The Evaline Guitar Company (pronounced "ev'-uh-line") was founded by master luthier Gary Kozlowski in 2005. Growing up in a very musical family, Gary has long been a fan of music. His father was a musician playing many different native Polish Folk Music instruments like the Concertina, Accordion, and Button Accordion. His brother Bryan, is also a very talented musician. Bryan picked up the button accordion when he was only 4 years old and was a very accomplished player by the time he was 7. In high school, Bryan mastered the Trumpet in his Freshman year and was awarded "First Chair" in the Varsity band before he was a sophomore.
Gary, however, though always a fan of Rock & Roll and being exposed to music all his life, never picked up on any instrument, and to this day, can not play the guitars he builds. Instead, he gravitated to the art of woodworking that he was fascinated by at a very young age. His interest in craftsmanship was inherited from his Grandfather, Frank Romanowski, and the love of music from his Father. These two obsessions evolved naturally in the guitar building passion that Gary puts into every guitar that proudly bears the Evaline name.
As early as age 3 Gary was often found in his grandfather's basement shop on Evaline street in Hamtramck, Michigan. His mother's parents lived directly across the street from his father's parents. Many weekends were spent there with his grandparents. If he wasn't enjoying music at one house, he was in the shop helping his Dzia Dzia (grandpa in Polish, pronounced "Ja-Ja") with whatever he was building at the other. This love of music and Craftsmanship carried on all through middle school and high school as Gary took every wood shop and manufacturing course available and took a very strong interest in the music industry.
During his high school years, Gary befriend a young rapper named Marshall Mathers (Eminem) and began doing promotional work for Marshall's at-the-time group "Basement Productions". It was actually a gig flier that Gary created for Marshall's concert at Gary's high school, that the two were passing out when they met Proof, who later became Eminem's right hand man in their group D12. Their friendship grew stronger over the years and the two remain close to this day.
A few years after high school, Gary got the music bug again and began managing local rock bands around the Detroit area. He started No Deal Records and helped to create a local rock community amongst bands, promoters and music lovers alike. After a few years of working with some of the best guitarists Detroit had to offer, he decided to take on a long time coming desire to build a very unique custom guitar. He began studying different types of body styles and shapes, researched different woods for tonal qualities, researched pickups and hardware whenever he could.
The first prototype was a Jackson Soloist body that he bought on eBay and assembled with some choice parts. Once he figured out how everything worked, he began designing shapes and started production on the first two models in the Evaline catalog,.. The GFK-R (named after his grandfathers and fathers initials) and the BSV which was designed specifically for an up and coming singer/guitarist that he managed, Brian Schram. Coming up with a name for the headstock was almost natural, once he considered where his love for music and woodworking originated.
Gary also designed and built guitars for 3 more artists in his No Deal Records family. Another GFK-R was built for Tommy Furbacher of Panic Trigger. The CM-K was created for Cyamak Ashtiani, back when C-Mak was playing with Detroit band, MindCandy, And the Waldogg was designed for Wally Filipiak of Ghosts Of Exile during his days with The Unheard. It seemed that as soon as these bands took the stage with these new Evaline Guitars, the world changed for Gary Kozlowski, and the brand was born.
Today, the Evaline Guitar Company has expanded far beyond its humble beginnings. We have a new 2000 square foot guitar carving/building facility and quite a few Marque endorsed guitarists that proudly play our guitars built specifically FOR them. And though we've grown, our philosophy has not and will not change. We still hand craft them one-at-a-time. We still build them for the individual player, not for the mass quantities. Wether that player is a multi-platinum recording artist, or just a guitarist in a local cover-band, we want to, and will create YOUR dream guitar!