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Although much time has passed since devastating hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, the rebuilding and relief efforts are far from complete. Taylor Guitars is doing its part to help bring the healing force of music back to the region with its "Taylor Guitars for the Gulf" program, with proceeds going to The Tipitina's Foundation. Named for the famous New Orleans music venue that has hosted legendary performers for many years, The Tipitina's Foundation is dedicated both to helping artists recover from Hurricane Katrina, and to preserving the city's cultural traditions.

Between July 1 and September 31, 2006, customers may order any Taylor guitar (300-900 Series) with a peghead bearing the fleur-de-lis (long a symbol of New Orleans) inlaid in genuine mother-of-pearl. The inlay, valued at $100, is free to the customer, but for every Guitar for the Gulf sold, Taylor Guitars will contribute to The Tipitina's Foundation, on the customer's behalf, up to a total of $25,000.

Several stores along the Gulf Coast were among the first to receive the fleur-de-lis inlaid guitars, which went on display in July, during a series of free Taylor workshops at the stores, featuring master fingerstylist, Doyle Dykes. Dykes is scheduled for one more workshop in the Gulf Coast region on Tuesday, July 18, at Shreveport Music in Shreveport, LA, where the Taylor Guitars for the Gulf will also be on display.

Those who purchase a fleur-de-lis inlaid guitar must register it with Taylor by March 30, 2007, in order to qualify for the Tipitina's donation. Registration may be completed online at www.taylorguitars.com, or by completing and mailing a simple form that comes with each guitar. (Registration of any Taylor guitar activates a limited lifetime warranty and a free subscription to the company's quarterly publication, Wood&Steel.) To see the Taylor Guitars for the Gulf, visit Taylor at Summer NAMM, Booth 2602.

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