The Canadian Guitar Festival has been fortunate enough over the years to bring the most talented masters of the fingerstyle guitar in the world to some of the most knowledgeable and appreciative audiences in the world. We present the lineup in no particular order.
See you at the lake!
John's FB site: https://www.facebook.com/john12string
Hello, my name’s John Ainsworth and I’m a singer, guitarist, singer/songwriter, or something along those lines. Musician/Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Pianist/Trekie/Sci-fi nerd and proud! I usually write and play on a twelve-string guitar but I have been known to dabble on the 6 string and the piano every now and then. Supposedly in the first paragraph is where you’re supposed to describe your music, if you are still reading this you are now at the point where I am stuck as I haven’t been known to write bios very often, or very well, but I am trying!
So anyway, I suppose I’d say that some of my music is bluesy, heavy dark rock like blues that is. Some is classical based but with rock influences. Some is really mellow and dream-like, and some is a little on the folky side, they tend to be the more honest or heartfelt songs.
I’ve been writing and performing music since I was a kid, I learned how to sing first, then the guitar, and then the piano. I was probably one of the most frustrating music pupils my teachers had as I never practiced what was given to me. I’d get given some piece by Mozart to practice on the piano and instead I’d end up teaching myself the James Bond theme, or get given a classical piece to learn on the guitar and end up teaching myself some Hendrix. But I was a kid and I thought the James Bond theme sounded cool. - John
John released his debut CD "Mind Explosions" in 2012 and has followed that up with an EP titled "Numbers". He has appeared on tour with the UK's Jon Gomm and at various musical festivals around the world. This will be John's 3rd appearance at the Canadian Guitar Festival and we are proud to welcome him back as part of the CGF family.
Jay's web site: http://www.jaycalder.ca/
The guitar has been a passion for Jay Calder for most of his life. He led worship bands for years as a pastor, but it wasn’t until Jay started listening to artists like Michael Hedges, Don Ross, Phil Keaggy and other finger-style guitar virtuosos that he discovered a new creative pallet for his own compositions. A few months after Jay's first solo guitar CD, "Breakfast With Barnabas" was released, it was nominated at the Canadian Vibe Awards as "Instrumental Album of the Year". He began performing solo guitar in a variety of venues in southern Ontario where he received “Best Acoustic Artist” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. Jay now travels across Canada playing (and sometimes speaking) at concerts, worship events and church services.
And from Last.fm:
Jay Calder is a fingerstyle acoustic guitarist, based near Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Jay plays in an athletic, muscular style reminiscent of fingerstyle players like Don Ross, Michael Hedges, Antoine Dufour, Andy McKee, Stephen Bennett, Jacob Moon, and Alex Degrassi.
He uses two-handed tapping, false harmonics and other unusual techniques to draw an almost orchestral range of sound out of the guitar. His independent release, "Breakfast with Barnabas" as well as his live performances, are conducted without the benefit of overdubs, backing tracks or looping.
Jay's approach to music, despite his formidable technique, always puts the composition first.
Live work also allows Jay to communicate his humility, gentle sense of humour, and the powerful influence of his Christian faith upon his music.
Antoine's FB site: https://www.antoinedufourmusic.com/
Montreal, PQ Canada based guitarist Antoine Dufour is known colloquially among the best guitar players in the world as a 'musician’s musician'. Canadian Guitar Festival regulars also know him as a multiple CGF performer and of course as a former winner of the CGF Competition along with a third place at the prestigious international guitar championships at Winfield. Needless to say, we are always excited when Antoine can work us into his very busy schedule these days.
With numerous albums of original material released to critical acclaim, two live performance DVDs, 8 years of global touring and more than 50 million+ cumulative views on YouTube, Antoine Dufour is now an established star of fingerstyle acoustic guitar, building a worldwide reputation for innovation and creativity.
To fans of popular music, Antoine deftly combines jaw-dropping guitar playing skills and an artistic soul in crafting instrumental compositions that reflect ambient and progressive music that transcends global cultures and languages. That he does this in an incredibly visual and entertaining style has endeared him to a broad spectrum of fans of popular music.
Clearly, fans are attracted to his technical prowess, as trail-blazed by such geniuses as Michael Hedges and Preston Reed; yet, it is a solid reflection of his ability and persona that he is simultaneously hailed by reviewers and critics alike. He has been described within traditional media and press with accolades such as:
“… (Antoine is a) wonderland of fingerpicking and highly intricate compositions soothing the soul as they engage the mind. Dufour's riffs are incredible, never-ending, and at times seemingly impossible for human fingers to pull off.”
”The youthful Antoine Dufour's million views on Youtube are easily understood. His style packs a rock band's punch behind extraordinary fluency and features highly effective flamenco-like percussion and deftly reflective melodies as well as urgent, nimble picking.”
Jamie's web site: http://www.jamiedupuis.com/
Jamie Dupuis (born May 10, 1990) is a Canadian virtuoso guitarist, composer and occasional singer and songwriter, best known for his complex fingerstyle technique, energetic performances and the use of percussive effects on the guitar.
Jamie is also the reigning Canadian Guitar Festival Competition champion! Per CGF tradition, Jamie will be leading off our star studded lineup on Friday July 28, 2017.
At only sixteen he studied classical guitar under the direction of Brian McDowell of North Bay Ontario and obtained a first class Grade 8 Guitar honors degree from the Toronto Royal Conservatory in only 2 years.
From 2008 to 2010, under the direction of international guitarist Philip Candelaria, Jamie obtained from Cambrian College in Sudbury Ontario his diploma in Music Performance with a major in Classical guitar and a minor in Piano. For 3 consecutive years, he won the Top Guitar Award in the Senior Category.
In 2011, he won 1st place in the international competition for a Full Ride Scholarship at the Musician Institute of Contemporary Music in Hollywood California where he achieved with high honors an Associate’s Degree.
Jamie’s style is influenced by such great artists as Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Stevie Wonder, and Django Reinhart. He is proficient in many styles such as: Classical, Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, Folk and Pop. He has released 3 CDs; Elements (2015), Into the Wilderness (2012) and Inspired by a Dream (2010).
In addition to an impressive list of international awards and competition placings, Jamie also teaches in his home in Northern Ontario.
Ed's web site: http://virtuerecords.com/
Grammy Award winning guitarist Ed Gerhard is truly a legend; an absolute master of his instrument and a truly wonderful human being to just be around.
Master too of minimalism and the understated, Ed would probably approve if we stopped the bio right here... after all, what more needs to be said?! Performing on 6-string, 12-string, slide guitar or Acoustic Hawaiian Lap Slide, Gerhard captivates his audiences with virtuosity, generosity and sly humor. Known for his gorgeous tone and compositional depth, Gerhard can move a listener with a single note. Scott Alalrik of the Boston Globe said it best when he wrote ‘Gerhard does not write instrumentals. He writes songs only a guitar can sing.
Oh - Ed received his GRAMMY for his inclusion on the CD “Henry Mancini; Pink Guitar.” But let us leave it at that because the list of his awards and accomplishments would go on for pages and pages. Instead, allow me to reproduce a typically understated and classy entry from Ed's 2014-2015 news blog:
"Nature had its way with us all at this year’s Canadian Guitar Festival. A hellacious thunderstorm roared into Kingston, Ontario on the final Sunday afternoon and stayed parked right over us for a couple hours. It was very intense, with big lightning striking the large performance tent a few times. The driving rain poured into the tent leaving water that was knee deep in spots. Del Vezeau, our mighty promoter was a hero and shunted the water out in no time flat. The evening concert was a bit behind schedule but I was honored to close out the festival. All my gear was a bit grungy afterward and everybody’s shoes were wet but we all got through it. Many thanks to the intrepid souls who stuck around for my set. What’s Canadian for 'Mahalo?'”
Welcome back, Ed... and thanks, eh?!
The GIT Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goranguitar
One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration. Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Eliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago.
Since his arrival he’s displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well. He’s recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He’s a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits.
Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he’s achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, “It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic’s technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not.” The trio’s agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, “The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages.” - Reggies, Chicago
Calum's web site: https://calumgraham.com/
At just 24, Calum Graham has already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of most artists twice his age. The Alberta-based guitarist and singer/songwriter has released five acclaimed albums, won major national music competitions, performed at the Olympic Games in both Vancouver and London, racked up some phenomenal views on YouTube, and was most recently named one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Andy McKee, one of today’s most popular acoustic guitarists, calls Calum “the most promising young guitarist I’ve seen. His command of the guitar is already really impressive!”
Calum's musical journey first took flight when he began playing the guitar at the age of 13. Five years later in the summer of 2010, Graham attended the Canadian Guitar Festival and entered the prestigious Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. Impressed with his original compositions, the judges awarded Calum the first place finish; a feat no other teenager has accomplished in the history of the festival. The clip of his winning performance has now generated almost 1 million hits on YouTube.
Calum’s talent is not limited to his extraordinary ability to play the guitar. In 2011, he won the Canada’s Walk of Fame nationwide “A Song For Canada” contest based on his poetic acuteness. His winning poem was used in the song “I’m Here, (A Song For Canada)”.
In the late winter of 2012, and with two albums already under his belt, Calum teamed up with iconic Fingerstyle Guitarist Don Ross. The result was an instrumental acoustic duet album titled, “12:34”. Recorded at famed 'Metalworks Studios' (Toronto, ON), and released through CandyRat Records, the album featured six originals by Graham, three by Ross, and a cover of the OutKast hit song, “Hey Ya!”.
In November of 2013, he released a solo instrumental album titled “Phoenix Rising” (CandyRat Records). The title track has already generated over 2.5 million views on YouTube, with other songs also notching impressive numbers. The success of the album enabled Calum to expand his global fan base and he soon began touring internationally, both on his own and with the likes of Don Ross and Andy McKee.
Canada’s top booking agency, The Feldman Agency, also counted themselves a fan of Graham’s music. So much in fact, that in July 2014, they decided to partner Calum with renowned Canadian producer Gavin Brown (Billy Talent, Metric, The Tragically Hip) on his “Sessions X” series. The series was recorded at Toronto’s Five-Star “Noble Street Studios” and features Graham alongside a number of acclaimed musicians including; Tears For Fears, Feist, Three Days Grace, Metric, and Ron Sexsmith.
In September 2014, Calum teamed up with IMAX composer Steve Wood to write the musical score for 'Humpbacks', an underwater 3D adventure documentary for IMAX and other giant screen theatres.
Calum recently released his fifth studio album 'Tabula Rasa' which was crowd funded by fans across the globe and produced by world renowned Acoustic Guitarist, Antoine Dufour. Adding an extra dimension to his compositions, the album introduces Graham’s soulful vocals to his audience for the first time. The album was released in March 2016 and features a combination of his exemplary instrumental guitar work punctuated throughout with elements of folk, blues, and pop in his vocal songs with guest performances by Antoine Dufour and Bass Guitar Extraordinnaire, Michael Manring.
Gareth's web site: https://www.garethpearson.com/
Regulars of the CGF will certainly recall the frenetic stage presence of Gareth Pearson. He is referred to as “The Welsh Tornado” which is particularly appropriate, seeing as this special talent combines fingerstyle pyrotechnics, with explosive lead runs making Pearson one of the most exciting acoustic musicians gigging today.
Gareth’s distinctive style can be heard through his creative and innovative arrangements of Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Bruno Mars to his own beautiful and often intricate original compositions. Drawing his playing style initially from influences such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Jerry Reed and Tommy Emmanuel, he has developed a style that is both inspiring and entertaining.
Within a year of taking up the guitar, Gareth was opening for Tommy Emmanuel on his 2005 UK tour. It was in Cardiff where Tommy invited Gareth to play at the CAAS convention (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society) in Nashville Tennessee. Later that year, Gareth was performing and touring alongside Ray Davies (The Kinks), John Renbourne, and Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes. During the Southside Johnny tour, Gareth was invited by Southside to be flown over to the USA to open for his annual New Years Eve concert at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey.
The following year Gareth was invited by Tommy Emmanuel to be the support act for his UK tour, following extensive UK supports to Jan Akkerman, Andy McKee and appearing at numerous Folk Festivals and Guitar workshops including the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Preston's web site: https://www.prestonreed.com/
One of the most influential and innovative guitarists of the past quarter century, Preston Reed invented integrated percussive guitar playing in the late 1980's, revolutionizing the way the acoustic guitar is played and inspiring generations of musicians around the world ever since. Employing multi-voiced grooves, poly-rhythmic percussion and story-telling compositions, Reed's visionary approach fully exploits the breathtaking orchestral potential of the acoustic guitar.
Since 1979 Preston has released fifteen critically-acclaimed albums and performed on six continents. His long teaching experience includes The Swannanoa Gathering, where he taught Kaki King, his own week-long workshops in Scotland, attended by many over the years including Ed Sheeran, and his recent masterclass at Berklee College of Music. His 1994 instructional video, The Guitar Of Preston Reed: Expanding The Realm Of Acoustic Playing continues to set today's and tomorrow's top players on the path to developing their own musical voices on the instrument.
2013 saw Preston add to his by then numerous awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ards International Guitar Festival (Belfast, Northern Ireland). In 2014 he performed at the UNESCO International Jazz Day Festival in Odessa, Ukraine, and did a one-day residency at Berklee College of Music which included a master class and a concert at the Berklee Performance Center. He also appeared as mentor on Sky Arts Guitar Star.
Preston's busy 2016 touring activities included a concert performance and his first time adjudicating an international guitar contest at the Canadian Guitar Festival (Kingston, Ontario), a 7-city tour of China, U.S. concert dates with Andy McKee's Guitar Masters, a guitar teaching workshop with Andy McKee, Thomas Leeb and Craig D'Andrea at Andy McKee's Musicarium (Big Indian, New York) and a concert and workshop at the London Acoustic Guitar Show.
In October 2016 he did a 17-date solo concert tour of of Europe encompassing Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Belgium and France.
In November 2016 Reed adjudicated his second international guitar competition at the Wrocław Guitar Masters Festival and Contest in Wrocław, Poland alongside Martin Taylor, Piotr Restecki and Krzysztof Pełech. He opened the gala awards presentation the following evening with a performance of his music.
In four months he had performed in 10 countries.
To date, Reed has recorded seventeen albums. His recorded music was used in the Ken Burns baseball documentary The Tenth Inning, as well as in Josh Fox's environmental protest films Gasland and Gasland 2. He has performed at corporate events for Nike Corporation, Revolution Growth, and the Dubai-based Gulf Agency Company (GAC).
Preston Reed has brought his innovative musical vision to six continents. His recordings and live performances continue to present the defining the sound of the pioneering compositional guitar genre he invented over a quarter of a century ago.
Don's web site: http://donrossonline.com/
NOTE: The preview offers something a little different - Don hosts a 45-minute "podcast" style chat about his new CandyRat CD, "A Million Brazilian Civilians." It is about 45 fascinating and informative minutes of technical info, music clips and anecdotes that is already a hit on both SoundCloud and Facebook.
Don Ross is not only an internationally acclaimed master of the fingerstyle guitar according to both fans and critics alike. He is also a very special friend of the Canadian Guitar Festival family. Not only was he there at the very modest beginnings of the CGF (providing an instant credibility boost), but he has also been a staple with the judging committee for the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition and has even filled in as Festival host when family issues prevented Holmes Hooke from attending not long ago. As we grew together over the years, we recognized that Don is truly a man of many talents.
Here is the modest short bio that Don offers on his popular web site:
Don Ross began playing guitar virtually by accident.
There was always a lot of music around the house. Don’s dad is an operatically-trained singer. So, the Ross kids heard plenty of voice exercises around their Montreal home as well as classical music on the record player growing up (not to mention the occasional blast of the bagpipes when Don’s dad felt like waking up the neighbours with another musical skill he acquired growing up in Scotland!).
Don eventually studied Music at Toronto’s York University. Strangely enough, he didn’t focus on guitar but rather on composition, electronic music, and sound recording. Upon graduating, he had visions of being a composer of orchestral and electronic music or film scores..certainly not any delusions of playing solo guitar for a living. What changed his mind was seeing the success of musicians like Michael Hedges, Steve Reich and Keith Jarrett, player/composers who followed their musical intuitions wherever they led and who fell more into the category of “artist” rather than “guitarist” or “pianist.”
In 1988, Don became the first Canadian to win the U.S. National Fingerpick Guitar Championship. He won again in 1996, still the only two-time winner of the competition. He signed a recording deal with Toronto-based Duke Street Records and released three CDs for them between 1989 and 1993. He then recorded three CDs for Sony/Columbia between 1994 and 1997, and then three more for Milwaukee-based Narada Records between 1999 and 2003.
With the collapse of the conventional recording industry in the early 21st century, Don entered into a new venture with Milwaukee-based CandyRat Records and its founder, Rob Poland. The move to a completely internet-based model of releasing recordings resulted in the first ever CandyRat CD, 2005’s Music for Vacuuming. Don has released numerous CDs and DVDs for the new label, including his new album, A Million Brazilian Civilians, on CD and see-through orange vinyl.
Don has toured regularly since 1989, across Canada, the USA, a dozen European countries, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras in Canada and Germany, and collaborated live and on recording with U.S. guitarist Andy McKee, Canadian singer/guitarist Brooke Miller, Canadian guitarist Calum Graham, & Toronto bassist Jordan O’Connor. He also composes scores for television, radio and film, and does production and recording engineering for a variety of other musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, harp guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums. He has just started learning to play the Kelstone, a 9-string guitar developed by Belgian musician/inventor Jan Van Kelst. At this point, Don admits that learning a new instrument from scratch at this point in his career is “humbling. I’m a rank amateur Kelstone player, and I still completely suck at it!”
Don Ross grew up in Montreal, has lived at various times in Ontario, Nova Scotia, the USA, China and Quebec, and now resides in Halifax. His current CD is 'A Million Brazillian Civilians'.
Erick's web site: https://www.facebook.com/erickturnbullmusic/?ref=page_internal
The intro to the trailer of a documentary on Erik Turnbull features Erik asserting, "I have demons... and that's what I always refer to them as."
Oh yeah - Erick is a character all right. Make no mistake. He is also scary talented. Any doubts in that regard were erased way back in 2005 when he walked off with a 1st place finish in the Canadian Guitar Festival's Fingerstyle Competition. For some perspective, Antoine Dufour and Andy McKee finished 2nd and 3rd that year. And with that, we have pretty well exhausted the available online biography information of this [more or less] local grown talent.
We know that Erick hails from Napanee, Ontario, just a few miles down the 401 from Kingston. We know that he is a brilliant composer and also has a knack for making any "covers" he may offer into his own... at least according to Amazon. But maybe it is better if we let Amazon try to get a handle on our very own local boy made good:
"Erick Turnbull is an oddity, in a good kind of way. He took first place at the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition last July  in Odessa, after taking third place the year before. While his ability on the instrument is never in question, what is also note worthy of mention is his work as a stand up comedian. His ability to merge the two has been seen all over Kingston in various clubs of late. He was actually fired from a club several years ago for taking the stage nude. While his guitar offered some discretion, the owners were apparently not as 'forward thinking' as Erick had hoped. Erick's humorous anecdotes and impressions connect rather well with the 'under 30' crowd, and though anyone can relate to his cover of 'Roxanne' by The Police, no one's ready when he does it backwards midway through."
Last FM also noted Erick's signature combining of his awesome musical talent with his often hilarious stand up comedy:
"Erick Turnbull was born March 20,1977 in Napanee, Ontario, and had already begun playing guitar by the age of ten. At school, Erick used to entertain classmates with impressions of his teachers, and soon learned to combine his guitar playing with his comedy. He has been performing ever since."
We can honestly state that we can never be sure what to expect when Erick takes the stage. But we know one thing for an absolute fact - our knowledgeable CGF audiences love the guy!
Oh - you can watch the documentary on Erick Turnbull by Ryan R. F. Wilkinson on YouTube. Not safe for work or youngsters due to some rough language and some raw lifestyle material:
Del's CGF FB web site: https://www.facebook.com/CanadianGuitarFestival
It is difficult to characterize Del Vezeau: Guitarist, Agent, Promoter, Artistic Director, Self described Libertarian, Humorist, Occasional Impressionist, Cook, Father, Pet owner, Impresario, 37, Aquarian, 'Husky', Handy, Self Directed, Self taught, Far from perfect, Self effacing, Critical thinker, Older than his years but still a kid... Del tends to wear plenty of hats these days. Yet we suspect that most recognize him as the visionary behind the Canadian Guitar Festival. It has been quite the journey - from the humble beginnings in an open field in Odessa, Ontario to the current magnificent location under the dome by the shore of the pristine lake in Loughborough Lake Holiday Park just a few minutes north of Kingston, Ontario. It has been quite the ride.
He grew up in a small town called Hubbards on the South Shore of Nova Scotia but has resided in Ontario since 1990.He started playing guitar at the age of eleven with instruction from his Dad in the Bluegrass vein but had quickly moved into areas of progressive music during his early teens. He ditched the electric in favour of his acoustic work in the early nineties, cut his hair and has never looked back.
His early work was very Latin influenced and he saw himself touring in far away places like Guatemala in 1994. A part time musician until 2001, Del has undergone a remarkable evolution as a song writer and entertainer. He has toured extensively with Don Ross, performed a solo show for the final evening of the 2004 Montreal Jazz Festival and has organized Canada's first guitar festival (www.canadianguitarfestival.com).
His music, stage presence and ability to connect with audiences is gaining wider footholds with each performance.
Del has released two CDs over the years - 'Paradigm' in 1999 and 'Irregular Pulse' in 2004. Rumour has it that he is finally freeing up enough time somehow to work on some material for a third album. Meanwhile he still tours occasionally and continues to hone the self-taught talent that has led him to where he is now. He adds, "Many say that I do the best 'Stuart MacLean' in all the land...some of them even work at the CBC :-) It can get pretty unpredictable when I do it in concert as I improvise a narrative based on audience suggestions, so whatever happens, at least they are partly responsible for the experience."
If anyone can be said to be 'living the dream', it is Del. Whether he is doing his promoter thing, or performing on stage, or handling the lunch break in the ticket booth, or looking after one of his many summer Park residents, it soon becomes apparent that he loves people and he loves his Canadian Guitar Festival family.
And when he writes, "See you at the lake.", he really means it. Join us and say 'Hi!' You will find him easily enough - he will be the 6' 4" guy, probably riding around in a golf cart, with a huge smile on his face.
MG3-CGT documentary: https://youtu.be/WCMeNBYB55s
Inspired in 2009 by an impromptu studio session together in Montreal, CGT and MG3 have proceeded to release a live recording (2011), land showcases at numerous arts presenter conferences, and sustain frequent co-bill touring throughout North America; from the Iridium in New York City, to Montreal Jazz Festival (twice), to Napa Valley Opera House, and ever-increasing points in between.
Montreal Guitar Trio (MG3)
Described by the CBC as “the hottest guitar ensemble in Canada” and formed by three guitarists of unbridled energy and charisma, MG3 leads its audience in a special place where jazz and world music are entwined with gusto. Spiced by a wry sense of humor, its music exubes an irresistible energy and an overwhelming passion that will make you stamp furiously! The trio’s eclectic music takes listeners on a journey through the world’s many cultures — from the mysterious, exotic melodies of India to the hot rhythms of South America, Spain, the Balkans, the Orient, traditional Quebec and… Hollywood. Coming from a classical background, MG3 members also sing and write much of their material. Since it was founded at University of Montréal in 1998, MG3 has given hundreds of concerts in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, many of which have been recorded and broadcast by national networks such as CBC, Radio-France, BRAVO and Société Radio-Canada.
In last last years, MG3 performed over 200 concerts in France, Belgium, the UK, Canada, United States, Germany, Estonia, Switzerland and Denmark.
California Guitar Trio (CGT)
With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music, progressive, as well as the quintessential California musical genre surf music, the California Guitar Trio’s stunning virtuosity and sly sense of humor have earned them an enthusiastic following and wide notoriety, with significant crossover in the progressive, acoustic and classical music scenes. Notably, CGT music was featured on the television coverage of the 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 Olympics, and also on CBS, NBC, CNN, and ESPN TV programs. The CGT performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards nominated track Apollo on Tony Levin’s CD Pieces of the Sun; and CGT music was sent into outer space as wake up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor. Over the past 14 years of nearly incessant touring, the California Guitar Trio has shared the stage with superb musicians and performers such as: King Crimson, Jon Anderson, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Tito Puente, Taj Mahal, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dark Star Orchestra, Leftover Salmon, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, David Sylvian, Adrian Legg, Kaki King and many more. Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Brussels, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo first met in England at one of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft Courses in 1987. After completing several of these intensive courses, the three toured worldwide with Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists.
What the media says…
“Together, they brought 40 years of combined performing experience to the concert (…) If you think you have heard guitar music, you haven’t heard these six fill the room with sound”. — The SunValley Journal, (Idaho)
“If you think you have heard guitar music, you haven’t heard these six fill the room with sound.” — The SunValley Journal (Idaho)
“… a pure happiness! Definetely a concert to watch again and again!” — Info Culture (Montreal, Quebec)
“Far from a part time project, this ensemble is much more than a simple guitar sextet (…) The experience is unique!” — Yves Bernard Le Devoir (Montreal, Quebec)
The Performance Schedule is subject to change at any time so be sure to check it regularly. PLEASE NOTE: As we firm up the lineup, the artist's starting/playing time is always approximate and they have been known to go with a really good vibe! See you at the lake!
The Canadian Guitar Festival is delighted to welcome back the spoken word legend Holmes Hooke as Master of Ceremonies this year. Possessing a keen wit and capable of a sensitive and yet brutally honest turn of phrase is what makes Holmes one of the most distinctive artists today. He's sought out by festivals and clubs for his performance poetry, stories and songs as well as for his highly creative talents as a host and Master of Ceremony.
The Canadian Guitar Festival is delighted to welcome back the spoken word legend Holmes Hooke as Master of Ceremonies this year. Possessing a keen wit and capable of a sensitive and yet brutally honest turn of phrase is what makes Holmes one of the most distinctive artists today. He's sought out by festivals and clubs for his performance poetry, stories and songs as well as for his highly creative talents as a host and master of ceremony.
Many of Holmes’ word compositions have been set to music, and performed by over 40 artists, including John McDermott, Tanglefoot, Bobby Watt, Rick Fielding, Jeff Wiseman, Katherine Wheatley, Wendell Ferguson, and Brendan Nolan.
In addition to a a full schedule of live performances, Holmes has found the time to write and illustrate a well received children's book. His poem “Plant a Tree” was also included in a time capsule buried in Scotland, to be opened in a huge celebration one hundred years from now. Holmes says he definitely plans to be there.
"Imagine putting together a group of planets preoccupied with the workings of their own orbits. What's needed now is the sun. Holmes Hooke brought that with him as though it were in his back pocket. The planets saw a wider view of themselves and of each other. New trees took root in the doing: ...sustained as though they might again endure a long cold year." Del Vezeau - Founder of the Canadian Guitar Festival
In addition to hosting the Festival since 2004, Holmes has received the following accolades: