Martin D-28 guitar

A Martin D-28 Guitar.

We are thrilled to share that an anonymous supporter has generously agreed to donate the proceeds from the sale of his family’s 1965 Martin D-28 guitar to Swallow Hill Music. This Friend of Swallow Hill will be donating up to $5,000 as a matching gift if we raise $5,000 by October 8, 2021. Will you help unlock this generous gift? 


Your gift to Swallow Hill makes it possible for youth and adults, from all income levels and every walk of life, to experience the joy of music every day. With your support, Swallow Hill will continue its rich history of bringing people together to learn about, listen to, and perform music. There is no donation amount that is too small!

What’s so special about this guitar?

The Martin D-28 is a storied instrument played over the years by the likes of Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Hank Williams, and Neil Young. In fact, Neil’s D-28 once belonged to Hank Williams.

Martin D-28 Guitar headstock

The headstock of a Martin D-28 guitar.

The 1965 Martin D-28 at the center of our challenge walked into The Denver Folklore Center earlier this summer and their Business Manager Jeff Jaros immediately knew it was a special instrument. 

“It was in very nice shape, excellent shape,” Jeff, who is also a Swallow Hill Instructor, told us. Part of how the D-28 gets its signature resonant sound is that it is made out of Brazilian Rosewood, which is now rarely used in guitar manufacturing due to scarcity, but it remains widely sought out among guitar aficionados. 

This particular guitar was special, too, because it belonged to the deceased father of the man who brought it into The Denver Folklore Center. His father loved the instrument, played it regularly, and took great care of it. No one else in the family plays the guitar so they wanted to pass it on to someone who would appreciate it as much as their father, but they wanted the sale to have meaning. 

“The son was not quite sure what they wanted to do with that D-28,” Jeff told us. “But he wanted some sort of legacy for his father that would carry on in music.”

Jeff spoke with the son more and learned “(that) his mother and he wanted to donate the money to a worthy musical place where people are helped musically.”

And that’s where Jeff and Saul suggested the donation go to Swallow Hill Music.

Being in excellent shape and a highly sought after model, the guitar sold very quickly. And that is the jumping off point for our matching gift challenge.


Martin D-28 guitar

The body of a Martin D-28 Guitar

Do you have an instrument you’d like to sell through The Denver Folklore Center?

Saul and Jeff and the rest of the crew at The Denver Folklore Center would love to hear from you, but before you reach out, you need to know a few things. 

“Vintage and – or – high end instruments “ are the instruments Saul told us The Denver Folklore Center looks to consign for customers, Saul Rosenthal, Co-Owner of the Folklore Center told us. Theirs is a small shop and they don’t have as much space or the capacity to appraise every instrument. They are happy to refer people to other shops in town that are better equipped to sell nice but not exactly unique instruments.

So what’s vintage? It’s a slippery definition, but Jeff said for their purposes it’s usually a guitar from the 1970s or earlier. 

“We’re happy to see stuff from the 70s come in, but that being said, we don’t mind having a two-year-old Collings guitar on the wall that someone decided they don’t want right now. That’s a high-end guitar.”

You can contact The Denver Folklore Center by visiting their website.