Wayne Henderson and Friends
Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia; his guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of “Masters of the Steel-String Guitar”, and in seven nations in Asia. In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Doc Watson, a good friend who sometimes stops at Wayne’s shop in Rugby, VA, to pick a few tunes, owns a Henderson mandolin. He said, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”
Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.” There is a waiting list for Henderson’s guitars made up of the “famous (and not-so-famous)”.
Above and beyond his great talents as a musician and luthier, Wayne Henderson is known as a “friend to everyone” and shares his talents and knowledge unselfishly.
The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition was established in 1995 to express appreciation for this “living legend”. A portion of the proceeds from the Festival are placed into a scholarship fund to aid local young musicians in continuing their educations.
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