Global Greats of the Acoustic Guitar
Two-hand contemporary guitarist Mike Dawes of England first appeared with International Guitar Night in 2016 and now returns to host the 20th Anniversary Tour. Founded by renowned Bay Area guitarist Brian Gore, this unique and intimate annual event serves as a showcase for remarkable acoustic guitar talent from around the world. Joining Dawes will be German Lopez with his sweet, high-pitched timple from the Canary Islands; the electrifying jazz virtuoso Olli Soikkeli from Finland, and Hawaiian Slack Key master Jim Kimo West. All four will present their latest works then perform together, sharing musical ideas through creative collaboration and exploring the diversity of the acoustic guitar world.
“These four talented musicians bring so much diversity and passion to each performance – a treat for every acoustic guitar fan.” –Arizona Reporter
“One of the most important showcases for contemporary finger stylists … a force in the acoustic guitar world.” — San Francisco Chronicle
Mike Dawes is an English guitar player known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument using unique extended and micro-techniques. He is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers. His debut record with CandyRat Records gained strong critical acclaim and spawned a variety world tours and singles, notably a viral virtuoso arrangement of “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. The lead single on Dawes’ second release ERA, an arrangement of “One” by Metallica, went viral with over 30 million hits in its first week of release. Dawes is also lead guitar player for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues featuring heavily on multiple DVD and PBS releases, notably “Spirits…Live” which debuted at #2 on the US Billboard chart. Mike Dawes has amassed around 80 million music video views online. He was voted the ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World’ by MusicRadar & Total Guitar Magazine in a December 2017 readers poll.
Olli Soikkeli was born in Nurmes, Finland in 1991. Now based in New York City. He started playing guitar at age of 12. After a few years of playing Olli was introduced to the music of great Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz has been Ollis’ main focus ever since. Soon Olli was playing in jazz clubs and festivals all around Finland. After touring all around Europe with musicians such as Paulus Schäfer and Arnoud Van Den Berg Olli decided to move to New York City in 2014. Olli has played legendary venues such as Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note and the Lincoln Center. Despite his young age he’s already played with stars such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Stochelo Rosenberg, Tommy Emmanuel, Andreas Öberg, Cyrille Aimee, Anat Cohen, Antti Sarpila and Marian Petrescu. In 2011 Olli recorded his first album “Trois Générations” with Hot Club de Finlande and Vitali Imereli and in 2012 he recorded his second album “Kouvola Junction” with Paulus Schäfer and Arnoud van den Berg.
Jim Kimo West
Having never even seen Waikiki, Jim “Kimo” West came right to Hana, Maui in 1985 and spent much of his time there for many years. It was in Hana where he first heard the music of Gabby Pahinui, Sons Of Hawaii, Sonny Chillingworth and Atta Isaacs. Already familiar with alternate tunings, the sound of ki ho’alu became his favorite “soundtrack”. Best known as long-time guitarist for the world’s most successful musical comedy artist, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kimo is regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists and his music has garnered many millions of streams on Spotify and Pandora. Kimo is a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards and three- time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee. He is also a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic guitar tradition alive. For his work with “Weird Al”, he has earned four Grammy’s and a Billboard #1 CD debut for 2015’s “Mandatory Fun”. He is a veteran of Hawaii’s famed slack key festivals as well as the So Cal Slack Key Festival every year from 2008 through 2018. He has shared the stage with almost all the world’s top slack key players at one time or another. His numerous CD’s feature many original compositions as well as inventive arrangements of the genre’s classic repertoire. Kimo has also worked as a composer for film and TV for many years and maintains a sophisticated private studio in Los Angeles.
A native of Istambul, Cenk Erdogan is known for his exotic fretless guitar style. He has released multiple albums including “WITH,” “Kavis” and “KaraKutu” as well as an award winning movie soundtrack. He has performed at venues and festivals worldwide, solo and with groups such as the Turkophony All Star band in 2010 and 2011. He conducted and arranged for the top Turkish pop music group, Orchestra of Sezen Aksu. Cenk has taught workshops at Berklee College of Music on the fretless guitars and modes in Turkish music..
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