Ciari Guitars Offers Travelers an Oasis Amidst the Chaos
The thought of boarding an airplane as a musician can invoke a strong array of emotions for even the most seasoned traveler. The fear of lost or damaged instruments only compounds the already stressful process of participating in modern air travel. One innovative company, Ciari Guitars, is determined to eliminate challenges guitarists face when taking to the skies.
As a lifelong guitarist and a well-versed patent attorney, Ciari Guitars founder and CEO Jonathan Spangler has felt the pains of being a mobile musician and lugging his electric guitar from city to city and gig to gig. He knows the problems of life on the road, especially those encountered when flying. Struggling to find a guitar that Spangler felt was not only gig-ready but also designed for convenient transport, he realized that to get what he wanted, he’d have to make it. The instruments made by Ciari Guitars are at the intersection of hand-craftsmanship and medical-grade engineering, making them “the first and only stage-worthy, full-size folding guitar.”
We spoke with Spangler, who shared one particularly gut-wrenching story that has served as an inspiration to make guitars for travelers. He recounted an invitation to perform at a three-day metal festival in Germany. With his trusty Martin D35 Johnny Cash Special Edition, he arrived at the airport concerned about whether he would be allowed to board while carrying his instrument. With such strong ties to his beloved guitar, he prepared for his transatlantic flight with no backup plan should the airline force him to check his guitar should it end up lost or damaged. As with many long flights, Spangler faced multiple layovers and became nervous as the size of the plane and the overhead bins became progressively smaller. Despite having luck convincing the airline staff to store his prized possession in the first-class closet, his luck ran dry on his final leg of the journey; he was forced to check his guitar to his final destination. After waiting at baggage claim in Germany, luck remained on his side, and his guitar arrived unscathed. At this moment, Spangler realized there had to be a better way.
With the launch of Ciari Guitars and the Ascender™, weary travelers could now put their minds at ease that they had an instrument that could be easily carried on and stored on any flight. Spangler may have solved one of the biggest problems traveling guitarists had, but he was just getting started. In April 2022, Spangler and Ciari Guitars announced its latest innovation, the Music Oasis™ Free Guitar Lounge.
The Music Oasis is an in-airport sanctuary for guitarists with its comfortable seating, guitar tower display case, and multiple guitar play-stations with headphones and tablets so “passengers can de-stress and relax before or after flights while playing the Ascender.” For the exceptional musician, the space also includes a built-in internal speaker system, microphone, and PA functionality to enable performances.
The idea behind the Music Oasis came from simply observing the immense amount of time most people seem to waste in airports. During his travels, Spangler wished he could play music instead of aimlessly wandering the airport or logging onto a never-ending set of emails and calls. “Traveling is stressful enough,” says Spangler. “When we launched Ciari Guitars, the specific design came into focus, as did our primary goal of allowing people to experience our guitar first-hand to counter the skepticism that often accompanies innovation. Starting as a ‘try before buy’ experiential marketing opportunity, Music Oasis expanded to a performance center in collaboration with the Airport Arts Department.”
Currently, Ciari Guitars is working alongside the San Diego International Airport to launch the Music Oasis in Terminal 2 this year. The company will utilize this partnership to test the waters as an in-airport retailer of MI products and, with success, expand to other music-centric or high-volume airports. The NAMM Member reports that visitors to Music Oasis can test out its Ascender model and other products within the travel ecosystem like wireless headphones, travel amps, travel keyboards, ukuleles, and accessories, including straps, strings, and tuners.
For more information on Ciari Guitars, please visit https://ciariguitars.com/.