Paraguayan classical guitarist who says guitar was stolen in Cleveland just before concert makes a plea to the public

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Paraguayan classical guitarist Berta Rojas is pleading for the thief who stole her beloved guitar in Cleveland’s Ohio City - one day before her scheduled concert - to return it.

Rojas posted on social media that the guitar was stolen on April 1, and if it were returned, she would not press charges.

The Grammy-nominated artist sat down with 19 News on Saturday, “I just hope the person that has it, returns it. I won’t press charges, I won’t ask questions, I just want the person that has it to leave it somewhere, where with the solidarity of people, it can come back to me. To you, it is only a guitar. To me it is part of my life. It brings joy, peace and happiness to the world.”

Rojas stopped for lunch on Fulton Road in Ohio City on Friday, and when she left the restaurant the car with her guitar inside had the window busted out, her prized possession was nowhere in sight, she says she couldn’t help but get emotional.

“We saw the windows broken. I just couldn’t help but cry when I saw that my guitar had disappeared,” she said.

On Saturday evening, Rojas performed a concert at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights before a crowd of about 100 people.

She did not disappoint, as she used a borrowed guitar from a generous Cleveland musician, “A colleague of mine, Collin Davies, who is a fantastic guitarist from the Cleveland area, came to the rescue immediately and within minutes I had an instrument to practice on.”

Rojas became emotional at one point talking about the guitar she’s depended on to help her provide beautiful music for 14 years.

She named that guitar La Rohita, which means “The red one.”

“The guitar for a classical artist is very much a part of your sound,” she said. “It’s like an extension of your own body. It’s your voice, and in the case of the guitar, it’s a fragile instrument that you have very close to you, and it becomes the way you share your inner music with an audience. That’s why this instrument is so special and so unique. My sound belongs to her and her sound belongs to my hands and my heart.”

Rojas said she told the students she played for just hours before the guitar was stolen that she planned to play that guitar forever.

The Paraguayan flag is on the handle of the guitar case, and well as Rojas’ name.

Fans and the Paraguayan community are using the hashtag #LetsFindBertasGuitar to help spread the word.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the recovery of the guitar. If you have a tip call the Cleveland Police Department or Cleveland Classical Guitar Society at (216) 905-9348.

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