The Summer of 2010 revolved around making a Fundraising CD for the Sacramento Guitar Society (of which I am President) and preparing for three late summer concerts. As I had to pass on a Winter 2010 Legato issue and go with a "Winter-Spring" edition, there was no time to do a Summer issue with all of that work. Here then, is the Summer-Fall 2010 Legato, and it looks like I'll go semi-annually from here on.
The result of that work on the CD: 76 minutes of fine classical guitar tracks by 14 guitarists. And I am very proud of the quality! We have some terrific players in the region from Davis to the Sierra foothills, and most of them are on this collection. “…it's really lovely! Professional sound quality and very fine guitar playing!” – Brad Slocum, Music Director, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento
It's an exciting time for us - as reported in the last Legato, we were pushing for official non-profit status from the IRS and... we made it! SGS is now a registered 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization, and we're delighted. Click into the website for a tour of the group. And if you want the CD (there's an idea - the holidays are coming!) it comes with membership, or just buy it! Use the site's PayPal link to get it, and remember, you not only get an outstanding sampler of 14 performers, you also help our organization grow its programs. http://www.sacramentoguitarsociety.org/
For many years now, Lick Observatory's Music of the Spheres has presented my Great Guitars!concert at the end of summer. This year's special guest was Tim Thompson, 2008 International Fingerstyle Champion,now touring and recording with his son Myles, an absolutely phenomenal violinist. Check this video of the first tune the duo played at Lick, called Gypsy Samba. To see more on Tim and Myles, see Tim'swebsite, or click here to see a clip my live version of Leyenda at Lick. You may know the road up to the observatory is a twisty narrow mountain road, and Tim was touring in a 60' RV and Trailer combo with Rod Schenk of Schenk Guitars and his family. So getting up the mountain wasn't going to happen. Luckily my buddy Herb Tanimoto, coming up to run sound and enjoy the show and the after-concert astronomy, gave them a lift.
The day after Lick, Tim and Myles had to be up in Mendocino to give a concert at a small theater where I had arranged a summer concert series. Mendocino Theatre Company Producing Director Lee Edmundson and I hatched a plan to mount a series of guitar concerts there, and they came to be. Mine was the week before Lick, and quite a treat! First, the drive up 128 and 1 is beautiful. They put me up for two nights at the Hill House Inn, where Murder, She Wrote was filmed, and no one would let me pay for a meal. I did a full solo concert and had a great dinner at the Mendocino Hotel with my dear friends Robert Burns and his wife Ginni and their friends before heading out to a Celtic concert and jam. After the concert we were hosted by world-renowned flute maker Rod Cameron at his shop in Mendocino Village. The following day Robert took me to see his friend with the same last name, no relation, Brian Burns, who makes wonderful classical and flamenco guitars. I was so impressed with Brian, a real devotee of flamenco, and enjoyed his video comparing flamenco guitar construction with classical.
The third big concert in two weeks took place in Sacramento at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Midtown by the Capital. It's a glorious space with two great stained glass windows, balcony seating, a great pipe organ and large alter area. The Sacramento Guitar Society was invited to present solos and ensembles, and we put on quite a program. I performed and introduced all the artists. Included in the 75 minutes of music were guitarists Matthew Grasso, Elizabeth Busch, Matt Foley, Harold Sexton, Gabriel Becker, Sean O'Connor, Greg Williams, George England, Anatoliy Yevsyukov, Brandon Yip and myself, plus my flute & guitar duo partner Francesca Anderson and Lydia Noland-Valdez, who sang with Gage Becker. Introducing us and warmly thanking us at the end was Westminster Music Director Brad Slocum, who conceived and produces the Music at Noon series, which attracts a lot of state workers. Ours was the 385th concert since it started! Kudos to Brad for producing so much fine music in Sacramento. To see some videos, click into:
To conveniently post videos, I have a YouTube channel, playlegato, and in the future, you can find more posts there. A challenge with the most convenient flipcam video recorder is a weaker audio signal for anything outside of a few feet. The videos of my concert for South Bay Guitar Society have the weakest of all since the concert was in a dome at City Hall and the camera was in a kind of dome-induced audio dead zone. I hope to be able to improve quality next year, and I think videos like these are examples of the power of the internet to provide information to everyone.
2008 International Fingerstyle Champion Tim Thompson and his 16-year-old son Myles tore it up at Lick Observatory after my Great Guitars! set.
Sacramento Guitar Society's Outreach Program brings the arts to non-traditional audiences, those who cannot get out to traditional venues. The core values are kindness and celebration of music.
Above: A summer highpoint was the 2010 Sierra Nevada Classical Guitar Festival and Competition, which featured Argenitine artists Victor Villadangos, left, and Maximo Diego Pujol, right, seated here with luthier Gil Carnal. Everything was held at the Cal-Neva Resort in North Lake Tahoe.
Below: Festival presenters (L-R) David Jerome, Victor Villadangos, Maximo Diego Pujol, Dmitri Atapine and Matanya Orphee. Presenters not pictured include Viviana Guzman, Antoniy Kakamakov, Ashwin Krishna and the Orpheus Guitar Ensemble. Festival Director Larry Aynesmith has much to be proud of. For the next festival, click here.
The floor quartet: Brandon Yip, Matthew Grasso, Elizabeth Busch and Matt Foley warm up before the Sacramento Guitar Society's Music at Noon concert for Westminster Presbyterian Church September 1st, 2010. 176 were in the audience - two dozen SGS Guitar Samplers were sold, and we were invited back for the next four years!
Gabriel Becker, Jamey Bellizzi, Elizabeth Busch, George England, Matthew Grasso, Louis Valentine Johnson, Sean O’Connor, Daniel Roest, Harold Sexton, Gilda Taffet, Greg Williams, Anatoliy Yevsyukov, Brandon Yip, Ray Zhou
TRACK LISTING FOR SACRAMENTO GUITAR SOCIETY'S GUITAR FUNDRAISING SAMPLER CD:
Brandon Yip – Introduction from Valses Poeticos, Enrique Granados
Brandon Yip – Melodico, from Valses Poeticos, Enrique Granados
Jamey Bellizzi – Mantillas de Feria, Esteban Sanlucar
Daniel Roest – Mazurka, Daniel Fortea
Daniel Roest – Caçique, Attilio Bernardini
Louis Valentine Johnson – Rumóres de la Caleta, Isaac Albéniz
Ray Zhou – Fantasia 1a, John Dowland
Ray Zhou – Passacaglia, Silvius Leopold Weiss
Greg Williams – For Francesca, Greg Williams
Greg Williams – So Lovely, So Lonely, Greg Williams
Elizabeth Busch – La Catedral: Preludio (Saudade), A. Barrios Mangoré
Elizabeth Busch – La Catedral: Andante Religioso, A. Barrios Mangoré
Elizabeth Busch – La Catedral: Allegro Solemne, A. Barrios Mangoré
Matthew Grasso – Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte, Maurice Ravel
Gabriel Becker – Madroños, Federico Moreno Torroba
Harold Sexton – Sonata in B Minor, Domenico Cimarosa
Harold Sexton – Prelude, BWV 998, Johann Sebastian Bach
Sean O’Connor – Fantasía, Luys de Narvaez
Sean O’Connor – Prelude from the First Cello Suite, J.S. Bach
George England with Dr. Cathie Apple, Flute – Bordel 1900, A. Piazzolla
There's no getting around it—I'm losing my hair. This was the set at Mendocino's Helen Shoeni Theater, where the new Afternoon Concert Series was held. Lee Edmundson and I put it together and came up with concerts presenting Giacomo Fiore, Danny Borca, Tim and Myles Thompson, Lawrence Bullock, Teja Gerken, Rod Cameron, Acafellas and myself. The best part was getting to play for my dear friend and former guitar teacher Robert Burns and his wife Ginni, sitting in the front row.
Above: At 6:30 the morning after the Lick Observatory concert, the view is from above the clouds.
Below: Built in 1875, the dome of Lick's famous 36-inch refractor telescope at dawn.
Our son Craig leaves his mark on the huge wall of snow at Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of two short getaways this summer. Snow levels were so high that the road through the park was closed just up ahead, not to be opened until July 9th.
Summer Giggage: Ever had Spanish paella? This was served up to guests at one of the wineries I played recently, Holly's Hill in Placerville. Duo partner Francesca Anderson and I gave a one hour flute & guitar concert to residents of Folsom's Emeritus Senior Living. On a Saturday summer afternoon I was asked to fill in for the SINGSTRINGS at a house concert that night. Typical attitude adjustment from home gardener to artist - happy to say it worked.
Executive Director Dave Pier points out features in one of the auditoriums to our group of arts representatives at The Regional Visual and Performing Arts Center at Folsom Lake Community College. The three main halls seat roughly 800, 200 and 100. A real boost to the arts scene in the region, opening in February 2011.
An excellent article: Andrés Segovia: How the legendary classical guitarist elevated the guitar to the status of concert instrument in the 20th Century, by Mark Small in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Nov. 2010 issue. Click on the cover to read.
Our entertainment for tonight: a house concert in Shingle Springs with Laurence Juber