Spanish guitar builder Gerundino Fernández / Eladio Fernández
He was born in Almería, Spain, the son of Isabel García, within a very humble and numerous family he was the eighth of ten brothers). From his childhood he suffered a limp due to polio.
He began to play the guitar from his adolescence, with the bandurrista Manuel Leal and later with Antonio el Sueco.
He initially dedicated himself to carpentry and joinery, until 1956, when he began to work exclusively in the construction of guitars, bandurrias and, especially, flamenco guitars, later known worldwide as gerundinas. His brother, Eladio Fernández, «Niño Alcazaba» helps him, especially to obtain construction materials, thus fulfilling the promise made to his mother.
First Prize at the International Guitar Festival of Ronda, Malaga, in 1978. First Prize and Prize for the Best Acoustics at the Unesco International Competition of Guitar Builders, Paris, 1988.
One of his guitars hit a record high at auction in New York, winning $ 16,730.
Artists and characters who use or have used instruments built by Gerundino or who own one: Pedro Bacán, Paco del Gastor, José Luis Postigo, Vicente Amigo, Juan Martín, Joaquín Amador, Tomatito, Raimundo Amador or the Cordovan based in London, Paco Peña, Eric Clapton, whose students include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has a gerundine. Many pass by his house, such as Pepe Habichuela or Paco de Lucía.
Raimundo Amador has dedicated a record and a song to his flamenco guitar, known as «Gerundina».
Married to Josefa Llamas, he became a widower in 1996, already very affected by osteoarthritis and a progressive deafness that would end up leaving him practically isolated.
He died in Almería on March 14, 2006.
Eladio Fernández is the brother and student of the famous Gerundino Fernández.
At the time when Gerundino began to build guitars, Eladio toured the world as a professional flamenco guitarist.
Then he started building guitars together with his brother.
The two brothers’ workshop is still in Almería today, the place that has produced some famous guitar makers and is also considered the birthplace of the modern guitar (Antonio Torres).
Paco Peña, Tomatito, Pedro Bacán, Raimundo Amador (he dedicated a song on a disc to his guitar that he nicknamed «La Gerundina»)