Mike Dowling

Mike Dowling

October 20, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Bio

When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975 he did the sensible thing. He hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vassar’s first touring band and can be heard on his Grammy-nominated “Nashville Jam”. Clements called him simply, “One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere.”Echoing that sentiment is an ever-growing chorus of music critics, guitar students, and acoustic music fans from throughout the world.

Mike digs deep into the musical bag of American roots guitar, favoring the melodic Piedmont style of acoustic blues masters like Mississippi John Hurt and slide great Tampa Red. But Mike can’t be pigeonholed as a blues player, or even as a fingerstylist. He’s far too versatile for that. From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz and much more in between, Mike’s musicality, depth, and mastery of the instrument translates fluently to flattop, archtop, and resonator guitars alike.

Mike grew up in central Wisconsin and early in his career in the midwest caught the ear of jazz violin great Joe Venuti and mandolinist Jethro Burns. In the 1970’s, in addition to touring with Clements, he worked and recorded with Burns and Venuti in Chicago and in between jobs took time off to move to California when he had the opportunity to study with the late, great George Barnes. Barnes had been “the” session guy for many years, recording with everyone from Big Bill Broonzy to Tony Bennett. “I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with him”, Mike says. ” He was so tasteful, so rhythmic. He set the bar very high for me and he continues to be an inspiration.”


The Fula Brothers

The Fula Brothers

September 15, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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This performance is presented in partnership with ACANSA Arts Festival of the South. Ticketing info will be available closer to the event.

Bio

Fula Brothers are a burst of unbridled, creative musicianship and happy-making. A high-spirited meeting of veteran performers from West Africa and America, each with a history of innovation and collaboration. Together they weave West African hunter’s harp, fingerstyle guitar, drums, vocals, and a bounty of improvisation into an ecstatic groove-based dialogue, which the heart – and the feet – cannot resist.

Master kamale ngoni player, Mamadou Sidibe, is from the Wassoulou region of Mali, West Africa. Twenty-five years ago, Mamadou played a groundbreaking role in the transformation of this region’s music from its origins in hunters’ sacred melodies – played on six string donso ngoni (hunter’s harps) – to a music of philosophical observations, politics, and daily life. Mamadou was one of the first to expand the instrument’s range with two extra strings, creating the popular kamale ngoni. He has recently enhanced the kamale ngoni even further by devising 10 and 12-stringed instruments. “At the center of his music is the same sensibility that you’ll find in Muddy Waters: a sense of music as a tool for the re-creation of everyday life into something special, even magical.” -Stylus.
Fingerstyle guitarist Walter Strauss’s multi-layered style draws on American roots, jazz, classical, and cultural guitar traditions. But what makes his playing utterly unique is how it is informed by other global stringed instruments. He has delved deep into the harp traditions of West Africa, integrating elements of their richly layered styles and rhythmic sensibilities with his own and rendering traditional pieces on the guitar. In addition to his solo CDs and performances across the US and UK, Walter’s collaborations have spanned an impressive range of musicians, from maverick multi-instrumentalist, Joe Craven, and Grammy-winning Malian kora player, Mamadou Diabate, to Scottish fiddler, Johnny Hardie, and Grammy-nominated guitar maestro, Alex de Grassi. “A many-layered, multi-textured, one-man folk festival.” -Maverick Magazine.


Karlijn Langendijk and Dustin Furlow

Karlijn Langendijk & Dustin Furlow

July 21, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Karlijn Langendijk

Karlijn Langendijk was born in 1995 and grew up in Uitgeest, The Netherlands. Surrounded by acoustic guitar music since birth, she started playing the guitar at the age of 13 inspired by her father. Her music is not just happy or sad – she composes all the intricate shades of emotions that people feel really intensely but cannot communicate in words. As a guitarist & composer, she is fascinated by all kinds of different music genres and she mixes all these together into a completely unique style.

She has shared the stage with musicians like Tommy Emmanuel and Peter Finger, and has toured across Europe, China, Japan and India. Together with acoustic guitarist Tim Urbanus, she released her debut duo album “Leap of Faith” in 2015 at the renowned label “Acoustic Music Records”. In November 2015 she won the first prize and the audience prize at the “SAI Acoustic Guitar Competition” in the Czech Republic. She played in the finals of the “Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2018” competition in London. She was placed 6th in the Top 10 of “Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2020” by MusicRadar.

In 2017 Karlijn graduated from the Conservatory in Utrecht (NL) and two years later she finished her Master of Music in “Acoustic Guitar” at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden (DE), where she received lessons from well-respected musicians like Thomas Fellow, Reentko Dirks and Stephan Bormann.

Her solo EP “Luna” was released in July 2017 and is an engaging and diverse mix from her solo repertoire that she is playing on tour regularly.
In 2018 she cofounded MusiSHEans – a community to support and empower female musicians who should be heard for their music and not be judged on their looks or sex appeal. In November 2019 she will be part of the MusiSHEans Announcement Tour through Europe.
In December 2019 she released her new duo guitar album “MERAKI” together with Czech guitarist Ladislav Pazdera, which consists of virtuoso rhythmical pieces and atmospherical ballads.

Dustin Furlow

Dustin Furlow is an award-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist whose playing and songwriting reflect a clear influence of today’s contemporary-folk artists. With comparisons to songwriters such as Ray LaMontagne and virtuoso guitar-players like Tommy Emmanuel, Furlow eventually carved out a sound that became easily distinguishable by it’s marriage of complex guitar work and warm, home-spun lyrics. From the haunting melodies in “Evergreen” to the foot-tapping groove of “Cherokee Lake” Dustin is an ambassador of dynamic control on stage. In 2019 he played over 200 shows, many with Harp-guitarist and International Fingerstyle-Guitar Champion Matt Thomas.

In April 2021 Dustin was announced as the winner of Scottish luthier Taran Guitars’ “Young Player Bursary” award.

In February 2017, he received the Veer Magazine Music Award for “Best Acoustic/Folk Artist” in the Southeastern Virginia area. That year he also recieved nominations for “Song of the Year” (The Garden), and “Album of the Year” (The Sound That You Call Home).

In 2016, Furlow released the full-length “The Sound That You Call Home”, which has enjoyed airplay on NPR radio’s “Acoustic Highway”, “Hunter at Sunrise”, and “Out of the Box” and recieved the title of “Album of the Year” by Barry Graham of NPR’s “Acoustic Highway”.

A year later Furlow went on to release the EP “Solo”, which was a live-in-studio project recorded by Rob Ulsh at Master Sound Studios (Justin Timberlake, Depeche Mode, Gwen Stefani) in Virginia Beach. (2017)

Playing just over 244 shows in 2017, he is almost always engaged in recording, writing, or performing and is currently producing his third album, “Woodscapes” with Kim Person (Tommy Emmanuel, Stephen Bennett, Matt Thomas). – November 2018

“Dustin Furlow is developing a reputation as one of the best acoustic guitarists in Hampton Roads, and his disc “The Sound That You Call Home” does nothing to dissuade that notion.”

— Mike Holtzclaw – The Daily Press

“Incredible talent – playing every venue there is from NorVa to the smallest local cafes – the emerging acoustic talent in the area.”

— Veer Magazine 2014


Al Petteway

Al Petteway

June 16, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Bio

Al Petteway has played music professionally since he was twelve years old, performing nearly every type of popular, folk and classical music. Though his primary instrument has always been the guitar, he has also studied lute, string bass, percussion and music composition. His compositions for acoustic fingerstyle guitar are strongly influenced by his love of Celtic music and his own roots in folk, rock and blues. His recordings, music books, and instructional videotapes have helped to win him international acclaim and appearances on National Radio and Television Programs. Al has won a GRAMMY and was awarded FORTY FIVE “Wammies” by the Washington Area Music Association including the top honors of “ARTIST OF THE YEAR” and “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR”. He was the recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards for Music Composition and has performed at the Vice President’s House and The White House. His playing is featured on more than sixty recordings by some of the World’s best known Folk and Celtic musicians. He has been Artist In Residence at The Kennedy Center and at Warren Wilson College. He performs both solo and with his wife, Amy White, records and teaches private lessons in their home studio in Weaverville, NC and is the Guitar Week coordinator for the world famous “Swannanoa Gathering” music camp at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, N.C.


Bill Mize

Bill Mize

January 20, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Bio

“It was the mid-1950s when I first saw Elvis on TV. Although I was only three or four years old, I realized I had just witnessed something incredibly powerful, and for me music was what it was going to be all about.”

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Grammy-winning guitarist Bill Mize is a son of Tennessee, and a fitting representative of his state’s rich musical heritage. His critically lauded fingerstyle compositions are fluid and intricate, and their delivery masterful. One suspects an influential teacher, and one would be right. “I received most of my musical education from a cheap Zenith radio,” says Mize, who as a child drifted off to sleep to the decidedly non-sleepy lullabyes emanating from Nashville’s WLAC and WSM and Knoxville’s WNOX.

Maybe that’s why critics speak of his ability to “transport” the listener; the music itself has been transported. The links to his Tennessee roots are unmistakable, but so are the elements of the far wider musical realm he inhabits, and the mixture is as intoxicating as Tennessee moonshine. With a twist.

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Bill is a past winner of the National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition at The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Guitar Player Magazine has labeled this event the “U.S. Open of guitar competitions.” Bill received a GRAMMY Award for his collaboration with musician and storyteller David Holt on the recording Stellaluna, and has been featured on the popular guitar compilations “Windham Hill Guitar Sampler” by Windham Hill Records and “Masters of the Acoustic Guitar” by Narada Records. In 2009, Bill’s music appeared in the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Mel Bay Productions transcribed Mize’s second CD, “Tender Explorations,” into a songbook, and his original compositions have been transcribed for Fingerstyle Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines.


Brooks Robertson

Brooks Robertson

November 17, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Brooks Robertson just doesn’t need much more than two thumbs, eight fingers and six strings on a wooden box to carry his listeners away.

Hailed by prominent exponents of his instrument like Nokie Edwards, Thom Bresh, John Jorgenson and Mason Williams, the young fingerstyle guitarist embodies the creative vision of a postmodern world: It’s the music that counts. Brooks utilizes his superb technical abilities to play bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously and surpass the borders of conventional genres. He merges hauntingly beautiful compositions, country rhythms and jazzy harmonies with funky licks into his very own art form – sometimes delivered with a punch, sometimes with a smile.

Brooks was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1989. Seeing Buster B. Jones perform at a festival near his home town became a life-changing experience for the kid from the sticks. Just eleven years old, he was immediately inclined to pick up the guitar. Soon, the world renowned fingerstyle virtuoso and instructor dedicated his spare time to introducing his new fan into the secrets of the fretboard, and after six months of lessons the natural talent performed his first show with his mentor.

When Buster B. Jones took him under his wings, Brooks began playing high-profile gigs such as the Nokie Edwards Festival, the NAMM Show in Anaheim, the Montreal Jazz Festival or the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield among others. By the time he was a teenager he had become the youngest endorsee of Godin Guitars and traveled to several states and foreign countries to perform. Brooks went on to play on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio classic “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2004, where he won first place in a talent competition for 12 to 20 year old participants.

In recent years, while still appearing regularly at prestigious events like the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention in Nashville, Brooks focussed on perfecting his craft, soaking up new tunes and styles and techniques as well as blending them into his own groovy and soulful original music. He entered the “Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition”, which drew participants from more than 40 countries all over the world. Brooks was invited to perform in the finals at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles in March 2010. A star-studded jury, including Steve Lukather and Lee Ritenour, eventually chose him as winner of the country category and second place winner overall.

Although he is deeply rooted in the powerful tradition of the genre, founded by the likes of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh and Buster B. Jones, Brooks also draws inspiration from the elegant mastery of the legendary Chet Atkins and other phenomenal players. His own compositions and arrangements have even been compared to fingerstyle jazz champions Lenny Breau and Earl Klugh. Now, as energy and maturity come together, this young man is ready to step out of his mentors’ shadows and electrify the world with the sheer acoustic beauty his fingers create, when touching a set of strings.

“The Future of American fingerstyle guitar” – Buster B. Jones
“I’ve always loved playing with Brooks, he’s a joy to be around!” – Tommy Emmanuel CGP

“I was completely knocked out with the acoustic guitar virtuosity of Brooks Robertson! Brooks has a very original touch and sound plus monster chops. He’s always making great music with his guitar. I’m sure Brooks will be sharing his music with the entire world and have an incredible career.” – Lee Ritenour

“Brooks Robertson plays like the house is on fire.”  – Thom Bresh

“All guitar players are like Frankensteins. Their music is made out of bits and pieces of other players. In Brooks’ case, he’s a son of a Frankenchops, the well known monster picker Buster B. Jones. Buster and Brooks are both so scary … the legend continues.” – Mason Williams

“Brooks Robertson has one of the very best techniques in fingerstyle guitar. You can hear the influences of Buster B. Jones, Jerry Reed, and all the great fingerpickers past … and he’s writing some fabulous new material. An amazing guitar player who’s showing the rest of us how it’s done! Nobody whops Brooks Robertson!”  – Richard Smith
“Brooks Robertson is a superb and exciting guitarist. I love his playing!”  – Pat Bergeson

Brooks Robertson

November 19, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Brooks Robertson just doesn’t need much more than two thumbs, eight fingers and six strings on a wooden box to carry his listeners away.

Hailed by prominent exponents of his instrument like Nokie Edwards, Thom Bresh, John Jorgenson and Mason Williams, the young fingerstyle guitarist embodies the creative vision of a postmodern world: It’s the music that counts. Brooks utilizes his superb technical abilities to play bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously and surpass the borders of conventional genres. He merges hauntingly beautiful compositions, country rhythms and jazzy harmonies with funky licks into his very own art form – sometimes delivered with a punch, sometimes with a smile.

Brooks was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1989. Seeing Buster B. Jones perform at a festival near his home town became a life-changing experience for the kid from the sticks. Just eleven years old, he was immediately inclined to pick up the guitar. Soon, the world renowned fingerstyle virtuoso and instructor dedicated his spare time to introducing his new fan into the secrets of the fretboard, and after six months of lessons the natural talent performed his first show with his mentor.

When Buster B. Jones took him under his wings, Brooks began playing high-profile gigs such as the Nokie Edwards Festival, the NAMM Show in Anaheim, the Montreal Jazz Festival or the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield among others. By the time he was a teenager he had become the youngest endorsee of Godin Guitars and traveled to several states and foreign countries to perform. Brooks went on to play on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio classic “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2004, where he won first place in a talent competition for 12 to 20 year old participants.

In recent years, while still appearing regularly at prestigious events like the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention in Nashville, Brooks focussed on perfecting his craft, soaking up new tunes and styles and techniques as well as blending them into his own groovy and soulful original music. He entered the “Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition”, which drew participants from more than 40 countries all over the world. Brooks was invited to perform in the finals at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles in March 2010. A star-studded jury, including Steve Lukather and Lee Ritenour, eventually chose him as winner of the country category and second place winner overall.

Although he is deeply rooted in the powerful tradition of the genre, founded by the likes of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh and Buster B. Jones, Brooks also draws inspiration from the elegant mastery of the legendary Chet Atkins and other phenomenal players. His own compositions and arrangements have even been compared to fingerstyle jazz champions Lenny Breau and Earl Klugh. Now, as energy and maturity come together, this young man is ready to step out of his mentors’ shadows and electrify the world with the sheer acoustic beauty his fingers create, when touching a set of strings.

“The Future of American fingerstyle guitar” – Buster B. Jones
“I’ve always loved playing with Brooks, he’s a joy to be around!” – Tommy Emmanuel CGP

“I was completely knocked out with the acoustic guitar virtuosity of Brooks Robertson! Brooks has a very original touch and sound plus monster chops. He’s always making great music with his guitar. I’m sure Brooks will be sharing his music with the entire world and have an incredible career.” – Lee Ritenour

“Brooks Robertson plays like the house is on fire.”  – Thom Bresh

“All guitar players are like Frankensteins. Their music is made out of bits and pieces of other players. In Brooks’ case, he’s a son of a Frankenchops, the well known monster picker Buster B. Jones. Buster and Brooks are both so scary … the legend continues.” – Mason Williams

“Brooks Robertson has one of the very best techniques in fingerstyle guitar. You can hear the influences of Buster B. Jones, Jerry Reed, and all the great fingerpickers past … and he’s writing some fabulous new material. An amazing guitar player who’s showing the rest of us how it’s done! Nobody whops Brooks Robertson!”  – Richard Smith

“Brooks Robertson is a superb and exciting guitarist. I love his playing!”  – Pat Bergeson


Don Ross

Don Ross

February 17, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

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.

Don Ross

October 15, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

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.


Shane Hennessy

Shane Hennessy

August 18, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Irish virtuoso guitarist Shane Hennessy has established himself as one of the leading guitarists on the world stage, known widely for his fingerstyle, flatpicking, and percussive guitar-playing approaches. His energetic live performances and his cinematically-vivid compositions tie in influences from Bach to Beyoncé – and everything in between! With a unique style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band – covering drums, bass, rhythm and lead lines – Shane builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own.

Billed as “one of the most exciting live performers of his generation, with an ability to move between styles and genres with ease” by Irish Music Magazine, audiences can never be too sure what will come next during the exciting mix of jazz, blues, country, soul, traditional Irish music, and world music he offers. With the addition of some smooth vocals, genre-hopping improvisations, and well-arranged covers, it makes sense why music legend super-producer Nile Rodgers (CHIC) thinks that “his style is killer, it’s really cool stuff”, and why guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel says that Shane “is one of the most engaging musicians in the world today”.
Over the course of a performance, Hennessy brings the audience from elatory highs to the depths of reflection, delivering stories, anecdotes, and off-the-cuff remarks with the same passion he holds for the music he performs. He says himself that it is hard to describe in words what he does on stage without experiencing it in person, but it becomes clear upon witnessing his performance why his tour schedule is so hectic. In 2019 alone, he will visit much of mainland Europe, Russia, China, and the United States, the pinnacle of this world tour being a solo set at the prestigious MerleFest in North Carolina, widely recognised as the mecca of Americana and Roots music in the USA.
A musician from a young age, he credits his background in Irish traditional music as the base on which he has built his genre-defying musical explorations. Initially a concertina player under the tuition of the renowned Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Hennessy first turned to the guitar inspired by the music of James Taylor. Becoming more interested in songwriting and in music in general, it was when he discovered the styles of Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins that his interest in solo performance blossomed. From that point on he has toured the world, with thousands of shows under his belt, and a proven track record as a performer, songwriter, arranger, accompanist, and session musician.
A highlight of his career to date has been a sold-out a solo show in The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, for the release of his latest CD ‘Marrakech’. Another milestone in 2018 was when Shane worked with Bill Whelan, Grammy-award winning composer of Riverdance, on a piece of music commissioned for guitar, piano, and string quartet. He has also given numerous lectures and guitar workshops all over the world for guitarists and musicians eager to learn more about his unique musical approach. Still, given his successes to date, he is always eager to keep pushing the boundaries of what he can do on one guitar. To quote RTÉ Radio host Marty Whelan: “There was part of me that didn’t really believe that he could do what he does on one guitar until he came into the studio, sat down in front of me, and played. I thought there had to be loops, or extra tracks, or recording tricks, and there was none of that – my jaw dropped! What a talent!”

Shane is currently on a whirlwind 2019 world tour, with stops in the USA, Europe, Russia, China, Australia, and more. Upon returning to Ireland in November 2019 he will be recording his third studio album, as well as beginning to film a teaching DVD & online course.

Shane Hennesy

August 20, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Irish virtuoso guitarist Shane Hennessy has established himself as one of the leading guitarists on the world stage, known widely for his fingerstyle, flatpicking, and percussive guitar-playing approaches. His energetic live performances and his cinematically-vivid compositions tie in influences from Bach to Beyoncé – and everything in between! With a unique style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band – covering drums, bass, rhythm and lead lines – Shane builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own.
Billed as “one of the most exciting live performers of his generation, with an ability to move between styles and genres with ease” by Irish Music Magazine, audiences can never be too sure what will come next during the exciting mix of jazz, blues, country, soul, traditional Irish music, and world music he offers. With the addition of some smooth vocals, genre-hopping improvisations, and well-arranged covers, it makes sense why music legend super-producer Nile Rodgers (CHIC) thinks that “his style is killer, it’s really cool stuff”, and why guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel says that Shane “is one of the most engaging musicians in the world today”.
Over the course of a performance, Hennessy brings the audience from elatory highs to the depths of reflection, delivering stories, anecdotes, and off-the-cuff remarks with the same passion he holds for the music he performs. He says himself that it is hard to describe in words what he does on stage without experiencing it in person, but it becomes clear upon witnessing his performance why his tour schedule is so hectic. In 2019 alone, he will visit much of mainland Europe, Russia, China, and the United States, the pinnacle of this world tour being a solo set at the prestigious MerleFest in North Carolina, widely recognised as the mecca of Americana and Roots music in the USA.
A musician from a young age, he credits his background in Irish traditional music as the base on which he has built his genre-defying musical explorations. Initially a concertina player under the tuition of the renowned Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Hennessy first turned to the guitar inspired by the music of James Taylor. Becoming more interested in songwriting and in music in general, it was when he discovered the styles of Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins that his interest in solo performance blossomed. From that point on he has toured the world, with thousands of shows under his belt, and a proven track record as a performer, songwriter, arranger, accompanist, and session musician.
A highlight of his career to date has been a sold-out a solo show in The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, for the release of his latest CD ‘Marrakech’. Another milestone in 2018 was when Shane worked with Bill Whelan, Grammy-award winning composer of Riverdance, on a piece of music commissioned for guitar, piano, and string quartet. He has also given numerous lectures and guitar workshops all over the world for guitarists and musicians eager to learn more about his unique musical approach. Still, given his successes to date, he is always eager to keep pushing the boundaries of what he can do on one guitar. To quote RTÉ Radio host Marty Whelan: “There was part of me that didn’t really believe that he could do what he does on one guitar until he came into the studio, sat down in front of me, and played. I thought there had to be loops, or extra tracks, or recording tricks, and there was none of that – my jaw dropped! What a talent!”

Shane is currently on a whirlwind 2019 world tour, with stops in the USA, Europe, Russia, China, Australia, and more. Upon returning to Ireland in November 2019 he will be recording his third studio album, as well as beginning to film a teaching DVD & online course.


Pierre Bensusan

Pierre Bensusan

March 17, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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“Listening to Pierre’s music is rejuvenating. Beside his extraordinary touch and tone, the notes and melody appeal directly to the tender side of our human nature”
Steve Vai

“This is beautiful… Pierre is one of the GREATS!!!”
Tommy Emmanuel Cgp.

“Pierre Bensusan’s music is a true inspiration.”
Suzanne Vega

Winner of the Independent Music Award, in the Live Performance Album category for his latest triple live album “Encore” (2014), “Rose d’Or” of the Montreux Festival for his first album, “Près de Paris” (Switzerland, 1976), “Best World Music Guitar Player ” by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine (USA, 2008), Pierre Bensusan is recognized as one of the premier musicians of our time.

If “World Music” is music that pays tribute to the spirit of a collection of human beings through distinct rhythms, traditional instruments and harmonic colors, French-Algerian guitarist, singer and composer Pierre Bensusan can be recognized as one of the most eloquent and world musicians today.

Born in Oran, French-Algeria, in 1957, when France was decolonizing its Empire, Pierre Bensusan’s family moved to Paris when he was 4. He began formal studies on piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival blooming in Britain, France and North America, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage and then moved to the horizons beyond.

At 17 he signed his first recording contract, and one year later his first album “Pres de Paris” won the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland.

Described by the L.A. Times as “one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today”, Pierre’s name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius, long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. And yet, Bensusan is more than what any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and a brave improvisational vocalist, melding whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique.

There is a sense of something both playful and serious in his work, an unparalleled sense of freedom in his compositions and his improvisations. His “manner” of playing defies classification – crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk and more. None can be isolated as simply “Brazilian”, “Arabic” or “French”; rather, they represent our world in its current state, a world sharing itself, fusing cultures together in ways we have never experienced. A great embassador of peace. Not to be missed!

Pierre Bensuan

July 16, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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“The way the guitar would want to sound if it played itself.”
“Bensusan is very much his own animal. It’s like listening to a butterfly, to dappled sunshine coming through quaking aspens. His music flits and darts around like fish in a pool. And his compositions manage to encompass both the calmness of the pool and the flashing of the fish. It’s an entrancing, almost hypnotic thing to watch and hear, as he seems eager to share his journey, his light. I was struck by how the aim of each song was to be beautiful. Not witty, not avant-garde, not new, necessarily, but beautiful. A great craftsman plying his trade. A shepherd with his flock. As I left I felt all of a sudden that I’d been to temple after all. My own sort of temple, and by the end of the service I felt purified, cleansed, and ready for the new year.”
Nyack News and Views (USA, Dan Cohen, Oct 4, 2015)
Winner of the Independent Music Award, in the Live Performance Album category for his latest triple live album “Encore” (2014), “Rose d’Or” of the Montreux Festival for his first album, “Près de Paris” (Switzerland, 1976), “Best World Music Guitar Player ” by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine (USA, 2008), Pierre Bensusan is recognized as one of the premier musicians of our time.

If “World Music” is music that pays tribute to the spirit of a collection of human beings through distinct rhythms, traditional instruments and harmonic colors, French-Algerian guitarist, singer and composer Pierre Bensusan can be recognized as one of the most eloquent and world musicians today.

Born in Oran, French-Algeria, in 1957, when France was decolonizing its Empire, Pierre Bensusan’s family moved to Paris when he was 4. He began formal studies on piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival blooming in Britain, France and North America, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage and then moved to the horizons beyond.

At 17 he signed his first recording contract, and one year later his first album “Pres de Paris” won the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland.

Described by the L.A. Times as “one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today”, Pierre’s name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius, long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. And yet, Bensusan is more than what any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and a brave improvisational vocalist, melding whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique.

There is a sense of something both playful and serious in his work, an unparalleled sense of freedom in his compositions and his improvisations. His “manner” of playing defies classification – crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk and more. None can be isolated as simply “Brazilian”, “Arabic” or “French”; rather, they represent our world in its current state, a world sharing itself, fusing cultures together in ways we have never experienced. A great embassador of peace. Not to be missed!


Pat Kirtley

*CANCELLED DUE TO COVID*
Refunds will be processed for all tickets purchased to this event.

Pat Kirtley

October 21, 2021

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Combining Kentucky tradition with contemporary style, Pat Kirtley is a solo guitarist with a wide repertoire known for its honesty, humor and depth.  He has penned a virtual library of fresh lyrical compositions enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Pat’s performing skills won him the title of U.S. National Fingerstyle Champion, and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame. His music has taken him around the world from quaint concert halls to large events, such as headlining Japan’s National Fingerstyle Festival.  As a featured performer, Pat has toured across the USA and internationally in Asia, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands and Austria.  His warm, personal stage presence garners smiles and praise wherever he goes.

Pat has produced numerous instructional videos and books.  He co-produced and appears in the respected “World of Celtic Guitar” DVD series from Vestapol Videos, which spawned accompanying books from Mel Bay and CD’s from Rounder Records.  Pat’s newest project is a two-volume instructional DVD on the vintage tunes of Chet Atkins.

Pat has produced five albums that are perennial staples of the acoustic guitar world. Among other projects, he appears on Narada Records’ landmark CD “Guitar Fingerstyle,” which has sold over a quarter million copies.

“He is among the new trailblazers — the bold ones who will take the guitar into the next century”  (John Schroeter, “Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine”)

“Kirtley is one of those all-too-rare musicians able to transcend his influences to create a distinctive, natural sound all his own.“  (David McCarty, “Walnut Valley Record Reviews”)

Pat Kirtley

June 18, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Combining Kentucky tradition with contemporary style, Pat Kirtley is a solo guitarist with a wide repertoire known for its honesty, humor and depth.  He has penned a virtual library of fresh lyrical compositions enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Pat’s performing skills won him the title of U.S. National Fingerstyle Champion, and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame. His music has taken him around the world from quaint concert halls to large events, such as headlining Japan’s National Fingerstyle Festival.  As a featured performer, Pat has toured across the USA and internationally in Asia, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands and Austria.  His warm, personal stage presence garners smiles and praise wherever he goes.

Pat has produced numerous instructional videos and books.  He co-produced and appears in the respected “World of Celtic Guitar” DVD series from Vestapol Videos, which spawned accompanying books from Mel Bay and CD’s from Rounder Records.  Pat’s newest project is a two-volume instructional DVD on the vintage tunes of Chet Atkins.

Pat has produced five albums that are perennial staples of the acoustic guitar world. Among other projects, he appears on Narada Records’ landmark CD “Guitar Fingerstyle,” which has sold over a quarter million copies.

“He is among the new trailblazers — the bold ones who will take the guitar into the next century”  (John Schroeter, “Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine”)

“Kirtley is one of those all-too-rare musicians able to transcend his influences to create a distinctive, natural sound all his own.“  (David McCarty, “Walnut Valley Record Reviews”)