablao guitar brought him much success, and added to his reputation as a Master Luthier.