Garrett Lee has enjoyed careers in research science and lutherie. He earned a doctorate in biochemistry and pursued protein chemistry in academia and the biotechnology industry. His fascination with molecular design and the complexity of biological systems sparked his curiosity in guitars as equally complex systems where structural features determine functional characteristics, such as sound quality and playability.
In 1999, Gary began building classical guitars as hobby and then transitioned to full-time lutherie in 2007. Today, he custom builds approximately ten instruments a year in his workshop in Wayne, New Jersey near New York City. Taking inspiration from the design and tonal quality of guitars from the past, Gary’s guitars blend traditional techniques with contemporary features such as double top soundboards, elevated fingerboards, and adjustable-action necks. Gary’s research background inspires creativity, thoughtful design and exacting execution.
When he is not building guitars, Gary serves on the board of advisors to the New Jersey Guitar and Music Society and regularly lectures on lutherie at guitar festivals and societies. He enjoys traveling and playing music and tennis with his wife, Candace.
About the Lee Guitar Works Logo and Label
The tile “L” pays tribute to Southern Spain where the modern classical guitar was developed. The original image comes from Moorish tiles that I photographed in the gardens of the Royal Alcazar Palace in Sevilla, the city where Antonio de Torres did some of his most influential work from 1845-1869. The tiles shown at right decorated a bench facing a fish pond within a peaceful courtyard.
Interviews and Teaching
Visit the Teaching page for more information about Gary and his teaching.