Candelas Guitars co-founder Porfirio Delgado, whose firm made instruments for such Hispanic stars as Los Panchos, Los Diamantes, Los Lobos, Jose Feliciano and Andres Segovia, died July 28 of complications from a heart attack at his home in East Los Angeles. He was 85.
Delgado first worked as a cabinet-maker who sang with his older brother Candelario in a group called “Los Hermanos Candelas” (the Candelas Brothers). The duo made their own musical instruments.
They later formed a Cuban-style band, “Son Torreon,” and continued to make instruments, opening their own shop in Juarez, Mexico in 1935. In 1946, they opened their first guitar store in Boyle Heights near downtown Los Angeles, and later expanded to another location on Sunset Boulevard in 1950.
Their guitars have been shipped to artists around the world.
Delgado’s grandsons, Tomas and Manuel, currently operate the Candelas Guitars store, now located on Cesar Chavez Avenue.
In addition to his two grandsons, Delgado is survived by three daughters, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His brother died in 1983.