We know you’re out there…..guitar freaks of all natures. It’s the instrument you dream of playing or already play. It’s also the showpiece instrument of many a band and one that, depending on the calibre of the player, gets the lion’s share of the attention. Not that you play music for attention – but if you did, you’d strive to be a great guitarist.
Think of the greats from across all musical genres. They become deities – during their lifetime, or otherwise. You don’t see a lot of Top 100 Oboe Players lists, do you? Chet Atkins. Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, James Burton, Clapton-Cooder-Cropper. Danny Gatton. Dick Dale. Roy Buchanan or Peter Green. Bert Jansch or John Fahey. John Jorgenson. Tommy Emmanuel. Andrés Segovia. Django Reinhart. Joe Pass. The list can go on forever, as you know. Country. Rock. Blues. Classical. Jazz. Fusion. Folk. Bluegrass. Doesn’t matter.
Seeing any good guitarist play live is a jaw-dropping, thoroughly intimidating and highly enthralling experience. And now yo have multiple chances to experience some of the best guitar work you’ve ever seen and heard on the two dates above. And you thought International Guitar Night was something else? Like a memorial service for starving artists, perhaps? Or a series of classes and seminars moving from town to town?
The concept is not a new one. Who can’t recall those heady days when some of us were treated to the chance to see Paco de Lucia, John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola perform live at the then-named O’Keefe Centre? Mind-numbing. Ear-opening. Years prior, however, some of the larger jazz labels organized this sort of thing – “summits”, touring complementary musicians on an instrument-specific basis.
But these International Guitar Nights were born in 1995 and organized by Brian Gore of San Francisco. His goal was to blend acoustic players, joining him in a public forum to play their latest music as well as to – on a spontaneous basis – share styles and ideas with each other – to the marvel of each audience. This is the 11th year of this ”mobile guitar festival” and the likes of Peppino d’Agostino, Clive Carroll, Andrew York, D’Gary, Miguel De La Bastide, Pierre Bensusan, Guinga have been a part of this event – as have many more world-classguitarists over the years.
Gore is the one constant – a renowned guitarist in his own right, artist in residence at the Boulder Chautauqua, sponsored by Acoustic Guitar magazine and a well-respected steel string fingerstyle player who adds a strong element of percussion to his playing.
Joining Gore is Lulo Reinhardt, a descendant of Django from Germany who mixes his family’s trademark Gypsy Jazz with new forays into Latin music. Expect everything from flamenco to Latin-tinged jazz. Adrian Legg is the only performer this reviewer has seen live – in an intimate show at the old Top o’ the Senator. It was a phenomenal experience as his fingers are ablaze, attempting to keep up with his wildly explorative musical mind.
Originally pigeonholed in an uncomfortable ‘New Age’ category back in ’90 with his first release, the London-born Legg has gone on to dazzle the most accomplished players with his trailblazing skills, earning the reputation of “Best Fingerstyle Guitarist” from Guitar Player magazine multiple times. You won’t catch him with an oboe (although he actually does play one) but, if you’re lucky, you’ll experience his hilarious banter along the way.
Renowned Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira is the 4th guitar wizard of the evening. He spent many years in France, earning a classical guitar Masters degree from the Université Musicale Internationale of Paris, together with a Master’s degree in Musicology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He brings his Brazilian edge to the party as well as the jazz and Latin-American music he has learned along the way.
Theirs is a classical music of sorts with overtones of world music, as you’d expect from these four artists and their various home bases. Elements of blues, jazz, folk override their more formal musical educations and the results are best heard on their new disc – International Guitar Night VI – a live extravaganza exploding as the chemistry of these four masters kick our their respective jams. And what you’ll hear here is exactly what you can expect live as this tour crosses the country before taking on the U.S. in January.
Do yourself a favour – take advantage of this rare opportunity to witness sheer acoustic guitar virtuosity as it was meant to be enjoyed. Chances are you’ll be forever moved by the scale of this truly International experience.
More information at internationalguitarnight.com
November 3 Port Theatre, Nanaimo BC
November 4 Massey Theatre, New Westminster BC
November 5 Maurice Young Millenium Place, Whistler BC
November 6 University Centre, University of Victoria, Victoria BC
November 10 Theatre Hector-Charland, L’Assomption QC
November 11 Diffusions Coulisse, Beloeil QC
November 12 Theatre Lionel Groulx, Ste. Therese QC
November 13 Centre Culturel de L’Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke QC
November 16 Centre des Arts Juliette-Lassonde, Saint-Hyacinth QC
November 18 Shenkman Theatre, Ottawa ON
November 19 Theatre Outremont, Montreal QC
November 20 Markham Performing Arts Center, Markham ON
November 22 Oakville Centre, Oakville ON
November 23 Brock Univeristy, St. Catharines ON
November 25 Burt Church Theatre, Airdrie AB
November 26/27 Empress Theatre, Ft. Mcleod AB
November 29 Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff AB