1997 Kim Leland Schwartz Imrat Guitar - The Original Instrument - Imrat Gitar
This is the original Imrat Gitar. It was designed by Ustad Imrat Khan and handmade under his direction by luthier Kim Leland Schwartz, with input from one of Ustad-ji's students, Todd Ferris Mosby, a guitarist. Ustad-ji was in regular communication with Kim during this instrument's planning and construction.
After this instrument was made, Todd commissioned an instrument with Kim that is almost identical to this one except for the angle of the "arm" that holds the tarab tuners and a cosmetically different jawari. He also had Kim build a solid body electric version. Because that instrument has fixed frets, it is much closer in design to a standard guitar than the acoustic Imrats are. It is, nonetheless, stunning.
A few years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting with Kim, who advised that the "#016" on the label means that this was the sixteenth instrument he made after moving to New Mexico. (The first fifteen, of course, were not Imrat Gitars.)
The Imrat Gitar displayed here was Ustad-ji's personal instrument. He allowed us to acquire it in the late 2000s because we played it extensively during lessons. A number of Imrat Gitars were made after this one. But no matter their source, they are all just copies. This the only original.
This priceless instrument is part of the Registry's Permanent Collection and is not for sale.