“We are rooted in the music community”: Trujillo family crafts old-world string instruments in Westminster

Saturday, 21 October 2017, 06:19:15 AM. Mi Vida Strings, a stringed instrument repair and rental shop, has sent violins across the world and restored instruments for musicians ranging from metro area school students to Bob Dylan.
The smooth tune flowing from Michele Trujillo’s violin carries surprisingly well over the harsh sound of metal scraping steadily against wood. As she plays an excerpt of “Butterfly’s Day Out” by composer Mark O’Connor on a violin named Candice, her husband, Eric, stands bent over a table using a quarter-sized metal plane to shape a slat of spruce into what will soon be the polished body of a new violin. The couple’s 1,000-square-foot shop is snug at the end of a row of small businesses along busy 72nd Avenue in Westminster. Eric’s work table, covered in curled wood shavings, faces the window. He enjoys both the natural light and catching the interest of passersby. Visitors are often welcomed by the toe-tapping tunes of Cuban musical group Buena Vista Social Club — one of the couple’s favorite bands. The music emanates from a large retro-looking radio and has a slightly grainy quality that makes you feel nostalgic. Eric’s work space fills the front half of the shop — shiny, hollow violin bodies line the walls, a plank of wood showing the curvy outline of the instrument it’s soon to become sits on a small table, and a vintage-looking double bass lies with its body open, waiting for Eric’s hands to mend tiny nicks and cracks. “This is a spruce wood. This usually comes from the Carpathian Mountains, or Italy, which is where I buy all my tonewoods from,” Eric said, gesturing to the violin in progress. “This is a frame for the famous Guarneri del Gesu violins,” he added, pointing...Read more
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