guitar

NY Guitar Fest Announces 2 New Shows

The New York Guitar Festival today announces two additional performances in its 2010 offerings, both at Le Poisson Rouge. January 26 welcomes an evening of exquisite finger-style guitar featuring music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis, while February 2 serves up Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$. Details are listed below.

The New York Guitar Festival launched its 10th event last week with a free opening night performance at World Financial Center’s Winter Garden by Slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Among India’s most esteemed musicians, Bhattacharya lured the packed house with music both soulfully serene and frenetically ferocious. Catch a glimpse here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9cDctzwyJc . Next up for NYGF – this Thursday Merkin Hall hosts the first of four highly anticipated performances in the series Silent Films/Live Guitars.

No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and over the past decade no festival has sought out the modulations in those voices and the range of the guitar’s cultural expressions than the New York Guitar Festival.

Following its success since 1999 (with rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times as well as sister festivals in Urbana, Illinois and Adelaide Australia), the New York Guitar Festival announces its tenth season of concert performances, January 8 though February 4, 2010.

The festival boasts over 30 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant garde styles. Participating venues include Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Le Poisson Rouge and Barbes. Concerts range from an all-day Guitar Marathon interpreting the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, (featuring, among other internationally-famous musicians, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Paul O’Dette, Ana Vidovic, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith and Nigel North) to the Hindustani slide guitar music of Debashish Bhattacharya.

The festival also has a history of commissioning remarkable original works, and the 2010 season breaks yet more new ground by presenting ten classic silent films (seven by Chaplin, one by Keaton and two by Harry Smith) accompanied by original scores performed live by a spectacularly rich and varied coterie of guitarists: Gyan Riley, Alex de Grassi, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Steve Kimock, James Blackshaw, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg and the members of Chicha Libre.

The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as its Artistic Director. The Festival’s goal is to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works. In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.

CONCERT SCHEDULE:

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 14, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant + The Kid

Music by David Bromberg and Marc Ribot
2008 Grammy nominee David Bromberg is known for his eclectic combination of blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, and rock. He’s recorded and performed with Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan and George Harrison among others and is presenting the premiere of newly commissioned music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 The Immigrant. Style-morphing icon Marc Ribot has lent his mercurial guitar sounds to collaborations including Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and John Zorn, and will improvise a score for Chaplin’s 1921 classic, The Kid.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 21, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. and Easy Street + Buster Keaton’s Cops

Music by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Steve Kimock
Bon Iver is the nom-de-guerre of musician Justin Vernon. His album For Emma, Forever Ago was a critical and commercial hit, making him one of the most talked-about indie artists of 2008. For his scores to One A.M. & Easy Street, he’s joined by Chris Rosenau, of Collection of Colonies of Bees, whom Justin calls his “guitar mentor.” Steve Kimock is best known as co-founder and guitarist for the San Francisco band Zero. He’s recorded and performed with Bruce Hornsby and members of the Grateful Dead—Jerry Garcia once hailed him as his favorite guitarist. He performs music for Buster Keaton’s Cops.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, January 26 @ 6:30 PM

The New Possibility

Music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis
An evening of exquisite solo finger-style guitar, assembled by New York City’s Tompkins Square label, a leading purveyor of acoustic guitar music. The Village Voice called the label’s three-volume ‘Imaginational Anthem’ series “the gold standard for guitar nerds.” Ben Hall and Nick Jonah Davis will be making their first-ever New York performances.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 28, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms and The Fall of the House of Usher (directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber)

Music by Alex de Grassi + James Blackshaw
One of the top fingerstyle, steel-string guitarists, Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi is renowned for his impeccable technique and compelling compositions. He’s explored a variety of world music influences and drawn acclaim for his 14 recordings on Windham Hill and other labels. He presents his original score for Chaplin’s 1918 masterpiece Shoulder Arms. James Blackshaw is a London-based prodigy who’s released seven albums of mesmerizing 12-string compositions. His style is often described as “American primitive” and incorporates elements of Indian raga, improvisation, and psychedelia.

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets and information: 212-415-5500 / www.92Y.org

Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a break at 5 p.m.

The Guitar Marathon: Bach

Music by Paul O’Dette, Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith, David Leisner, Nigel North, Gyan Riley, Benjamin Verdery, Ana Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, and additional artists to be announced.
Our 5th biannual Guitar Marathon at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Auditorium is co-curated by Paul O’Dette and the NYGF’s David Spelman. Some of today’s finest classical guitarists and lutenists will reveal the different facets of the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. The event runs from 2—10pm, with a break at 5pm. “An epic event” is how the The Wall Street Journal classified our first Marathon, and Jazz Times called it “a veritable guitar orgy.” Half and full-day tickets will be available in August. Presented in association with WNYC Radio and broadcast on 93.9 FM.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, February 2 @ 6:30 PM

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$

Music by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog: Marc Ribot (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass, Moog, electronics), and Ches Smith (drums, electronics). Skeletons: also known as Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities.
Ceramic Dog is a post-everything band combining the energies of two masters of downtown New York City mayhem: guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Robert Plant, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello) and bassist Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Will Oldham), with West Coast indie/experimental genius drummer Ches Smith. Ribot is a widely recognized original on the guitar, with influence across multiple genres of music, including rock, jazz, punk, Latin, soul, 80s No-Wave, avant-garde and noise. Opening the show will be Matt Mehlan’s revolving ensemble musical project Skeleton$.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, February 4th, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and shorts by Harry Smith

Music by Chicha Libre + Gyan Riley
The Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop of Chicha Libre mixes Colombian cumbia, dreamy surf guitar, and Andean melodies. They present their score to Chaplin’s 1923 The Pilgrim. Gyan Riley is an equally strong presence in the worlds of classical guitar and contemporary music. He’s performed throughout Europe and the U.S., both as a soloist and in ensembles with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, the Falla Guitar Trio, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley.

Rogue Wave Release New Single, Unveil Album Details

Now we’re born again,” sings Zach Rogue on the closing track of Rogue Wave’s fourth studio album, Permalight. The dreamy acoustic lament lasts just over a minute but in sound and spirit it neatly sums up everything that comes before it. A punchy, deceptively effervescent set of multi-instrumental pop tunes, the Northern California band’s latest set represents a giant breakthrough for Rogue and his longtime musical partner, drummer-keyboardist- vocalist Pat Spurgeon.
“The record sounds, for lack of a better word, fun,” the frontman says. It’s an astonishing change of direction, to say the least. Formed by Rogue in 2002 after he lost his tech job and parted ways with the Oakland rock group Desoto Reds, Rogue Wave has a reputation for crafting classic, inward-looking pop songs highlighted with psychedelic guitars, pastoral sound effects and intricate rhythms. On tunes from the new album like the title track “Permalight” and “Good Morning,” however, Rogue Wave steps away from expectations. Rogue says the former was written as a left-field sequel to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” with synthesizers that simultaneously sound brittle and blissful. “Stars and Stripes” builds on a deep groove before spilling over in a raging chorus.  Clubby beats are prominent but the album doesn’t sit still for long. “Per Anger” is a straightforward rock tune that takes its cues from Pixies’ loud-quiet-loud dynamic.
Then there’s the album’s unofficial centerpiece, “I’ll Never Leave You,” a simple acoustic tune that finds Rogue coming to grips with the overwhelming emotions that come with young fatherhood. Like many of the songs on the album it’s rooted in Rogue Wave’s triumph over seemingly constant peril -- including the tragic death of a former band mate and constant health issues -- and the band’s undying determination to push forward.  Making this album was no exception.
In September 2008, after the band returned to Oakland following a summer tour, Rogue played a solo show opening for Nada Surf. Two days later, the singer woke up and couldn’t move. There was some concern that he might be having an aneurysm or heart attack, so doctors wheeled an X-ray machine into his living room to check his heart and lungs. It turns out Rogue had slipped two discs in his neck, which were pressing on his spinal cord. “It was the worst pain I had experienced,” he says.
Over the next few months, his condition grew worse until he eventually lost feeling in his right hand. Confined to his bed, there was nothing doctors could do for him, no medications that could relieve his pain. “I just felt like I was being tortured,” Rogue says. “I felt like I was dying.”  In January, the pain began to gradually lift, giving him just enough sensation to pick up the guitar and strum it. He celebrated the recovery the best way he knew, by pouring his relief into new material. “When I started writing I wanted to make a record that was a little more up, a record you could move your body to because I couldn’t move for so long,” Rogue says. “I told Pat I wanted to make a total dance album.”
To do that Rogue decided to make a conscious break from the past. “I decided when I picked up the guitar again I didn’t want to play anything I knew,” he says. “Even if that meant yelling into the microphone or detuning a guitar, I wanted to record all those ideas.”
Tracklisting:
Solitary Gun
Good Morning
Sleepwalker
Stars and Stripes
Permalight
Fear Itself
Right With You
We Will Make A Song Destroy
I’ll Never Leave You
Per Anger
You Have Boarded All That Remains
--
Tour Dates
02/24 - San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop 02/26 - Toronto, ON, CA @ Mod Club
03/01 - Club Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock
03/02 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
03/03 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
03/04 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
03/05 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
03/06 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
03/08 - Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
03/09 - Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
03/10 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
03/13 - Orlando, FL @ The Social
03/15 - New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
03/16 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
03/17 - Dallas, TX @ The Loft
03/18 - 03/20 @ SXSW
04/07 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theatre
04/09 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
04/10 - Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
04/13 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
04/14 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
04/15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Cafe
04/16 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
04/17 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
04/20 - Columbia, MO @ Mojo’s
04/21 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
04/24 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
04/27 - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
04/29 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre 04/30 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

King Sunny Ade and His African Beats @ Boulder Theater

King Sunny Ade is the undisputed king of juju music, the dance-inspiring hybrid of western pop and traditional African music with roots in the guitar tradition of Nigeria. For 30 years King Sunny Ade has been thrilling audiences and listeners with dynamic live performances creative videos and innovative recordings.

In 1982, Island Records signed Adé for Europe and North America (promoting him as 'the African Bob Marley'). The three albums were - Juju Music, Synchro System and Aura. When the artist and the label ultimately disagreed on the artist’s future artistic direction, they parted ways amicably. For almost ten years, King Sunny Adé continued to release records and dominate the domestic music industry in Nigeria, while only vinyl imports trickled out to the rest of the world.In 1996 Adé signed a new deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary, Mesa/Bluemoon under which he released three records. E Dide / Get Up. Odu, and Seven Degrees North.

In January 2002, Ade completed a four year term as President of The Performing Musicians Assoc. of Nigeria (the national musicians union) Still performing weekly at a wide variety of parties and events, both public and private, King Sunny Adé intends to use his newly recaptured free time to focus on his music. With 111 albums to his credit already in Nigeria, African music fans can surely look forward to more great things to come. Juju Music Juju music is a music of broad social messages. Rooted in the ancient Yoruba tradition of conveying broad social and cultural messages. Musically it is a thrilling hybrid of Western pop and traditional African music that incorporates electric guitars and synthesisers with such indigenous instruments as talking drums.

King Sunny Ade and The African Beats tour with the typically large African line-up of 20-30 members. They play a spacey, jamming sort of Juju, characterized by tight vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, backed by traditional talking drums, percussion instruments, and even adding the unusual pedal steel guitar and accordian.

King Sunny Ade and His African Beats
Friday, April 30
doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm

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Tickets are on sale Ja 22 at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone. Tickets will also be also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com. All tickets are subject to tax and service charge

ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival wraps Third Successful Event

ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival (the biennial event previously known as Wall to Wall Guitar Festival), held September 10-12, 2009 at the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, wrapped up its third successful event with more than 30 world-class guitarists - including 11 free performances - over three days.

Renowned for incredible acoustic spaces, the Krannert Center at Urbana's University of Illinois campus offers an enviable variety of state-of-the-art performance spaces. Every other year, ELLNORA brings an amazingly diverse hand-picked lineup to these incredible rooms, offering a "festival" experience unlike any other.  At this most recent event, attendees witnessed indie-rock darlings The National in a room quiet enough to hear a pin drop, watched Junior Brown play thunderous riffs at Ellnora's opening bash, and enjoyed the classical sounds of some of Johann Sebastian Bach's best modern interpreters (including Nigel North, Paul Galbraith and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet) performing live at special festival offering dubbed "Bachfest."

Taking full advantage of Krannert's facilities, the 2009 event moved further into the integration of music and art, this year highlighting especially the visual arts. Bill Frisell performed his moving Disfarmer Project, an ode to photographer Mike Disfarmer's Great Depression-era photos; The Long Count paired visual art phenomenon Matthew Ritchie with Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National) and Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders, The Pixies) to create a feast of images and song-filled myth about the beginning of time; and in an outside amphitheater, fans enjoyed silent films accompanied by live musicians (Alex De Grassi and Leni Stern Quartet) performing soundtracks they'd composed especially for the films.

Mike Ross, Director of the Krannert Center, recapped the weekend saying, "It's been a fabulous joy to watch this talent-packed, high-energy festival become a major signature piece for our vibrant micro-urban community in such a short time. The overwhelming response we received from this year's audiences signals an even more robust pathway forward."

Check out www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com for videos, photos, interviews and more from the 2009 event.

Ellnora Guitar Festival Announces 2009 Event

The return of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' biennial guitar festival Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert arrives September 10-12, 2009. This newly renamed, three-day, round-the-clock guitar extravaganza will emerge with over 30 guitarists, scores of musical collaborators, innovative engagement events, 11 free performances, and global perspectives on all things guitar.

Propelled by the extraordinary success of the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival in 2005 and 2007, the 2009 festival promises an astonishing collection of genres and artists, the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a Guitar Hero gaming station, community engagement programs with Dan Zanes and Friends, and numerous opportunities to delve deeper into this truly international instrument through commentaries, discussions, and interactive workshops-all assembled by Krannert Center's director Mike Ross and his staff in collaboration with the festival's artistic advisor, David Spelman. Spelman, the founder/director of the New York Guitar Festival, also launched the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in South Australia in 2007 and has served as the artistic advisor for all three biennial Krannert Center festivals.

Plans to rename the festival, now dubbed Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center, first began as the Center embarked on preparations for this third biennial event. The festivals in 2005 and 2007 had served as microcosms of the Center's strong commitment to diversity, quality, and distinctiveness in programming. In approaching its latest incarnation, the staff realized that the first party had grown into an internationally recognized arts event and were concerned that it might be confused with other endeavors that had "wall to wall" in their titles. The decision to change the name also rested on a desire to better reflect the festival's distinctiveness and the unique micro-urban setting of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. This examination ultimately led organizers back to the inception of the Center in the 1960s, when philanthropists Herman and Ellnora Krannert first envisioned the multifaceted facility that has become a leading university-based performing arts center. Key to that vision was Mrs. Krannert's captivating plan to utilize the central lobby as a crossroads for audiences, artists, academics, and community members to meet, mix, and mingle in celebration of the arts. Ellnora Krannert's exceptional foresight has continued to lead the Center in the more than 40 years since. It was with this lineage in mind that the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival was reborn as Ellnora-to honor the philosophy, philanthropy, and powerful leadership of the Center's first patron.

The 2009 artist roster includes Ani DiFranco, the Keb' Mo' Band, the Derek Trucks Band, Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project, The National, Chicha Libre, Junior Brown, The Jerry Douglas Band, Dan Zanes & Friends, Alex de Grassi, the Leni Stern Quartet, the Frank Vignola Trio, the Brasil Guitar Duo, Debashish Bhattacharya, The Long Count, The Sisters Euclid, Nigel North, Paul Galbraith, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Erin McKeown & Natalia Zukerman, the Jake Hertzog Trio, Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo, the Laurie Morvan Band, and Luciana Souza & Romero Lubambo.

Regular updates will be posted at EllnoraGuitarFestival.com. Single tickets and festival passes go on sale July 16 at 10am. Festival passes include all eight events; passes must be purchased by August 2 for priority seating. Festival pass prices range from $80 for students to $192 for standard admission.  

PERFORMANCE DETAILS 

Opening Night Party
Chicha Libre
Junior Brown
Derek Trucks Band
Frank Vignola Trio
We ignite the 2009-10 season with our blockbuster Opening Night Party-and a quadruple bill of scorching bands, head-back-for-thirds food, dancing space, and festive crowds will keep this joint jumping well into the night. Chicha Libre's Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop claims the Lobby at 7pm, Junior Brown brings his country soul sounds in at 8pm, and the Derek Trucks Band takes over at 9pm with a funk-filled progressive roots blend. Outside, the Frank Vignola Trio fires up the Amphitheatre with feisty jazz at 7:30 and 8:45pm. Come early, stay late, and enjoy yourself to the fullest at this all-out, party-mode liftoff to the new season at Krannert Center!
Thursday, September 10 at 7pm; doors open at 6pm
Lobby
$5

 

Dan Zanes and Friends
Dan Zanes and Friends will spin train tunes, Jamaican beats, Zulu numbers, salsa, sea shanties, and the folk songs collected by Illinois son Carl Sandburg into a Lobby-wide party that will have kids and grownups on their feet for high-energy dancing, clapping, stomping, whistling, and singing.
Friday, September 11 at noon
Lobby
Free

Interval: Brasil Guitar Duo
João Luiz and Douglas Lora, the 2006 Young Concert Artists Guild International Competition winners, have demonstrated their dexterity through captivating performances at the unconventional venues of the New Music/New Places initiative as well as Carnegie Hall. Their sublime synchronicity on Bach and Scarlatti and joyous affinity for the sambas and choros of their native country are infused with musicianship that is "simply outstanding" (Classical Guitar).
Friday, September 11 at 3pm
Stage 5
Free

Traffic Jam: The Jerry Douglas Band
Jerry Douglas presides over bluegrass-this 12-time Grammy Award winner was also voted Musician of the Year three times by the Academy of Country Music-and blues, jazz, and folk ripple out from his resonator guitar. You'll savor the tornadic picking, nimble strumming, and limitless artistry of the man called "Flux."
Friday, September 11 at 5pm
Lobby
Free

Morning and Evening Ragas: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
At age four, Bhattacharya had already demonstrated his dominance on the sitar through his expressive ragas. As an instrument architect, he has more than 19 guitar designs to his credit, including three known as his "trinity of guitars" that represent, like Bhattacharya himself, the past, present, and future of Indian slide.
Friday, September 11 at 6:15pm; Saturday, September 12 at 9am
Lobby
Free
Join us for a special yoga session beginning on Saturday, September 12 at 8:30am in the Lobby.

The Long Count
The Mayans believe that we reside in the fourth world-with the fifth world set to emerge on December 20, 2012. Bandmates and brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner and artist Matthew Ritchie reveal the power and symbolism of the Mayans' long count as they intermingle the hues and cardinal directions of Mayan myth and indie rock within a revolving baseball diamond for a revealing, hypnotic sensory experience.
Friday, September 11 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

A Story of Floating Weeds with live music by Alex de Grassi
In this 1934 silent film, an aging leading man takes the "floating weeds" (itinerant actors) of his failing troupe to his hometown in the hopes of achieving triumphs in his professional life but instead suffers personal setbacks. Alex de Grassi's inspired fretboard work, divine arrangements, and delicate fluidity perfectly escort Yasujiro Ozu's contemplative visual style in an exploration of family and love.
Score commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival
Friday, September 11 at 8:30pm
Amphitheatre
Free

Keb' Mo' Band
Keb' Mo' has fearless acoustic phrasing and deft slides that reveal his connections to the Delta blues of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, and his "effervescent" and "wonderfully engaging" songs showcase his luminous voice colored with "a wink and a grin" (All Music Guide).
Friday, September 11 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 43 / SC 38 / Stu 28 / UI & Yth 23
Single: 45 / SC 40 / Stu 30 / UI & Yth 25

Afterglow: The Sisters Euclid
Fronted by Grammy Award-winning Kevin Breit, the musicians of The Sisters Euclid aren't sisters-or brothers for that matter-but they are connected to the bone through luxuriously rough and jaggedly lustrous melodies. You'll be "transfixed" when this group pulls out every conceivable six-string sound (and some seemingly impossible ones) to end this exquisite Ellnora evening (JazzReview.com).
Friday, September 11 at 11:15pm
Stage 5
Free

Bachfest
Nigel North, lute
Paul Galbraith, guitar
Brazilian Guitar Quartet

Ellnora takes a classical turn with this celebration of the Baroque master. Nigel North's gentle soul and "unfailingly stylish" playing is a perfect match for the subtle beauty of the lute (Gramophone), while Paul Galbraith brings a "soaring dignity" to Bach's work through his peerless and revolutionary approach (Los Angeles Times). Then the members of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet will add their "irresistibly driving" energy to conclude this tribute (Los Angeles Times).
Saturday, September 12 at 10am
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

Interval: Natalia Zukerman and Erin McKeown
Zukerman's tender bottleneck slide will gently entice you-and once you've heard her gentle blues-folk melodies, you'll be drawn way down into her sweetly sophisticated tunes. With songs "so catchy and clever it's a wonder she's not yet a household name," Erin McKeown will further enthrall you (Entertainment Weekly). Separate, they're delicious; together, they can't be resisted.
Saturday, September 12 at noon
Stage 5
Free

Interval: Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones
Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Ted Greene, and Lenny Breau's mastery fuel Jake Hertzog, and he's known for jamming with local favorites like Chip McNeill and Rocky Maffit. He's "sure to blow your ears wide open" with his own searing and unmistakable licks (Midwest Records), so don't miss your chance to show your love to one of our most gifted native sons!
Saturday, September 12 at 1pm
Stage 5
Free

Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs
Featuring Viktor Krauss, Greg Leisz, and Eyvind Kang

Known for a quiet demeanor and ever-present humor, Bill Frisell is a six-string giant who's been tapped by DownBeat as Guitarist of the Year five times over since 1998. His Disfarmer Project sprouts from outsider artist Mike Disfarmer's biting and intimate portraits taken in small-town Arkansas during the height of the Great Depression. Disfarmer's shimmering projected images play counterpoint to the unpretentious original music rooted in the heart of the Ozarks.
Saturday, September 12 at 2pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

Brazilian Bash: Brasil Guitar Duo, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, and Luciana Souza featuring Romero Lubambo
The Brasil Guitar Duo and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet will turn from the splendor of their earlier shows to their flair and passion for the music of their home culture before Luciana Souza ends this ebullient afternoon. Descended from bossa nova innovators, the Grammy-nominated Souza continues this enlightened approach to her own craft through gossamer and earthy interpretations of songs and her genre-wrenching collaborations with the sophisticatedly intense guitarist Romero Lubambo.
Saturday, September 12 at 3:30pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 32 / SC 27 / Stu 23 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 34 / SC 29 / Stu 25 / UI & Yth 20

Traffic Jam: Richard Julian and Jim Campilongo
His twilit lines, painterly voice, and witty acoustics prompted Bonnie Raitt to embrace the work of Richard Julian as "some of the coolest, smartest and original music" this decade. He'll match licks with Telecaster master Jim Campilongo, who reigns as the professor of "an overall killer course on How To Play Your Instrument Putting All Others To Shame" (Billboard).
Saturday, September 12 at 6pm
Stage 5
Free

Ani DiFranco
A fiercely honest passion and the heart of a poet have drawn crowds to the hard-driving staccato fingerpicking of independent music's It Girl for over two decades. Through her unique voice and unending verve, DiFranco bravely leads all "who feel that burning desire to go farther out and experience life at a wilder level" (Folk and Music Exchange).
Saturday, September 12 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 36 / SC 31 / Stu 23 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 38 / SC 33 / Stu 25 / UI & Yth 20

The Goddess with live music by the Leni Stern Quartet
The harrowing tale of a mother-turned-prostitute set against the backdrop of 1930s Shanghai becomes palpably taut through the "haunting power" of German-born guitarist Leni Stern's original score (Washington Post). Her "beautifully drawn vignettes" musically express the struggle, solace, and hope of director Wu Yonggang's masterful film (Washington Post).
Score commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival
Saturday, September 12 at 8:30pm
Amphitheatre
Free

The National
Founded in Brooklyn by Cincinnati natives, The National briskly grew its small but heated group of followers into broad support and placement on "best of" lists from Billboard, the Los Angeles Times, and Paste Magazine. Even the Obama campaign took notice, using the band's "Fake Empire" as a backdrop for its Signs of Hope and Change video at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Saturday, September 12 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 26 / SC 21 / Stu 17 / UI & Yth 12
Single: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 19 / UI & Yth 14

Laurie Morvan Band
Pat Morvan, bass; Kevin Murillo, drums; Lisa Grubbs and Carolyn Kelley, backing vocals and percussion Before she lit up the stages at blues festivals across the country and before she opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and before her widespread recognition for "wiry, fiery solos" and a "sweet, soaring voice" (Blues Revue)-before all of that, this bluesy singer/songwriter was a standout right here at the University of Illinois. Join us in welcoming her back home!
Saturday, September 12 at 11:30pm
Lobby
Free

 

CREATIVE INTERSECTIONS AND SPECIAL FEATURES 

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
On Goodwin Street in front of Krannert Center, Free
A mobile recording and video production studio outfitted with the latest musical instruments, computers, recording equipment, and video production gear, the John Lennon Bus provides students, schools, and communities with a free, hands-on introduction to music, songwriting, video, and broadcast technologies. The John Lennon Bus will be stationed at Krannert Center's Goodwin Street entrance throughout the festival. The bus will be open for tours and activities-details are pending. 

Krannert Coffeehouse
The Intermezzo café at the north end of the Center's central lobby will be transformed into a coffeehouse for this year's festival. Patrons can grab a cup of cappuccino between performances, down an espresso shot to rev up for the late night shows, or simply relax and recharge throughout the festival. 

Outdoor Food Vendors
In addition to the large tented food area on the west terrace for the Opening Night Party, local food vendors will also be open during the evenings on both Friday and Saturday night. 

The Studio Store
The Studio Theatre, located at the north end of the Center will once again become the official festival store, featuring merchandise, sponsor tables, special displays, and meet-and-greets with select artists.

TICKETS AND INFORMATION

Ellnora | The Guitar Festival Single Tickets and Festival Passes

Single tickets and festival passes are on sale July 16 at 10am. Festival passes include all eight events; passes must be purchased by August 2 for priority seating.

Festival Pass: 192 / SC 160 / Stu 120 / UI & Yth 80

Ticket Office Information
Phone: 217/333-6280 or 800/KCPATIX (527-2849)
TTY: 217/333-9714 (for patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired)
Fax: 217/244-7469
Online: KrannertCenter.com or EllnoraGuitarFestival.com
E-mail: kran-tix@illinois.edu 

Mail: Krannert Center Ticket Office
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801-3788

In person: Visit the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 500 South Goodwin Avenue in Urbana, Illinois, anytime daily from 10am to 6pm. 

General Ticket Information/Key to Ticket Prices
SC = Senior citizens 65 years or older or retired University of Illinois faculty and staff
UI = University of Illinois students who have paid the Krannert Center fee
Stu = All students college age or younger
Yth = All children high school age or younger  

CREDITS 

Krannert Center's Ellnora | The Guitar Festival is supported in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and these sponsors: 

Patron Sponsor: Anonymous 

Patron Co-sponsors: Frances and Marc Ansel; Jean Huddleston, Kelly Foster, and Paul Foster; Mary and George Perlstein; and Carol and Ed Scharlau 

Corporate Power Train Engines: Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center; Scanics 

Corporate Platinum Event Sponsor: WCIA 3 

Corporate Gold Sponsor: One Main Development 

Corporate Silver Sponsors: Dean's Graphic Division; Chief/Bauer Heating & Air Conditioning; and The Blind Man Hunter Douglas Gallery 

Corporate Bronze Sponsors: Bacca Cigar Company; Barham Benefit Group; and Jeffrey Van Buren, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, and Valerie Van Buren 

ELLNORA | THE GUITAR FESTIVAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Th Sep 10
7pm    Opening Night Party with Chicha Libre, Junior Brown, the Derek Trucks Band, and the Frank Vignola Trio 

Fr Sep 11
Noon | Dan Zanes and Friends
3pm | Interval: Brasil Guitar Duo
5pm | Traffic Jam: The Jerry Douglas Band
6:15pm | Evening Raga: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
7pm | The Long Count
8:30pm | A Story of Floating Weeds with live music by Alex de Grassi
10pm | Keb' Mo' Band
11:15pm | Afterglow: The Sisters Euclid

Sa Sep 12
8:30am | Yoga Session
9am | Morning Raga: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
10am | Bachfest: Nigel North, lute; Paul Galbraith, guitar; Brazilian Guitar Quartet
Noon | Interval: Natalia Zukerman and Erin McKeown
1pm | Interval: Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones
2pm | Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs Featuring Viktor Krauss, Greg Leisz, and Eyvind Kang
3:30pm | Brazilian Bash: Brasil Guitar Duo, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, and Luciana Souza featuring Romero Lubambo
6pm | Traffic Jam: Richard Julian and Jim Campilongo
7pm | Ani DiFranco
8:30pm | The Goddess with live music by the Leni Stern Quartet
10pm | The National
11:30pm | Laurie Morvan Band with Pat Morvan, bass; Kevin Murillo, drums; Lisa Grubbs and Carolyn Kelley, backing vocals and percussion.

G. Love Custom Guitar up

- for the Grateful Web

Enter for a chance to win the G. Love custom model guitar from Gretsch, along with a SIGNED harmonica and Shure 520DX "Green Bullet" Harmonica Microphone. You'll see G. Love playing these instruments all summer long on his headline tour with John Butler Trio and Tristan Prettyman. Make sure you pick up a copy of his new album Superhero Brother before you head out to the show!

New York Guitar Festival Opens to a Packed House

Natalia Zukerman-photo by Chris M. Junior- for the Grateful Web

Every other year, some of the world's most distinctive guitar players gather in New York City to celebrate the New York Guitar Festival with a series of intimate concerts and one-of-a-kind collaborations.  To open the 2008 New York Guitar Festival, more than 20 artists assembled at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden to honor the music of Bob Dylan by recreating his famed 1966 "Royal Albert Hall" concert.  (The original Dylan show actually took place May 16, 1966, in Manchester, England, not at the Royal Albert Hall in London but has become known as such through many old mislabeled vinyl bootlegs.)  From Belle and Sebastian frontman Stevie Jackson to vocal powerhouse Toshi Reagon, the concert featured an eclectic lineup of some of today's most talented guitarists and vocal standouts.  Performing the show in sequence as Dylan did more than 40 years ago, the musicians treated the at-capacity crowd to an unforgettable interpretation of one of music's most known and storied concerts.

To open the show, host John Schaefer (of WNYC radio) introduced Oakley Hall - with full band - to electrify the usually acoustic "She Belongs To Me".  Dylan's inward and outward battle with his shift from acoustic to electric guitar playing was a recurring theme in Saturday's night's concert and Oakley Hall set the tone.  In contrast, "Royal Albert Hall" Project line-up latecomer Natalia Zukerman nailed "Fourth Time Around" with her outstanding acoustic guitar work.  Natalia's soft yet powerful performance led seamlessly into Stevie Jackson's "Visions of Johanna" solo.  With an affected Dylanesque vocal delivery, albeit with a Glaswegian accent, Jackson captivated the audience, who listened attentively still wondering the song's true meaning. 

Warmed up and ready for more, the crowd was delighted to see Jason Isbell, co-founder and formerly of Drive-By Truckers, take the stage for his rendition of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", which he sang as though he'd been performing the song for years.  The next tune, "Desolation Row", was performed by Freeman, a young Welsh songwriter/guitarist and recent signee to Clive Davis's RCA Music Group. In introducing Freeman, John Schaefer touted him as possibly the next Jeff Buckley, creating nearly impossibly high expectations for everyone.  However, his impassioned vocal performance, accompanied by Brandon Ross's fine guitar work, astounded the audience and left little doubt about his promising future.

A fan favorite, "Mr. Tambourine Man", came next on the bill.  Kelly Joe Phelps' inspired vocal performance and his Mississippi John Hurt-like fingerpicking induced an excited hush over the packed house.  Additional concert highlights include Jim Lauderdale and John Leventhal's version of "Tell Me Momma" and Chocolate Genius, Inc.'s full-band take on "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"; Marc Ribot's virtuoso guitar work nicely complemented Genius' snarky, growling vocal.  Not to be outdone, Lenny Kaye, Mr. Nice Guy (who also doubles as Patti Smith's guitarist) and Katrina Kiedis (late of Sufjan Stevens's band) gave sweet treatment to "One Too Many Mornings," alternating vocal duties during the verses and bringing it on home during the hook.

For the last song, Toshi Reagon and band – with Marc Ribot again supplying Telecaster genius – tore through "Like A Rolling Stone" with such force that not an eye could be turned.  Reagon's powerful voice filled the cavernous Winter Garden and had the audience on its feet in overwhelming approval.

Much to the audience's delight, all of the night's artists rejoined on stage for a very special encore performance of "Knockin on Heaven's Door".  With some of guitar's most talented players performing the music of one of the world's most gifted songwriters, The "Royal Albert Hall" Project was the perfect beginning to the exciting weeks of music still to come in the New York Guitar Festival

 

Complete "Royal Albert Hall" Project setlist and artists below.

 

1. "She Belongs to Me"                       Oakley Hall

2. "Fourth Time Around"                      Natalia Zukerman

3. "Visions of Johanna"                      Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian)

4. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"            Jason Isbell (formerly of Drive By Truckers) with Browan Lollar

5. "Desolation Row"                          Freeman & Brandon Ross

6. "Just Like A Woman"                       The Last Town Chorus

7. "Mr. Tambourine Man"                      Kelly Joe Phelps

8. "Tell Me, Momma"                          Jim Lauderdale with John Leventhal

9. "I Don't Believe You"                     Laura Cantrell with special guest Stevie Jackson

10. "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"           Harry Manx & Kevin Breit

11. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"            Jesse Harris

12. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"              Chocolate Genius Inc. with Marc Ribot

13. "One Too Many Mornings"                  Lenny Kaye & Katrina Kiedis

14. "Ballad of a Thin Man"                   Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo

15. "Like a Rolling Stone"                   Toshi Reagon with special guest Marc Ribot

16. E: "Knockin on Heaven's Door"            All Artists

Keller Williams, Ratdog, and The Allman Brothers = Guitar Fest!

On August 18th, 2007 at the Tweeter Center in Camden, the sounds of powerful guitar combinations took center stage. Most people who love music equate the summertime with sitting on blanket on a lawn or dancing barefoot on the lawn of an amphitheater and enjoying the fruits of their favorite bands. This is what this show represented for a lot of people. These musicians have been staples to our scene for years, and for the most part, they haven't missed a beat.

N.Y. Guitar Festival Announces 7th Season of Concerts

- for the Grateful Web

Fresh off the heels of the enormously successful inaugural Adelaide Guitar Festival in Adelaide, Australia, which drew more than 30,000 attendees, organizers for the New York Guitar Festival (the original in a series of sister festivals, which also includes Wall to Wall Guitar Festival) proudly announce its 7th season of concerts, January 12 - February 6, 2008. 

With more than 25 performances by some 60 exceptional guitarists - whose styles vary from jazz and classical to rock/pop, traditional and avant-garde - the festival will explore the universal significance of the guitar. Audiences will be treated to concerts ranging from an all-day Guitar Marathon that focuses on the guitar's history in Brazil to eclectic tributes to country music's biggest legends.  A sure highlight at this year's event, The "Royal Albert Hall" Project honors the music of Bob Dylan, the most covered songwriter in history, by reinventing his famed 1966 concert.  In 2006, the Bruce Springsteen tribute drew rave reviews and The Boss himself showed up to sit in.  This year's performances will be held at Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center's Winter Garden, Jazz Standard, the Apple SoHo Store, and The Monkey.  Featured artists include Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), The Assad Brothers, Larry Coryell, GE Smith (former music director of SNL), Teddy Thompson, Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Laura Cantrell, Marshall Crenshaw, Toshi Reagon, and Jason Isbell, among many others. 

The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman , who serves as the festival's Artistic Director. By fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists and commissioning new works, the festival endeavors to broaden the public's appreciation for the guitar.  The festival is presented with support from Apple Computer, The D'Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts, Avalon Guitars, WNYC Radio, WFUV Radio, WBJB-90.5 The NIGHT, Guitar Player Magazine/Music Player Network, flavorpill.net, and Brooklyn Brewery.

In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.  Spelman says "In raising scholarship funding, the New York Guitar Festival, in partnership with the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center, is able to provide guitars and musical training free of charge.  At a time when arts education is the first to go in budgetary cutbacks, encouraging hope and inspiration through music making is invaluable."  The beneficiaries of the New York Guitar Festival's scholarship programs are young students enrolled at an innovative elementary school on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

CONCERT SCHEDULE:

Saturday, January 12 at 8:00pm – FREE OPENING NIGHT CONCERT
The "Royal Albert Hall" Project
World Financial Center's Winter Garden
Battery Park City, bordered by West Street, the Hudson River, Vesey and Liberty Streets. 
Information: (212) 945-2600 /  www.worldfinancialcenter.com

The "Royal Albert Hall" Project honors Bob Dylan's storied May 17, 1966 concert - long the Dylan bootleggers' favorite, and released legit by Sony on CD in 1998 - which included material performed both solo and with The Hawks (soon after re-named The Band) (and which actually went down in Manchester, England, not London's Royal Albert Hall). This FREE concert is the opening night of the 2008 New York Guitar Festival and takes place under the glass atrium of the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street (directly across the street from the World Trade Center site), on Saturday, January 12 at 8:00pm. Performing their own arrangements of Dylan's songs in sequence from the original show will be Laura CantrellStevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Marshall Crenshaw, Oakley Hall, Nicole Atkins & Lenny Kaye, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, Toshi Reagon, Freeman (recently signed by RCA), Harry Manx & Kevin Breit, The Last Town Chorus/Megan Hickey, Jesse Harris, Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo, Kelly Joe Phelps, Chocolate Genius Inc. and others. Produced in association with Arts > World Financial Center ( www.worldfinancialcenter.com ). Presented in association with WFUV Radio and broadcast on 90.7 FM. www.wfuv.org


Sunday, January 15 at 2pm and 7pm, with a break at 5pm.
The Brazilian Guitar Marathon.
Features Sérgio & Odair Assad (the Marathon's co-curators) and others. 

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets and information: (212) 415-5500 / www.92Y.org

In our 4th biannual Guitar Marathon, the guitar's rich history in Brazil will be explored, from renaissance and baroque to classical and flamenco repertoire. The Assad brothers are today's foremost guitar duo and have worked with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D'Rivera, Gidon Kremer and Dawn Upshaw. They collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma on his popular release, "Obrigado Brazil", a Grammy-winner in 1998, and in 2002 they won a Latin Grammy for their release "Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla". The programming will also include the world premiere of a work commissioned by the NYGF. Composed by Stephan Crump, the work will be performed by his Rosetta Trio. All-day tickets are $60.


BLUE COUNTRY HEART
4-concert Festival Subscription: $120
Single tickets: $35 in advance / $40 day of show

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: (212) 501-3303 / www.kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 8:00pm
The Music of Hank Williams, Sr. 

With John Schaefer (Host), Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Campbell, GE Smith, and Toby Walker. Taught by a bluesman known as "Tee-Tot," Hank wrote and sung some of country music's best-loved songs. He achieved much in his short life and his love for the blues lent his music a lasting quality that has kept him in the spotlight more than fifty years after his death.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 8:00pm
The Music of Merle Haggard

With John Schaefer (Host), Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Campbell, Jim Lauderdale, and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Carrying the mantle of country music into the rock era, Merle Haggard is the embodiment of how it's done right. With forty number-one hits in his career, Merle continues to tour in his 70th year. Join Jorma Kaukonen and friends as they explore the music that has kept us tapping our feet, singing along, and occasionally crying in our beer.


Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 8:00pm
The Music of Loretta Lynn

With John Schaefer (Host), Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Campbell, GE Smith and Taylor Barton, and Laura Cantrell. American icon and songwriting giant Loretta Lynn personifies the very heart of what country music describes: hard times made good through sharing music. Her career has been an autobiographical journey; she is truly one of the toughest spirits in music. Jorma Kaukonen and a star lineup will reinvent Loretta's very personal, folk-tinged music.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 8:00pm
The Music of Lefty Frizzell

With John Schaefer (Host), Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Campbell, Jim Lauderdale, Teddy Thompson, and Ollabelle. Over thirty years ago, Lefty Frizzell left us with a legacy of country music that inspired generations of singers and songwriters; Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson all claim lineage to this early country and rockabilly legend. Lefty's sound continues to be imitated today as we interpret this legendary music on the concert stage.

In addition, New York Guitar Festival will host shows at the Jazz Standard and The Monkey, with more to be announced soon.  Stay tuned to www.newyorkguitarfestival.org for current show schedules and information.

Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two Basks in the Afterglow

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two held at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the University of Illinois campus September 13-15 proved that guitar music, in its many forms, is alive and well in the legends and up and comers alike.  From Kaki King and Natalia Zukerman to Buddy Guy and John McLaughlin, the various theaters, corridors, lobbies and patios of the Krannert Center exploded with the sounds of guitar: acoustic, electric, lap steel and oud.  Toubab Krewe kicked off the weekend Thursday night with their American-rock-meets-West-African-rhythm sounds, and master slide guitar player Cindy Cashdollar joined bluesman Sonny Landreth for an unforgettable lesson in blues music.  Also on Thursday evening, The Yohimbe Brothers featuring Vernon Reid and turntablist DJ Logic rocked the house.  All the while, globe-trotting guitar anthropologist Bob Brozman and Grammy winner Ledward Kaapana played beautiful Hawaiian music under the stars.  By late Thursday night, it was clear that the weekend would be full of unforgettable collaborations from a wide range of virtuoso musicians. 

Festival highlights included the percussive sounds of young Kaki King who performed in the Wood, Steel, & Beyond concert with veteran strings-men Tony McManus and Alex de Grassi.  A strong showing by Shawn Colvin and Natalia Zukerman assured the crowd that guitar music is not lost on young women, as their skillful playing highlighted their outstanding vocal performances.  On Friday evening, the festival's range was undeniable as the Global Guitar concert, which featured international players Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Rahim AlHaj and Pierre Bensusan , came to a close, and the audience moved from the Great Hall to the Tryon Festival Theatre to enjoy the Latin sounds of multi-Grammy winners Los Lobos.  The hill country, blues-infused rock 'n' roll of the North Mississippi Allstars offered what can only be called a romping throw down.  And when they brought in good friend and Chicago's own Jake Cinninger (guitarist for Umphrey's McGee) to play a handful of tunes, the crowd couldn't have asked for more.  The festival culminated Saturday evening as John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension took the stage in the Colwell Playhouse, playing to a sold out audience on the edge of their seats.  A true master of his art, McLaughlin did not disappoint and received rave reviews across the board.  Few performances could follow such a crowd pleasing show, but the Evening Blues concert with Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure & Banning Eyre, Jorma Kaukonen, Buddy Guy and Cindy Cashdollar was the perfect billing and the artists delivered a stellar performance. 

Now in its second year, the first Wall to Wall Guitar Festival took place in 2005 and was a huge success.  Building on the momentum of that inaugural year, The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two offered more than 20 performances by more than 30 artists from all over the world.  The state-of-the-art facilities at the Krannert Center, paired with a handpicked line-up by Artistic Advisor David Spelman, provide Wall to Wall with top-of-the-line acoustic rooms to showcase the outstanding talent of some of the world's finest guitar players.  Truly a festival with something for everyone, Wall to Wall sent this year's crowd home more than satisfied, and already asking about the 2009 event.  With all that music, it's no wonder the festival takes a year off to gear up for the next one. 

For an inside listen on all things Wall to Wall, be sure to check out www.walltowallguitar.com and Tim Brookes' podcast series and a handful of featured performances available on iTunes .