Lehtela Guitar Craft and Ari Lehtela


Ari Lehtela is a fretless guitar player and luthier running his company Lehtela Guitar Craft in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. He specialises in hand made instruments and also providing luthery classes.

ari with his sitar instrument
Ari Lehtela with his “Sitari” double-neck.

Born in Valkeakoski, Finland, Ari Lehtela has been involved in music in North America for over three decades. Playing music professionally in Canada and the U.S. throughout the 1970s and 80s Ari eventually turned his attention to building guitars.

Around 1990, Ari began to toy with the idea of designing and building his own guitar. This idea was solidified after meeting a local Charlotte (NC) builder, Luke Lukuer. Impressed by the sound and playability of Luke’s instruments, Ari realized that handmade was the only way to go. Another interest that continues to hold Ari’s attention is fine art and design, as he also holds a degree in fine art.

In his own words:
“As I delved further into luthiery, I realised I could bring together my various interests into one endeavour.¬†With over 25 years of experience in building guitars, I continue that experience by drawing from my influences with every instrument I build.”

Ari Lehtela released his CD “West Eats Meat” in 2007 which was well received and even described as “innovative avant-garde neoclassical”.

Fretless Instruments

Three fretless guitars by Lehtela

Lehtela fretless guitar 1

Lehtela fretless guitar 2

Lehtela fretless guitar 3


Lehtela Guitar Craft
8125 – D Old Concord Road
Charlotte NC 28213


Lehtela Guitar Craft

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