Guitar festivals are a good time. Imagine yourself immersed in lecture sessions, lessons, and masterclasses. Then throw in some concerts by artists you’ve been dying to see for years.
But those are not the real reason reason you should go to a guitar festival.
It’s all about the people. Guitar festivals are full of extraordinary people. These people may be the teaching artists or the guys who organized it or just some friends you met along the way. It doesn’t matter. A guitar festival is an opportunity to interact with great people from all over.
Some Great People I Met in the Last Two Weeks
It’s been a busy two weeks. I drove from Fort Worth to Macomb, IL then to Chicago, then back again. Along the way I played three concerts, gave four lectures, and spent the time hanging out with some extraordinary people. So let me introduce them to you.
Matt Warnock makes me feel lazy. He’s an amazing jazz guitarist (who can play with his fingers faster than most classical guitarists can ever hope to), runs a guitar program, is the editor of Guitar International Magazine, and does a lot of other freelance work. Matt is the guy behind the WIU Guitar Fest.
Tom Clippert and Jeffrey Silva of the Avanti Guitar Trio make a living playing and teaching in one of the harshest guitar environments in the world: Chicago. There are politics aplenty that keep many guitarists from working there, but Jeff and Tom maintain an active performance schedules and teach some amazing students. (Shout out to my friends in the guitar studio at ChiArts.)
Jesse Mazzoccoli loves guitar. He’s been playing and teaching professionally for years, but only recently decided to go back and do the guitar degree thing. Jesse is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Guilherme Vincens is an incredible guitar player. I’m always amazed at how relaxed and chill he is on stage. He projects the sort of confidence that let’s an audience truly relax and enjoy the music.
Dan Koentopp is passionate about building guitars. And when you talk with him about it, you can’t help but notice. He uses a blend of old school methods and modern technology to produce some great classical and archtop guitars.
Most of you probably know Brad DeRoche. He founded Strings by Mail. He’s also a great guitarist and a nice guy. He knows a lot about strings and nice guitars. (A LOT.)
If I saw you at a concert or lecture, thank you so much for coming out!