Yvette Dominee is an avid guitar enthusiast living in Colorado where she works as a Senior Director of Business Development and Senior Director of Bids and Proposals of a design and construction firm that does work in both the USA and overseas.
The Louisiana native has been collecting guitars for four decades and has four Emerald Guitars in her collection of over one hundred. “I have a custom pink 9-string X20, a custom silver X7, an X30 and I am in the process of having a custom fan fret X7 white and gold model built, and a custom round neck X20 resonator afterwards.
“I love the durability of the Emerald Guitars in the dry climate in which I live. The sound is excellent – deep bass sounds and crisp trebles, but not tinny. The action is great, as well as the playability- very easy to play jazz, blues, and various folk styles. Appearance wise, it is an attractive instrument- plus it stays in tune! I have taken my 9-string and X7 to other luthiers and to collectors – all were impressed.”
Yvette started collecting when she was 15 years of age and was always fascinated with acoustructure and what caused a string over wood to produce a certain sound. “My first guitar was a 1975 Gibson Dove – it took all of my summer earnings to buy it, but I really wanted a Martin 35 S, except that I only had enough for the Gibson. I now have both guitars, my original and the Martin 35 S. I currently have 110 guitars in my collection and all but about five are fully playable,” she said.
Yvette has numerous antique guitars, which include guitars made by Panormo, Stauffer, Lacote, Fabricatore, WB Tilton, Bruno, Lyon and Healy. “They also include exceptional German antiques, many Martins, Gibsons, Larrivees, Dobros, Guilds, Taylors, Lowden, and privately-commissioned custom guitars made from exotic woods, as well as numerous concert body and parlour size house brand guitars that I have re-braced to get some incredible sound projections.”
In her carbon fibre collection, Yvette owns several Rainsongs, a Blackbird Super OM, Composite Acoustics, a Journey travel guitar, in addition to her Emerald Guitars. She said: “I am looking to add many more carbon fibre guitars, but only made by Alistair, with the exception of the new McPhearson Kevin Michael model.
“In the solid wood collection there are very few remaining that I am interested in owning. Admittedly, I must like items out of Ireland a bit, because there are still some Lowden and Avalon guitars that have captured my interest to purchase.”
Living in Broomfield since 2005 Yvette was forced to leave her native New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina wiped out her residence and business. She said: “It was a difficult time losing everything, but I did not lose my guitars, as I took the most prized with me upon evacuation. Those that I could not take were kept high above the flood water line in a high-rise structure.
“My philosophy is that all things happen for a reason, and that God does not give us more than we can handle. With that said, I figured that He must think a lot of me, so I had better whip into shape and not dally with getting myself back together. All became good in time after that.”
Emerald Guitars founder Alistair Hay said he was delighted to have had the pleasure of dining with Yvette in Boulder, Colorado, during one of his last visits to the States earlier this year. “What always impressed me about Yvette, from the first time she contacted me, was the fact that she knew exactly what she wanted. She had an in-depth knowledge of the instrument, rather than just wanting something that just looked pretty. So even though we made her first guitar in pink, being 9-string, it had a purpose and a reason. She has lots of great ideas and it is always great to collaborate with a customer.”