Ed Schaefer was born in Miami, Florida, in 1951, the son of a pianist who performed on a weekly radio show in Baltimore. By the age of nineteen he had traveled to Morroco, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Nova Scotia with the United States Coast Guard.
Ed studied classical guitar at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was taught by James Eddy, a disciple of the renowned Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. He performed at master’s classes at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth with José Tomás and later worked at the Rhythm Band Instrument company where he began to develop his lutherie skills.
In 1995, Ed devoted himself fulltime to building archtop guitars, and there began Schaefer Guitars. He has built over 250 guitars and operated shops in Minnesota and Texas. Based in Austin, Texas, since 2007, Ed continues to build the finest guitars for celebrated players, including Houston jazz master Mike Nase, Texas Hill Country guitarist Big John Mills, and Noel Johnston, a professor of jazz guitar at the University of North Texas. Known also for his skill on the guitar, Ed is an active player, performer, and teacher. Ed specializes in small-body archtops as in 14″ and 15″ but he can build any size you wish. His motto has always been, “Simplistic Elegance.” He’s been called the DaVinci of guitar builders.