Justin Holland (1819 - 1877) was an African-American classical musician, guitarist, composer and arranger. It's safe to say that Justin Holland was the one of the most important American guitarists of his generation. The first Black man to make an important contribution to the classic guitar.
Justin Holland was born to free black parents in Norfolk County, Virginia on 26 July 1819, the oldest or second oldest of farmerExum Holland s three sons and five daughters.The family lived near other free blacks in a neighborhood which also included whites of moderate means who owned a few slave families, and whites without slaves. Tobacco had first been the principle crop in Norfolk County, however over-production, depressed profits,and tobacco s depletion of the soil had forced agricultural diversification; so the Hollands and their neighbors most likely grew corn, cotton, Irish potatoes, grass,or fruits and vegetables as cash crops on small farms.
Justin Holland left Virginia for Massachusetts after his parents deaths in 1833.Justin went to Boston and met Senor Mariano Perez and began the study of the guitar. Another of his music teachers was Simon Knable, a member of Ned Kendall's Brass Band who taught Holland the theory and the art of arranging.
At this time Holland also undertook the study of flute with a Scotsman named Pollock. In 1841 he entered Oberlin College in Ohio for another two years of musical study. After some travel including a trip to Mexico he returned to Ohio, married and settled in Cleveland.
Holland's Method, published in 1876, stands as one of the finest methods for the guitar instruction published in America in the 19th century.
from: www.nationwide.net/~amaranth/guitar.htmThis biography is published under the GNU Licence