Brooks Robertson

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

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

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.

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.


Pearl Django

Pearl Django

September 17, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

With a performance history spanning more than two decades, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.

Voted favorite area jazz band 2003, by Seattle Weekly readers!
“Pearl Django play(s) gypsy jazz…and they do it with such verve, skill and pleasure that they’re pretty much irresistible to jazz and non-jazz listeners alike.”
—Seattle Weekly

“Pearl Django: The gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt done to perfection!”
—Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times

Members:
Tim Lerch & Jim Char, Guitar; Michael Gray, Violin;
David Lange, Accordion; Rick Leppanen, Bass
Background: (very brief)
The group’s inception was as a trio in Tacoma, Washington in 1994.  The focus of Pearl Django was, and is, to incorporate the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. They quickly expanded to a quintet, adding a violinist and a third guitarist.  In 1999, along with the release of their third and fourth CDs, the group incorporated their own record label, Modern Hot Records. At about the same time, MHR signed a national distribution agreement with City Hall Records in San Rafael, California.  The October 2000 release of Avalon put the group on the national map with seven weeks of Gavin top-forty airplay and current sales of over 17,000 copies.  In May 2001, Pearl Django was featured on All Things Considered.  In June 2002, Pearl Django performed at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine, just outside of Paris, France.  As of 2007 Pearl Django is working as both a quartet and a quintet (with accordionist, David Lange) All of the members are contributing original compositions to the band’s expansive repertoire. They have released 13 CDs to date.
“If Paris is the city of love, then Pearl Django’s music is the flirtatious accompaniment.”
—6Moons.com (review of Under Paris Skies)

Performance Highlights:
Along the West coast, Pearl Django has performed from Los Angeles to Fairbanks; East Coast, from Florida to New York.  Festival performances include: Festival Django Reinhardt, Samois sur Seine, France; les Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre, Nantes, France; Sacramento Jazz Jubilee; Django Festival Iceland; Django Fest Northwest, Whidbey Island, Washington; Django Fest SF, Redwood City, California; Juneau Folk Festival, Juneau, Alaska; Capital City Jazz Festival, Madison, Wisconsin; Sweet and Hot Festival, Los Angeles, California; Great Connecticut Jazz Festival, Guilford, Connecticut;; Mission Folk Festival, Mission B.C.; Bumbershoot & Folklife Festival, Seattle, Washington; Wintergrass (a bluegrass festival),  Washington, frequently at Jazz Alley, Seattle, Washington; Sun Valley Jazz Jubilee, Sun Valley, Idaho.

Pearl Django

September 17, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

With a performance history spanning more than two decades, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.
Voted favorite area jazz band 2003, by Seattle Weekly readers!
“Pearl Django play(s) gypsy jazz…and they do it with such verve, skill and pleasure that they’re pretty much irresistible to jazz and non-jazz listeners alike.”
—Seattle Weekly
“Pearl Django: The gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt done to perfection!”
—Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times

Members:
Tim Lerch & Jim Char, Guitar; Michael Gray, Violin;
David Lange, Accordion; Rick Leppanen, Bass
Background: (very brief)
The group’s inception was as a trio in Tacoma, Washington in 1994.  The focus of Pearl Django was, and is, to incorporate the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. They quickly expanded to a quintet, adding a violinist and a third guitarist.  In 1999, along with the release of their third and fourth CDs, the group incorporated their own record label, Modern Hot Records. At about the same time, MHR signed a national distribution agreement with City Hall Records in San Rafael, California.  The October 2000 release of Avalon put the group on the national map with seven weeks of Gavin top-forty airplay and current sales of over 17,000 copies.  In May 2001, Pearl Django was featured on All Things Considered.  In June 2002, Pearl Django performed at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine, just outside of Paris, France.  As of 2007 Pearl Django is working as both a quartet and a quintet (with accordionist, David Lange) All of the members are contributing original compositions to the band’s expansive repertoire. They have released 13 CDs to date.
“If Paris is the city of love, then Pearl Django’s music is the flirtatious accompaniment.”
—6Moons.com (review of Under Paris Skies)
Performance Highlights:
Along the West coast, Pearl Django has performed from Los Angeles to Fairbanks; East Coast, from Florida to New York.  Festival performances include: Festival Django Reinhardt, Samois sur Seine, France; les Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre, Nantes, France; Sacramento Jazz Jubilee; Django Festival Iceland; Django Fest Northwest, Whidbey Island, Washington; Django Fest SF, Redwood City, California; Juneau Folk Festival, Juneau, Alaska; Capital City Jazz Festival, Madison, Wisconsin; Sweet and Hot Festival, Los Angeles, California; Great Connecticut Jazz Festival, Guilford, Connecticut;; Mission Folk Festival, Mission B.C.; Bumbershoot & Folklife Festival, Seattle, Washington; Wintergrass (a bluegrass festival),  Washington, frequently at Jazz Alley, Seattle, Washington; Sun Valley Jazz Jubilee, Sun Valley, Idaho.


Shane Hennessy

Shane Hennessy

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.

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

July 16, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

“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!

Pierre Bensuan

July 16, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

“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

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”)

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”)


Sam Pacetti

Sam Pacetti

May 21, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Sam Pacetti is one who brings it all together. A fingerstyle guitar wizard. A deft songwriter, capable of haunting depth and wry humor in the space of one song. A impassioned and ecstatic vocalist, as well as a mesmerizing live performer, seamlessly melding head-spinning guitar pyrotechnics and raw emotion into one breathtaking package. Pacetti represents a culmination of the best of the American and British traditions. His 1997 Waterbug debut, Solitary Travel, garnered critical raves. “This guy is very good, indeed,” deadpanned the highly respected (and highly critical) UK magazine Folk Roots. And Dirty Linen, the influential US roots publication, opined, “Although the woods are full of young guitar virtuosos, few have developed the style, technique and artistic wisdom of Sam Pacetti.

Solitary travel heralds the arrival of one of the most talented instrumentalists and composers to appear in acoustic music in a month of Sunday’s.” Sam Pacetti grew up in North Florida, hardly known as a hotbed of either the folk tradition or musical innovation. At age 13 he found the music of both Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, profound influences on his early musical development. Then fate intervened shortly afterward in the person of Gamble Rogers, the legendary picker and raconteur from St Augustine who took the young Pacetti under his wing. It was a time of astonishing musical and emotional growth. Pacetti and Rogers met and played weekly for a year, until tragically Rogers died while trying to save a drowning tourist caught in an undertow at Flagler Beach Florida.

Though brief in their time together, Rogers was able to instill in Pacetti the importance of the folk process, the passing of music and oral tradition from teacher to student. Pacetti still counts Rogers as his most influential mentor. Tradition and innovation neatly balance in Sam Pacetti’s music, the whole infused by a relentless intelligence intent on musical and philosophical synthesis. Martin Simpson, Richard Thompson, Joni Mitchell and Merle Travis are touchstones to Pacetti, and while there are strong elements of the American primitive school of guitar wizardry throughout his work, there is a powerful raw emotionality evident as well – an earthy sensuality more reminiscent of a Greg Brown or a red-dirt blues master than of a musical academian. Word has started to spread about Sam Pacetti. And as with anything truly innovative, it starts at the grassroots. You won’t see Pacetti written up in People or Us. You won’t hear his music on Top-40 radio.

No, word is spreading about Sam Pacetti the way true innovation always does – through the grassroots. Through non-commercial radio and “specialty show” play. From tapes and CDs passed from friend to friend. At folk festivals and listening rooms. And, in the tradition stemming from the days of rent-raising parties in the Mississippi delta – and now carried on by music aficionados unable to find music that interest them within the mainstream. For More Information Email Pacetti2012@yahoo.com www.sampacetti.com.  A Major Talent in the World Solitary Travel marks the debut of a major talent in the world. If Kottke, Fahey and Procter are household names where you live, consider getting familiar with Sam Pacetti’s work. This young guitarist is an enormous talent. Whether playing a reel, covering Martin Simpson or dishing out a ravishing original, Pacetti is a simply astonishing guitarist.” Eric Fidler- AP A Vivid and Endearing Presence “It is the combination of subtleties that make Sam Pacetti one of the most intriguing and talked about acoustic guitarists today… he is truly a vivid and endearing presence.” Mark Falkner, Florida Times Union Guitaring the Way it Should be Done “In the instrumental tradition of Chet Atkins, Joe Maphis and John Fahey, Pacetti is guitaring the way it should be done.

As a balladeer, he touches Fred Neil or Tim Hardin. It’s rare when a performer combines the head and heart with such consummate chops.” Arvid Smith A Stone Knockout “This is a serious talent on the first blips of a skyrocketing arc. His debut recording, Solitary Travel, is a stone knockout.” Stageside (Iowa City Newspaper) Destined for Greatness “To say Sam Pacetti is destined for greatness would be an understatement. Solitary Travel heralds the arrival of a major artist in the new generation of acoustic musicians.” Very Good, Indeed “This guy is very good, indeed… Here we have real tunes, with real phrasing and spaces between the notes that make sense. Nothing is gratuitously flash, but if you know your way around a fretboard, you know that this is deceptive. The little passing twiddles that wend their way through the tunes illuminate, rather than irritate, and this never descends into “textural” playing. Every tune and song has a firm backbone of a melody.”

Alan Murray, Folk Roots The Absolute Soul of the Acoustic Guitar “If ever the absolute soul of the acoustic guitar could be conjured effortlessly by anyone’s fingers, it is those of Sam Pacetti… his unique gift brings the noble tradition of American Folk Music out of the archives.” Arvid Smith, MUSIC Blazing His Own Formidable Trails “Although the woods are full of young guitar virtuosos, few have developed the style, technique and artistic wisdom of Sam Pacetti. Solitary Travel, Pacetti’s first release, portrays his influences from both sides of the Atlantic, but also finds him blazing his own formidable trails… Solitary Travel heralds the arrival of one of the most talented instrumentalists and composers to appear in acoustic music in a month of Sundays.” Michael Parrish, Dirty Linen Fingerstyle Wizardry “(At Falcon Ridge) among my particular favorites was singer, songwriter and fingerstyle-guitarist extraordinaire Sam Pacetti. I had the opportunity a few months ago to catch Pacetti, and he blew me away. If you closed your eyes on ‘Dueling Banjos,’ you’d never know that this was one young man on one guitar.

And that’s the simple stuff. Pacetti’s debut album (Solitary Travel, Waterbug Records) is filled with nothing less than fingerstyle wizardry – accomplished for the most part live to tape and in one take. Trust me, this is no easy feat.” Terry Lagerstedt, Fairfield, CT Weekly Deft Artistry “Enter Sam Pacetti, whose musical stylings and deft fingerpicking have taken the folk music world by storm… his talents and dexterity around the guitar’s fretboard have been heralded by critics and fellow musicians alike.” Martin Bartels, St. Paul Pioneer

Sam Pacetti

May 21, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

Sam Pacetti is one who brings it all together. A fingerstyle guitar wizard. A deft songwriter, capable of haunting depth and wry humor in the space of one song. A impassioned and ecstatic vocalist, as well as a mesmerizing live performer, seamlessly melding head-spinning guitar pyrotechnics and raw emotion into one breathtaking package. Pacetti represents a culmination of the best of the American and British traditions. His 1997 Waterbug debut, Solitary Travel, garnered critical raves. “This guy is very good, indeed,” deadpanned the highly respected (and highly critical) UK magazine Folk Roots. And Dirty Linen, the influential US roots publication, opined, “Although the woods are full of young guitar virtuosos, few have developed the style, technique and artistic wisdom of Sam Pacetti.

Solitary travel heralds the arrival of one of the most talented instrumentalists and composers to appear in acoustic music in a month of Sunday’s.” Sam Pacetti grew up in North Florida, hardly known as a hotbed of either the folk tradition or musical innovation. At age 13 he found the music of both Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, profound influences on his early musical development. Then fate intervened shortly afterward in the person of Gamble Rogers, the legendary picker and raconteur from St Augustine who took the young Pacetti under his wing. It was a time of astonishing musical and emotional growth. Pacetti and Rogers met and played weekly for a year, until tragically Rogers died while trying to save a drowning tourist caught in an undertow at Flagler Beach Florida.

Though brief in their time together, Rogers was able to instill in Pacetti the importance of the folk process, the passing of music and oral tradition from teacher to student. Pacetti still counts Rogers as his most influential mentor. Tradition and innovation neatly balance in Sam Pacetti’s music, the whole infused by a relentless intelligence intent on musical and philosophical synthesis. Martin Simpson, Richard Thompson, Joni Mitchell and Merle Travis are touchstones to Pacetti, and while there are strong elements of the American primitive school of guitar wizardry throughout his work, there is a powerful raw emotionality evident as well – an earthy sensuality more reminiscent of a Greg Brown or a red-dirt blues master than of a musical academian. Word has started to spread about Sam Pacetti. And as with anything truly innovative, it starts at the grassroots. You won’t see Pacetti written up in People or Us. You won’t hear his music on Top-40 radio.

No, word is spreading about Sam Pacetti the way true innovation always does – through the grassroots. Through non-commercial radio and “specialty show” play. From tapes and CDs passed from friend to friend. At folk festivals and listening rooms. And, in the tradition stemming from the days of rent-raising parties in the Mississippi delta – and now carried on by music aficionados unable to find music that interest them within the mainstream. For More Information Email Pacetti2012@yahoo.com www.sampacetti.com A Major Talent in the World Solitary Travel marks the debut of a major talent in the world. If Kottke, Fahey and Procter are household names where you live, consider getting familiar with Sam Pacetti’s work. This young guitarist is an enormous talent. Whether playing a reel, covering Martin Simpson or dishing out a ravishing original, Pacetti is a simply astonishing guitarist.” Eric Fidler- AP A Vivid and Endearing Presence “It is the combination of subtleties that make Sam Pacetti one of the most intriguing and talked about acoustic guitarists today… he is truly a vivid and endearing presence.” Mark Falkner, Florida Times Union Guitaring the Way it Should be Done “In the instrumental tradition of Chet Atkins, Joe Maphis and John Fahey, Pacetti is guitaring the way it should be done.

As a balladeer, he touches Fred Neil or Tim Hardin. It’s rare when a performer combines the head and heart with such consummate chops.” Arvid Smith A Stone Knockout “This is a serious talent on the first blips of a skyrocketing arc. His debut recording, Solitary Travel, is a stone knockout.” Stageside (Iowa City Newspaper) Destined for Greatness “To say Sam Pacetti is destined for greatness would be an understatement. Solitary Travel heralds the arrival of a major artist in the new generation of acoustic musicians.” Very Good, Indeed “This guy is very good, indeed… Here we have real tunes, with real phrasing and spaces between the notes that make sense. Nothing is gratuitously flash, but if you know your way around a fretboard, you know that this is deceptive. The little passing twiddles that wend their way through the tunes illuminate, rather than irritate, and this never descends into “textural” playing. Every tune and song has a firm backbone of a melody.”

Alan Murray, Folk Roots The Absolute Soul of the Acoustic Guitar “If ever the absolute soul of the acoustic guitar could be conjured effortlessly by anyone’s fingers, it is those of Sam Pacetti… his unique gift brings the noble tradition of American Folk Music out of the archives.” Arvid Smith, MUSIC Blazing His Own Formidable Trails “Although the woods are full of young guitar virtuosos, few have developed the style, technique and artistic wisdom of Sam Pacetti. Solitary Travel, Pacetti’s first release, portrays his influences from both sides of the Atlantic, but also finds him blazing his own formidable trails… Solitary Travel heralds the arrival of one of the most talented instrumentalists and composers to appear in acoustic music in a month of Sundays.” Michael Parrish, Dirty Linen Fingerstyle Wizardry “(At Falcon Ridge) among my particular favorites was singer, songwriter and fingerstyle-guitarist extraordinaire Sam Pacetti. I had the opportunity a few months ago to catch Pacetti, and he blew me away. If you closed your eyes on ‘Dueling Banjos,’ you’d never know that this was one young man on one guitar.

And that’s the simple stuff. Pacetti’s debut album (Solitary Travel, Waterbug Records) is filled with nothing less than fingerstyle wizardry – accomplished for the most part live to tape and in one take. Trust me, this is no easy feat.” Terry Lagerstedt, Fairfield, CT Weekly Deft Artistry “Enter Sam Pacetti, whose musical stylings and deft fingerpicking have taken the folk music world by storm… his talents and dexterity around the guitar’s fretboard have been heralded by critics and fellow musicians alike.” Martin Bartels, St. Paul Pioneer


Peppino D'Agostino

Peppino D'Agostino

April 16, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

D’Agostino has performed in more than 34 countries, at prestigious international festivals and has played in some of the world’s most important theaters. He has shared the stage with Tommy Emmanuel, Leo Kottke, Laurindo Almeida, Sergio Assad, Larry Carlton, and Eric Johnson, to name a few. His solo recordings include high quality labels such as Favored Nations, Mesa / Bluemoon, and Acoustic Music Records. Recognized as “the guitarist’s guitarist” by Acoustic Guitar magazine and described as “a giant of the acoustic guitar” by the San Diego Reader, in 2017 Guitar Player listed him as one of the 50 transcendent superheroes of all times. The CD “Every Step of The Way” was awarded by Acoustic Guitar’s People’s Choice Awards with a Bronze medal for Best Acoustic Album of All Time. His signature Seagull acoustic guitar has been voted among the ten best signature guitars by Guitar Player magazine.

Peppino D'Agostino

April 16, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

D’Agostino has performed in more than 34 countries, at prestigious international festivals and has played in some of the world’s most important theaters. He has shared the stage with Tommy Emmanuel, Leo Kottke, Laurindo Almeida, Sergio Assad, Larry Carlton, and Eric Johnson, to name a few. His solo recordings include high quality labels such as Favored Nations, Mesa / Bluemoon, and Acoustic Music Records. Recognized as “the guitarist’s guitarist” by Acoustic Guitar magazine and described as “a giant of the acoustic guitar” by the San Diego Reader, in 2017 Guitar Player listed him as one of the 50 transcendent superheroes of all times. The CD “Every Step of The Way” was awarded by Acoustic Guitar’s People’s Choice Awards with a Bronze medal for Best Acoustic Album of All Time. His signature Seagull acoustic guitar has been voted among the ten best signature guitars by Guitar Player magazine.


Paul Asbell

Paul Asbell

March 19, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

From his early years, playing blues on Chicago’s South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, Paul has earned an underground reputation as a true “musician’s musician”. He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Slim, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay, Pops Staples, Donny Hathaway, and numerous others while in his home- town of Chicago, Ill. Paul moved to Vermont in the heady “back-to-the-land” days of 1971, where he still lives.

He soon started playing with a head-spinningly diverse array of artists, including Big Mama Thornton, singer-songwriters Paul Siebel, Jim Ringer, Mary McCaslin, and Rosalie Sorrells, jazz greats Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sonny Stitt, and Nick Brignola, and many others. In 1978, seeking an outlet for more personal musical visions, he formed Kilimanjaro, and recorded 2 award-winning albums for Philo Records which led to several appearances at the Kool Jazz Festival at SPAC, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, and numerous national tours and concert dates.

In 1981, he and other members of Kilimajaro joined forces with a legendary saxophonist/blues singer to form Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band, which remained a Northeast regional favorite until Big Joe’s passing in 2005. Performance/recording credits in recent years include David Bromberg, Paul Butterfield, Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, James Carter, Kermit Ruffins, Michael Ray, the Sun Ra Arkestra, The Wild Magnolias, John Stowell, guitar wunderkind Julian Lage, and ex-student Trey Anastasio. He has also taught guitar for over 50 years, including workshops at the Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, and positions at Dartmouth College, Skidmore College, St. Michaels College, and presently at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. Since 1994, Paul has been reconnecting with his original folk-based roots in enthusiastically received festival shows and solo concerts at numerous acoustic venues across the country. His 3 solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and “From Adamant To Atchafalaya” received rave reviews in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Sing Out, Downbeat, Blues Revue, and other mags for their highly individualized twists on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country-based themes and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition.

The Flynn Theatre called them “A genre-blurring, virtuosic waltz through the deep heritage of American folklore, where styles of Robert Johnson, Doc Watson and Dr. John rub elbows with those of Joe Pass and Bill

Paul Asbell

March 19, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

From his early years, playing blues on Chicago’s South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, Paul has earned an underground reputation as a true “musician’s musician”. He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Slim, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay, Pops Staples, Donny Hathaway, and numerous others while in his home- town of Chicago, Ill. Paul moved to Vermont in the heady “back-to-the-land” days of 1971, where he still lives.

He soon started playing with a head-spinningly diverse array of artists, including Big Mama Thornton, singer-songwriters Paul Siebel, Jim Ringer, Mary McCaslin, and Rosalie Sorrells, jazz greats Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sonny Stitt, and Nick Brignola, and many others. In 1978, seeking an outlet for more personal musical visions, he formed Kilimanjaro, and recorded 2 award-winning albums for Philo Records which led to several appearances at the Kool Jazz Festival at SPAC, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, and numerous national tours and concert dates.

In 1981, he and other members of Kilimajaro joined forces with a legendary saxophonist/blues singer to form Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band, which remained a Northeast regional favorite until Big Joe’s passing in 2005. Performance/recording credits in recent years include David Bromberg, Paul Butterfield, Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, James Carter, Kermit Ruffins, Michael Ray, the Sun Ra Arkestra, The Wild Magnolias, John Stowell, guitar wunderkind Julian Lage, and ex-student Trey Anastasio. He has also taught guitar for over 50 years, including workshops at the Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, and positions at Dartmouth College, Skidmore College, St. Michaels College, and presently at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. Since 1994, Paul has been reconnecting with his original folk-based roots in enthusiastically received festival shows and solo concerts at numerous acoustic venues across the country. His 3 solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and “From Adamant To Atchafalaya” received rave reviews in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Sing Out, Downbeat, Blues Revue, and other mags for their highly individualized twists on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country-based themes and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition.

The Flynn Theatre called them “A genre-blurring, virtuosic waltz through the deep heritage of American folklore, where styles of Robert Johnson, Doc Watson and Dr. John rub elbows with those of Joe Pass and Bill


Calum Graham

Calum Graham

February 20, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

At only 26 years old, Calum Graham has already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of most artists twice his age and was recently named one of the World’s Top 30 Guitarists under 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. His signature playing style has enthralled millions of listeners on Youtube and Spotify which has led to tours across America, Europe, and China. Calum plays both the Acoustic as well as the Harp Guitar in his live set and his original melodies are guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings. His music embraces elements of folk, world, and blues – all built upon the foundation of the fingerstyle technique. “The most promising young guitarist I’ve seen. His command of the guitar is already really impressive!” – Andy McKee

Born in British Columbia and raised in High River, Alberta, Graham’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 Graham with a 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.

As Calum Graham’s name continued to grow in Alberta and across Canada for his guitar work and musicianship, Graham proved that his talent was not limited to his extraordinary ability to play the guitar. In 2011, Graham 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)”. The song was performed by Chantal Kreviazuk and co-written by Graham, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Stephen Moccio (“I Believe”, 2010 Vancouver Olympics theme song/”Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus)”. “Calum’s entry resonated strongly among the judges. His poem celebrates the cultural mosaic that is Canada. He has captured the diversity of this country – something that we as a nation are renowned for and proud of.” – Stephan Moccio

In the late winter of 2012, and with two albums already under his belt, Graham 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!”. Not long after the release of “12:34”, Graham saw a loyal following begin to grow and it wasn’t long before his unique sound started to find a wide and appreciative audience. In November of 2013, Graham 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 Graham to expand his global fanbase and he soon began touring internationally, both on his own and with the likes of Don Ross and Andy McKee. With Graham bringing an innovative sound to the industry, it wasn’t long before 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 Graham 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, Graham 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.

Narrated by acclaimed actor Ewan McGregor, the film is directed by Greg MacGillivray (“The Living Sea”, “Everest”), presented in association with Pacific Life and was released February 13, 2015 to IMAX theatres worldwide. Graham just 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. Calum is currently working on releasing new videos in the coming months on his YouTube channel, and continues to tour throughout Canada, the US, and Europe.

Calum Graham

February 20, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

At only 26 years old, Calum Graham has already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of most artists twice his age and was recently named one of the World’s Top 30 Guitarists under 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. His signature playing style has enthralled millions of listeners on Youtube and Spotify which has led to tours across America, Europe, and China. Calum plays both the Acoustic as well as the Harp Guitar in his live set and his original melodies are guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings. His music embraces elements of folk, world, and blues – all built upon the foundation of the fingerstyle technique. “The most promising young guitarist I’ve seen. His command of the guitar is already really impressive!” – Andy McKee

Born in British Columbia and raised in High River, Alberta, Graham’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 Graham with a 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.

As Calum Graham’s name continued to grow in Alberta and across Canada for his guitar work and musicianship, Graham proved that his talent was not limited to his extraordinary ability to play the guitar. In 2011, Graham 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)”. The song was performed by Chantal Kreviazuk and co-written by Graham, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Stephen Moccio (“I Believe”, 2010 Vancouver Olympics theme song/”Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus)”. “Calum’s entry resonated strongly among the judges. His poem celebrates the cultural mosaic that is Canada. He has captured the diversity of this country – something that we as a nation are renowned for and proud of.” – Stephan Moccio

In the late winter of 2012, and with two albums already under his belt, Graham 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!”. Not long after the release of “12:34”, Graham saw a loyal following begin to grow and it wasn’t long before his unique sound started to find a wide and appreciative audience. In November of 2013, Graham 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 Graham to expand his global fanbase and he soon began touring internationally, both on his own and with the likes of Don Ross and Andy McKee. With Graham bringing an innovative sound to the industry, it wasn’t long before 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 Graham 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, Graham 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. Narrated by acclaimed actor Ewan McGregor, the film is directed by Greg MacGillivray (“The Living Sea”, “Everest”), presented in association with Pacific Life and was released February 13, 2015 to IMAX theatres worldwide.

Graham just 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. Calum is currently working on releasing new videos in the coming months on his YouTube channel, and continues to tour throughout Canada, the US, and Europe.