Manuel Rodriguez, Jr. (b. 1962) is a third generation luthier, raised in the family business established by his grandfather and father of building fine handmade guitars for the world's preeminent artists. When Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. passed away on December 25, 2008, he left a legacy of quality and craftsmanship. Manuel Sr was the grandson of flamenco guitarist, Manuel Rodriguez Marequi, and son of Manuel Rodriguez Pérez (1887-1958) who began building classical guitars in 1905.
Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. (born 1926) began learning the art of guitar construction when he was 13, working with his father in workshop of José Ramirez Ii. In 1955 he opened his own workshop in Madrid. In 1959, he married and moved to Los Angeles, California where his two sons, Manuel Rodriguez Moreno and Norman were born in 1962 and 1965 respectively.
Manuel Rodriguez Sr spent 14 years in the United States, building instruments for professionals, actors, teachers, and students. While in Los Angeles, he also conducted research with engineers at UCLA to improve the guitar design.
Upon his return to Madrid in 1973, he developed a dual approach to building: making his own handmade guitars in his workshop, and using workmen to building high quality student guitars. In recent years, the Rodriguez family has become increasing concerned about the future of tropical forests and endangered woods, and are committed to using non-endangered woods that offer the same quality of sound. Manuel Rodriguez Jr is now building an exclusive line of guitars for Zavaleta's inspired by those of the old Madrid School masters: Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso, etc.