International Guitar Night beckons across Canada

Adrian Legg, Lulo Reinhardt, Marco Pereira and Brian Gore

We know you’re out there…..guitar freaks of all natures. It’s the instrument you dream of playing or already play. It’s also the showpiece instrument of many a band and one that, depending on the calibre of the player, gets the lion’s share of the attention. Not that you play music for attention – but if you did, you’d strive to be a great guitarist.

Think of the greats from across all musical genres. They become deities – during their lifetime, or otherwise. You don’t see a lot of Top 100 Oboe Players lists, do you? Chet Atkins. Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, James Burton, Clapton-Cooder-Cropper. Danny Gatton. Dick Dale. Roy Buchanan or Peter Green. Bert Jansch or John Fahey. John Jorgenson. Tommy Emmanuel. Andrés Segovia. Django Reinhart. Joe Pass. The list can go on forever, as you know. Country. Rock. Blues. Classical. Jazz. Fusion. Folk. Bluegrass. Doesn’t matter.

Seeing any good guitarist play live is a jaw-dropping, thoroughly intimidating and highly enthralling experience. And now yo have multiple chances to experience some of the best guitar work you’ve ever seen and heard on the two dates above. And you thought International Guitar Night was something else? Like a memorial service for starving artists, perhaps? Or a series of classes and seminars moving from town to town?

The concept is not a new one. Who can’t recall those heady days when some of us were treated to the chance to see Paco de Lucia, John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola perform live at the then-named O’Keefe Centre? Mind-numbing. Ear-opening. Years prior, however, some of the larger jazz labels organized this sort of thing – “summits”, touring complementary musicians on an instrument-specific basis.

But these International Guitar Nights were born in 1995 and organized by Brian Gore of San Francisco. His goal was to blend acoustic players, joining him in a public forum to play their latest music as well as to – on a spontaneous basis – share styles and ideas with each other – to the marvel of each audience. This is the 11th year of this ”mobile guitar festival” and the likes of Peppino d’Agostino, Clive Carroll, Andrew York, D’Gary, Miguel De La Bastide, Pierre Bensusan, Guinga have  been a part of this event – as have many more world-classguitarists over the years.

Gore is the one constant – a renowned guitarist in his own right, artist in residence at the Boulder Chautauqua, sponsored by Acoustic Guitar magazine and a well-respected steel string fingerstyle player who adds a strong element of percussion to his playing.

Joining Gore is Lulo Reinhardt, a descendant of Django from Germany who mixes his family’s trademark Gypsy Jazz with new forays into Latin music. Expect everything from flamenco to Latin-tinged jazz. Adrian Legg is the only performer this reviewer has seen live – in an intimate show at the old Top o’ the Senator. It was a phenomenal experience as his fingers are ablaze, attempting to keep up with his wildly explorative musical mind.

Originally pigeonholed in an uncomfortable ‘New Age’ category back in ’90 with his first release, the London-born Legg has gone on to dazzle the most accomplished players with his trailblazing skills, earning the reputation of “Best Fingerstyle Guitarist” from Guitar Player magazine multiple times. You won’t catch him with an oboe (although he actually does play one) but, if you’re lucky, you’ll experience his hilarious banter along the way.

Renowned Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira is the 4th guitar wizard of the evening. He spent many years in France, earning a  classical guitar Masters degree from the Université Musicale Internationale of Paris, together with a Master’s degree in Musicology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He brings his Brazilian edge to the party as well as the jazz and Latin-American music he has learned along the way.

Theirs is a classical music of sorts with overtones of world music, as you’d expect from these four artists and their various home bases. Elements of blues, jazz, folk override their more formal musical educations and the results are best heard on their new disc  – International Guitar Night VI – a live extravaganza exploding as the chemistry of these four masters kick our their respective jams. And what you’ll hear here is exactly what you can expect live as this tour crosses the country before taking on the U.S. in January.

Do yourself a favour – take advantage of this rare opportunity to witness sheer acoustic guitar virtuosity as it was meant to be enjoyed. Chances are you’ll be forever moved by the scale of this truly International experience.

More information at internationalguitarnight.com

November 3 Port Theatre, Nanaimo BC
November 4 Massey Theatre, New Westminster BC
November 5 Maurice Young Millenium Place, Whistler BC
November 6 University Centre, University of Victoria, Victoria BC
November 10 Theatre Hector-Charland, L’Assomption QC
November 11 Diffusions Coulisse, Beloeil QC
November 12 Theatre Lionel Groulx, Ste. Therese QC
November 13 Centre Culturel de L’Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke QC
November 16 Centre des Arts Juliette-Lassonde, Saint-Hyacinth QC
November 18 Shenkman Theatre, Ottawa ON
November 19 Theatre Outremont, Montreal QC
November 20 Markham Performing Arts Center, Markham ON
November 22 Oakville Centre, Oakville ON
November 23 Brock Univeristy, St. Catharines ON
November 25 Burt Church Theatre, Airdrie AB
November 26/27 Empress Theatre, Ft. Mcleod AB
November 29 Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff AB




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  1. avatar
    Richard Fllohil 16 November, 2011 at 18:40

    Ecellent stuff this, but I have to say I wish you had been as supportive of Sleepwalk, the recent (and not well attended) guitar event in Toronto a couple of weeks back. On the blues front alone, they had Amos Garrett, Duke Robillard, Colin James and Luke Doucet, plus a raft of songwriters and players covering all kinds of different music; Brent Mason and Redd Volkeart were worth the price of admission their own. There’s gotta be 12,526 guitarists in Toronto, and all the event needed was 400 of them! And the show yuu have so rightfully plugged isn’t even coming to the Big Smoke, just the distant suburbs!

  2. avatar
    David Newland 16 November, 2011 at 20:37


    You note that the international guitar night event isn’t coming to Toronto – but there’s the rub. It’s going right across Canada, which is our targeted constituency.

    We try as hard as possible to AVOID being Toronto centric, despite our offices being located here.

    Still, we publish mostly what’s pitched to us, assuming the quality is there (as you know our resources are very, very thin).

    In fact we DID have a pitch regarding Sleepwalk, but the pitch was for a review.

    We accepted the pitch and are waiting for the copy.

    Thanks for your comment-


  3. avatar
    Eric Thom 18 November, 2011 at 08:58

    Richard – in my ‘defense’, I was only aware of Sleepwalk because I happened to see an ad in the Maple Blues Newsletter (TBS), noting the great list of guitarists and only half-believing it because it seemed a bit too good to be true. Even worse, I saw no publicity about it, nor did anyone make me aware of it – so I honestly just forgot about it. Sorry to hear it was ill-attended. But I think we just figured out why. I really would’ve tried to do something had anyone asked.

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