Alison, Craig and I had the amazing privelege of being serenaded by one of the most original and uniquely gifted artists of our time the evening after his El Dorado Hills concert. They hadn't attended, and I asked Jim to show them his one-of-a-kind 19-string arch-harp guitar. Here you see his invention of a separate attachable harp section below the 11-string arch guitar he's used for years. He explained that "arch" means "greater" such as the large archlute or the word "archbishop." It was incredible to watch here and at the concert as Jim played both sections simultaneously, even while at times singing. As if that weren't enough, this world traveler who resides in France brought out an Australian dijeridoo, pictured below, and demonstrated circular breathing, and explained how the instrument was made (hollowed out eucalyptus branch, bee's wax, etc.) He said playing it quickly grounds him and dissipates stress and bad vibes. After a breakfast at Posh Bakery and espressos, a hike to Folsom Lake and a chat about Celtic music, Jim headed off to perform in Ashland, Oregon before returning home to France.
In a day of learning and relaxing, we had one of the premier acoustic guitarists in the world lead an afternoon guitar workshop and perform an evening concert May 19th. The class was at my home studio and offered a chance to be up close and personal with Peppino. His specialty is brilliant fingerstyle arrangements and originals for steel-string guitar. Peppino told us about tapping the body of the guitar in different ways to create a groove, and he soon had us all grooving, tapping, grinning and learning. He had us tapping our right hands on the body while hammering-and pulling-off Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water." He also explained his approach to simplifying challenging passages, such as distributing individual scale notes across multiple strings instead of multiple notes on one string, which allows the right hand to arpeggiate the scale and create great speed.
The evening concert exceeded his hosts' expectations in quality and turnout, and the three standing ovations attested to his status as "Best Acoustic Guitarist" according to the 2007 Guitar Player Magazine Readers' Poll. All in all, a great day for everyone.
Michael Chapdelaine continues his evolution from young rocker to serious classical guitarist to visionary composer to brilliant arranger of pop music performed on nylon- and steel-string guitars. The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque professor tours quite a lot, with his students adjusting to his extended absences with the understanding that "practices what he preaches." It was a treat to have MC share his thoughts and tricks of the trade with a workshop at my home studio, followed by an utterly amazing concert at Our house gallery and framing in El Dorado Hills. His style of introducing and playing his selections and his percusive, tasty grooves got the audience on their feet.
Volunteers help out
It takes a committee to make a concert come off, and thanks to special people like Beca Stover, Greg Munoz-Plaza (pictured below, left) Beca's brother Chuck Wolff (right), Herb Tanimoto and Michael Miller, they happen successfully. They enjoy being a part of the scene and hanging out the artists before and after the show. Greg has been job-shadowing me for his high school senior project. Chuck is a general contractor with wealth of life experience and a gift for hospitality, which must run in the family. Beca has co-produced dozens of concerts, puts everyone at ease and has a real talent for this.
I try to keep up my playing chops with real-world work. In the first three weeks of May, besides teaching and promoting, I played out for Macys West, Folsom Lake Bank, Great Valley Center Annual Conference and the Saratoga Country Club Mothers Day Brunch. The Mothers Day Brunch with with my Flute & Guitar Duo partner and was five hours long. It really tapped out sight-reading abilities and was quite successful, as they want us back for two other big events there. At the Great Valley Center Annual Conference gig, I brought aspiring performer Michael Miller to job shadow and learn to subtlties of successful gigging.
Greg Muñoz-Plaza, Chuck Wolff volunteering at the James Kline gallery concert April 29th
After his concert and a great meal at Infusion Global Cuisine in El Dorado Hills, James Kline demonstrates circular breathing in an Australian didjeridoo. An amazing sight and sound to end the day with!
Peppino D'Agostino class with (L-R) Jim Frank, Valerie Versis, Sol Younan, DR, Peppino, Rishi Kulkarni, and Herb Tanimoto May 19th
AFTER THE GIG with Angelina Ceja of Great Valley Center's Annual Conference at the Sacramento Radisson Hotel.