Photo Galleries > 2013 Auction "Reflections" (15) > Cigar Box Guitars
Cipriano Vigil was born and raised in the small village of Chamisal, New Mexico where he received his early education. Part of that education was in the local schools, but most importantly, it came from his mother and grandparents, and from the local musicians. One of the most influential learning experiences was gathering at the "Resolanas", the sunny side of a house, to play music. Several musicians of all ages would gather there to practice and also to share music and songs.
Cipriano has also maintained a tradition his father used to do of building cigar box guitars. The musical instruments derived in New Mexico from the Bandurria and the Vihuela, which are Spanish instruments. He has been making these guitars for the past 10 years in the schools.
When Cipriano first began playing he was largely self-taught but went on to earn a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a PhD in Ethnomusicology. He began his career as a professor at Norhern New Mexico College (NNMC) in 1980. Because of his love of muic and teaching, he has continued to work after retirement at NNMC as part-time instructor in folk music.
Cipriano has presented music at the Smithsonian Institute, in classrooms of New Mexico, and at cowboy poetry gatherings. His presentations consist not only of traditional New Mexico folk music but also La Nueva Cancion (the new songs), a style that originated in South America. In his many presentations at the local schools, he brings part of his collection of over three hundred musical instruments from around the world.