Archive for Guitar Week

Alain Caron and Pasquale Grasso  

Thursday, July 18, 2019  | 8:00pm

Alain Caron and Pasquale Grasso  
Advance $25.00 / Doors $30.00

Alain Caron
The career of bassist Alain Caron begins at the age of 11 when he participated in an amateur competition. He then joined various groups to play popular top 40 music and  American and French standards. At the age of 14, he was introduced to an Oscar Peterson record and he discovered the music that became his greatest passion, JAZZ.

It was in 1977 that Alain Caron met Michel Cusson and his group. Caron was then in the company of musicians of the same calibre that appreciated the foundations of jazz while having the will to innovate. They emerged in 1980, as  the fusion jazz group UZEB.

In Montreal, in addition to playing with the band, Alain Caron began working in different recording studios and performing in jazz clubs. Although he considered himself a self-taught musician, he took a few private and correspondence courses before he went to the Berklee College of Music in 1979. During his time in Boston, he was put in touch with elite jazz musicians and began playing in Boston’s jazz clubs with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Moses.

However, he decided to return to Montreal to devote himself almost exclusively to UZEB. The group recorded ten albums between 1981 and 1990. Over 400,000 copies were sold worldwide, with countless concerts in more than 20 countries. In April 2005, he was invited to participate in a series of performances and recordings with the prestigious WDR big band in Cologne,Germany, under the direction of Michael Abene.

To date, Alain Caron has released more than 20 records, either solo or with UZEB, as well as collaborating on some 50 albums of artists evolving as much in jazz, world music and pop artists. Winner of many awards, (including 11 Félix and Gemini),  and the Oscar Peterson Award twice, Alain Caron was voted best bassist eight consecutive years by Jazz Report magazine.

Caron quickly developed a reputation as a master electric six string bass virtuoso. As such, he was invited to give master classes in most major cities worldwide. In 2007 he received an honorary doctorate from the ‘’Université du Québec’’  in Rimouski.

In September 2016, Caron began a new career as bass teacher and head of the jazz master program at the Montreal University. Also, in 2016-17, a series of concerts was presented in Argentina and the United States, including a performance at the renowned “Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola Jazz at Lincoln Center” in New York.

After a collaboration of nearly 10 years as the spokesperson for the Italian company of bass amplifiers Markbass, Alain participated in the announcement of the release of a second SIGNATURE amp ( http://www.markbass.it/product-detail/cmd-super-combo-k1/ ) at the prestigious NAMM show in California. In addition to being the spokesperson, Caron contributed to the conception and design of this amplifier.

After a 25-year absence, UZEB announced its return. In addition to the Montreal Jazz Festival where the tour took off, the famous power jazz trio also performed in France, Israel, Italy and Canada.

In July 2018, he was honoured to receive the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour awarded in Canada!

Pasquale Grasso
One of the most strikingly unique artists of his generation, Pasquale Grasso has undoubtedly changed the way the world views jazz guitar. Born in Ariano Irpino, Pasquale began playing guitar at a very young age. By the summer of 1997, his parents, Agostino Di Giorgio, who recognized the depth of their young son’s talent, sought out the instruction of jazz innovator. A former pupil of Chuck Wayne, Di Giorgio immediately took interest in Pasquale, whose prodigious aptitude for the instrument flourished as the young guitarist quickly became his closest pupil. From that point, it wasn’t long until news of this talent spread.

Barry Harris, the world-renowned jazz educator and bebop master piano, became an extraordinary influence when Pasquale attended his jazz workshop in Switzerland during the summer of 1998. Harris, contemporary of Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley, took Pasquale and his brother, Luigi, under his wing. The brothers became pillars of Harris’ international workshops and were quickly promoted from mere attendants to instructors for the other students. Pasquale was named Harris’ guitar teaching assistant. In 2008, Pasquale pursued classical guitar studies in the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti. During his time at the conservatory he combined classical tradition with Chuck Wayne’s modern technique.

In 2012, he moved to New York City and quickly made a name for himself in the city’s vibrant jazz scene. He became part of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet, performing in clubs, music festivals, and recording in the studio regularly. Later that year, Pasquale was named a Jazz Ambassador with the US Embassy, going on tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and more.

Despite his young age, Grasso has performed with many of the following: Barry Harris, Charles Davis, Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Williams, Ray Drummond, Murray Wall, Steve Grossman, Late Hammer, Jimmy Wormworth, John Moscow, Sacha Perry, Ari Roland, Luigi Grasso, Chris Byars, Zaid Nasser, Bucky Pizzarelli, China Moses, Harry Allen Quartet, Grant Stewart, Stepko Gut, Nicolas Dary, Dado Moroni, Agostino di Giorgio, Michel Pastre Big Band, Gianni Bass Big Band, Joe Cohn, Oscar Zenari, and Luca Pisani.

Pasquale’s guitar was expertly crafted for him by longtime friend and luthier, Bryant Trenier. Trenier Guitars is located in Suffern, New York.

AWARDS
First Place Winner of the Wes Montgomery Competition (2015)
Award for Master Technique – Piacenza Jazz Guitar Competition (2007) Winner of the Eddie Lang National Jazz Guitar Competition (2005) Winner of the International Lecco Jazz Award (2002)
Winner of the International Award Tim Competition (2000)
Finalist of Bravo Bravissimo Televised Competition (1998)

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HRL Guitar Week Presents: Jerry Douglas

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | 8:30PM

HRL Guitar Week Presents: Jerry Douglas
Advance: $55.00 / Doors: $60.00

Dobro master and 14-time GRAMMY winner Jerry Douglas is to the resonator guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar, elevating, transforming, and reinventing the instrument in countless ways. Additionally, Douglas is a freewheeling, forward-thinking recording and touring artist whose output incorporates elements of country, bluegrass, rock, jazz, blues, and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision.

Called “Dobro’s matchless contemporary master” by The New York Times, three-time CMA Musician of the Year award recipient Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music as a solo artist, band leader for The Jerry Douglas Band and his GRAMMY winning bluegrass band The Earls of Leicester, as well as a member of groundbreaking ensembles including Alison Krauss & Union Station, J.D. Crowe & the New South, The Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, and Strength In Numbers. Douglas shines and soars.

His distinctive sound graces more than 1500 albums with artists such as Garth Brooks, George Jones, Paul Simon, Little Big Town, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Earl Scruggs, Ray Charles, Dierks Bentley, and Tommy Emmanuel, among many others.

In addition to touring, Douglas has co-produced and performed on a series of platinum albums. He has produced albums for Alison Krauss, Del McCoury Band, Maura O’Connell, The Whites, Jesse Winchester, and Steep Canyon Rangers. He is co-music director of the acclaimed BBC Scotland TV series Transatlantic Sessions. In 2004, Douglas was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with an American Heritage Fellowship, and he served as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Artist in Residence in 2008.

As Jerry Douglas continues his incalculable influence on country, Americana, bluegrass and their many related genres, he forges ahead as a true pioneer in American music.

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HRL Guitar Week Presents: Colin Linden

Monday, July 15, 2019 | 8:30PM

HRL Guitar Week Presents: Colin Linden
Advance: $30.00 / Doors: $35.00

Colin Linden is a genuine renaissance man of roots music. He’s a member of the highly successful trio, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a singer and songwriter, an in-demand and prolific record producer, musical director on the hit TV show Nashville and sideman to the stars as guitarist for the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

As part of our ongoing celebration of Guitar Week in Toronto, we are very happy to present Colin Linden.Tickets available right now.

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HRL Guitar Week Presents: Hurricane Ruth + Scott Holt

Sunday, July 14, 2019 | 8:30PM

HRL Guitar Week Presents: Hurricane Ruth and Scott Holt
Advance: $25.00 / Doors: $30.00

“Hurricane Ruth has a voice that just moves your soul on so many levels. Quite frankly there are few singers who could match Hurricane Ruth at her powerful best!” – Peter Merrett, PBS

LaMaster earned her “Hurricane” nickname because people had difficulty believing that her powerhouse vocals could be coming out of such a small woman.  Ruth grew up in Beardstown, IL. Her father’s Glendale Tavern was her music school. “The bar featured live blues, jazz, and all kinds of music. My dad was a drummer. At age three, I was sitting on his lap keeping time on the ride cymbal, while he played, during Sunday jam sessions” LaMaster said.

LaMaster has performed with John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Taj Mahal, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Sam & Dave, Fenton Robinson, Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.  Her vocals are deeply rooted in traditional blues, but she can also rock the house. LaMaster has opened for Heart, Judas Priest, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and Steppenwolf, to name a few.

Blues great, Willie Dixon, once called her “the only hurricane I can appreciate.” She’s got the power of Big Mama Thornton, the fire of Janis Joplin, the boundless stage energy of Tina Turner, and soulfulness of Aretha Franklin all rolled into a petite package.

“You’re the only hurricane I can appreciate.” – Willie Dixon

Scott Holt
The American South has an incredibly rich musical legacy, bearing witness to the birth of
Jazz, Rock, Country and of course, The Blues. Singer/Guitarist/Entertainer/Songwriter Scott Holt has been carrying the Blues torch for his entire career. Born and raised primarily in Tennessee, he and his family also made homes in Texas and Mississippi. The lanky, tattooed Tennessean was “touring before I knew it was called touring! My family moved a lot when I was little so I’ve lived all over the place.” After beginning his musical journey at 19 years old, Holt jumped on the fast-track by joining his friend and mentor Buddy Guy in 1989.

Holt’s first step towards musical apprenticeship came when his father took him to a Tampa, FL club to hear bluesmen Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. “I’d never been in a club before or heard anything like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells,” Holt recounts. After a backstage meeting, the young student and venerable master stayed in touch. Over the next year or so Holt was invited on stage to jam with Guy, including the first night his new club Legends opened to the public in Chicago during the Bluesfest weekend and then one day Guy called to invite Holt into his band. “I’d never even been in a band before,” Holt says. “so all of a sudden, there I am at 20, leaving home for Chicago with my guitar, my amp, a suitcase and my passport. I had no idea of when or even if I was ever coming back home.”

Holt was at Guy’s side for a decade. “Before I started making a little money, I would sometimes sleep on the pool table at Legends. I always thought with all the “ghost-notes” floating around in there from Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Albert Collins and of course from Buddy, that maybe I would soak it up in my sleep! I learned so much from Buddy. He never seemed to get tired of my questions, and I asked a lot! He is one my heroes and one of my dearest friends, all at the same time. To this day, what he can do never ceases to amaze me.” And Guy remains an enthusiastic supporter of Holt. “He’s an automatic. He’s good! Every time I hear (Scott) I hear some improvement he’s made…”

In addition to his tenure with Buddy Guy , which included recording the GRAMMY winning record Slippin’ In, 2 appearances on Austin City Limits, an appearance in the major motion picture THINGS TO DO IN DENVER, Holt’s 7 solo records’ have established him not only as a six-string virtuoso but also as a penetrating and soulful storyteller. Holt calls it “creating a soulful communion; getting to a place where the sound that my band and I make are like an embrace; warm, human and uncorrupted by technology.” Through the countless hours and miles on the road, Scott has developed a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in the world.
Scott’s has a saying; LOUD IS GOOD. He explains his philosophy this way; “When I talk about ‘loud is good’, I’m not talking about turning everything up – it’s not necessarily high volume. It’s about more of a ‘spiritual loudness’ or ‘intenseness’ something that is felt as well as heard. Not something to be shrill or hurt someone’s ears but something they can feel inside!”

The spirituality of music is an important aspect of who Scott is as an artist. “So often music is treated as something that’s disposable, or as a tool to sell jeans or beer. Music is more than that. Music is one of God’s great gifts to us. It’s a unique language that transcends borders and barriers. It transcends cultures and customs and allows us too communicate with each other at the level of our hearts instead of our minds. My goal, as an artist, is not only to entertain but to enlighten and inspire.”

Aside from Buddy Guy, Scott’s single biggest musical influence is Jimi Hendrix. “I didn’t hear Jimi’s music until I was 19 but from that moment on I knew where I was headed.” he recalls. “I begged my parents for a guitar and they gave me one for Christmas.” With the help of a Hendrix-savvy instructor Holt was on his way, developing the rudiments of his style. You can hear echoes of Hendrix’s stinging vibrato and wah-soaked stringing in all of Scott’s work. Scott even had the opportunity to record with Hendrix’s last band, Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell on his second record, Dark Of The Night. “That record was a highlight for me!” Eddie Kramer (former Hendrix engineer) produced the disc and it even features Scott, Mitch and Billy doing a version of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). “After we recorded it I asked Mitch when he last played that song and he said ’30 years ago’ with Jimi! I’ll always be proud of that.”

While blues remains at the core of his being, he is constantly evolving and exploring as an artist. He reflects, “I am a bluesman through and through. It’s just who I am when recording or performing. It has been an affirmation over the years as I play my music for audiences and have them receive it and embrace it as enthusiastically as the music of the Masters that we play. If you listen,” Holt continues, “you’ll always hear the blues in the foundation of my playing, but my mentors and guides, the greatest bluesmen, like Buddy, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, were always changing, experimenting and evolving. I’ve tried to maintain that philosophy and attitude towards my own music, just create the music and let people call it what they want.”

Scott most recently co-wrote and played guitar on the latest Foghat release; the Tom Hambridge produced – UNDER THE INFLUENCE as well as singing on two tracks, including the first single; UPSIDE OF LONELY. In addition, while working with Roger Earl and Bryan Bassett of Foghat, the three decided that they were having so much fun playing together that they should form another band! They began writing additional material and rearranging their favorite songs from other artists and christened the project EARL & THE AGITATORS. They released an Earl & the Agitators EP in early 2017 and are planning on releasing a complete album in the future.

Scott has recorded and/or performed with B.B. King, Albert Collins, Junior Wells,John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Foghat, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Eric Johnson, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, David Bowie, Double Trouble, Doyle Bramhall II, Joe Louis Walker, Lonnie Brooks, Chris Duarte, Albert King, Steve Miller, Larry Coryell, Larry Mitchell, & Little Feat, among others.

Scott has performed at The Chicago Blues Fest, The Windsor International Blues Fest, The Ottawa Blues Fest, The London Blues Fest, The Mt. Baker Blues Fest, The Mont Tremblant Blues Fest, The Eureka Springs Blues Fest, The Bayfront Blues Fest, to name a few.

Scott has appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan Obrien, Austin City Limits, The Jon Stewart Show, Good Morning America and many more.

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HRL Guitar Week Presents: Modern Acoustic

Saturday, July 13, 2019 | 8:30PM

HRL Guitar Week Presents: Modern Acoustic
Featuring Three of the World’s Best Fingerstyle Guitarists: Antoine Dufour, Trevor Gordon Hall, Van Larkins

Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00



Antoine Dufour
Montreal-based guitarist Antoine Dufour is known colloquially among the best guitar players in the world as a musician’s musician. To fans of popular music, he deftly combines jaw-dropping guitar playing skills and an artistic soul in crafting instrumental compositions that reflect ambient and progressive music that transcends global cultures and languages. That he does this in an incredibly visual and entertaining style has endeared him to a broad spectrum of fans of popular music.

Via his multiple albums of original material released to critical acclaim, two live performance DVDs, years of global touring and way more than 50 million cumulative views on YouTube, Antoine Dufour has emerged as a star of fingerstyle acoustic guitar, building a worldwide reputation for innovation and creativity.   Antoine’s records of accomplishment include winning First place at the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championships, Third place at the ultra-prestigious international guitar championships at Winfield, recording for the leading Instrumental music record label Candyrat, plus touring and playing with luminary guitar players such as Andy McKee and Don Ross.

Through his active schedule of post show meet and greets with every fan after gigs, holding seminars, workshops and masterclasses as part of his tour schedule he truly loves engaging fans on a one-to-one level – however, it is via social media that he has connected with millions of fans spread out all over the globe.  His fans have recorded countless covers of his music on YouTube and his fan base is as loyal and ravenous to see him perform as any artist out there today.

Clearly, fans are attracted to his technical prowess in the progressive Acoustic Guitarist as trail-blazed by such geniuses as Michael Hedges and Preston Reed; yet, it is a solid reflection of his ability and persona that he is simultaneously hailed by reviewers and critics alike.

“Antoine is a wonderland of fingerpicking and highly intricate compositions soothing the soul as they engage the mind. Dufour’s riffs are incredible, never-ending, and at times seemingly impossible for human fingers to pull off.”

”The youthful Antoine Dufour’s million views on Youtube are easily understood. His style packs a rock band’s punch behind extraordinary fluency and features highly effective flamenco-like percussion and deftly reflective melodies as well as urgent, nimble picking.”

Trevor Gordon Hall
The unfolding era of the music business has provided many fresh opportunities for artists to foster direct and meaningful connections with new audiences around the globe. Trevor Gordon Hall is a powerful emerging voice, albeit without words to his music, showing that combining honest heart felt compositions with precise technical virtuosity do not sideline an artist in today’s world but can launch a wider reach than ever before. With an exploding presence on streaming services like Spotify, YouTube etc, a tour calendar that has taken him all over the world, it’s safe to say that this is a new era for artists like Trevor to engage listeners from all cultures, languages, genres, and backgrounds.

Rated one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 years of age by Acoustic Guitar magazine, Trevor is an instrumentalist from Philadelphia USA whose style ranges from edgy driving rhythms to delicate melodic themes. Exploring the guitar’s full creative potential, his blending of sounds weave together textures into grand yet intimate and lyrical compositions. While leaving no physical aspect of the guitar untouched, Trevor navigates audiences through an igniting experience of music that isn’t just heard but felt. Aside from being featured on NPR, NBC, PBS and countless international media outlets, Trevor’s tour calendar has taken him to 14 countries and counting performing at many historic places including Carnegie Hall in NYC, Union Chapel in London, Music History Museum in Bologna, Adolfo Mejia Theater in Colombia, and a brief performance on The Great Wall in China. He has also had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the most trusted and legendary names in the music business prompting high praise from John Mayer, Steve Miller, Graham Nash, Steve Hackett, Dar Williams, Will Ackerman, Pat Martino, Stanley Jordan, Phil Keaggy, Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee and more.

At the start of his career, Trevor caught the eye of 9 time Grammy award winning producer Joe Nicolo (James Taylor, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, etc.), who produced two of Trevor’s releases, Finding My Way and Let Your Heart Be Light, in 2008 and 2009. Then in 2010, inspired by his studies and always on the hunt for new sounds to utilize, Trevor collaborated with various builders to design an instrument combining an African finger piano (kalimba) and an acoustic guitar. The instrument combination, which Trevor calls the “Kalimbatar”, has opened up new possibilities for solo instrumental music. Compositions inspired by the pairing of the two instruments were first introduced in previous releases but fully realized in Trevor’s Candyrat Records debut Entelechy. Upon its release in 2011, this album rapidly climbed the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, as well as YouTube Top Commented/Top Favorited/Most Discussed categories gathering millions of views with the release of performance videos.

In the next few years leading up to his 2014 album Mind Heart Fingers, Trevor redesigned and fine-tuned the

Kalimbatar with the help of master luthier Sheldon Schwartz. Trevor recorded with his new instrument at Imaginary

Road Studios in VT with Grammy winning and long time hero Will Ackerman (Founder of Windham Hill Records). Mind Heart Fingers was the result of a unique experience created between Will, Tom Eaton and Trevor, to capture a heart-felt recording honoring the guitar tradition which Windham Hill helped to launch, while looking forward to what is next for the guitar scene. This project reached #4 on the ZMR international radio charts and was nominated for best instrumental acoustic album of the year by the ZMR awards.

Constantly working on new sounds and possibilities, Trevor released the first of an EP series entitled Kalimbatar Classics Vol. 1 in 2015 featuring his arrangements of classical piano standards for the Kalimbtar. Moving from that into the electronic world in his 2016 release Late Night with Headphones Vol. 1, Trevor introduced his listeners to new sounds incorporating electric guitar and electronic textures.

Trevor is an artist on a mission to ride the line between being adventurous and accessible. As Grammy winning Will Ackerman has said “…Trevor has a stunning range stylistically while being made cohesive by the power of Trevor’s artistic voice and vision…a guitarist we will need to pay attention to…”, and guitarist Don Ross agrees, “…Trevor has a timeless sense of melody, and he creates some of the richest sonic textures you’re likely to hear from any contemporary composer/guitarist…”

Van Larkins
He started out experimenting on an egg-slicer at just ten, and now, at 32, Van Larkins is at the forefront of the fingerstyle guitar revolution in Australia. Inventing ground-breaking techniques and highly complex compositions, Van Larkins is hailed world-wide as a leading composer and guitarist in fingerstyle earning him magazine covers, a coveted spot on the CandyRat Records roster, endorsements and praise from the world’s leading artists in the genre, including Andrew White, Phil Emmanuel and Strictly Ball­room’s Antonio Vargas.

Soon to release his 4th studio album, Cinder Moon and feature in a world-first fingerstyle guitar movie, Van Larkins is without a doubt one of Australia’s proudest exports and must-see performers.

Defying the eye when playing his energetic melodies, harmonies, percussion and bass with just 6 strings and a chunk of the finest carved wood, Van Larkins doesn’t sing. He doesn’t play drums. And there’s no loop pedal. After all, why do any of that when he can make his acoustic guitar do it all?

Transforming what we traditionally consider a classical guitar style with musical influences like electronic, psych trance and ‘70s funk, it’s no surprise that Van Larkins is spearheading this musical revolution.

“I experiment and use every possible part of my acoustic guitar to make music. It could be bending the neck to make that ‘whammy bar’ sound or pushing my arm against the face of the guitar to create wah-wah, while wiggling the capo for a vibrato effect!” said Van Larkins, “It’s just so much fun to see what I can do next.” Recently ‘sounding off ‘ with him at Sunshine Coast music conference, Turn Up!, in what can only be described as a jaw-dropping display of sonic creation, Australia’s greatest electric guitar player, Phil Emmanuel said, “Van Larkins doesn’t just play guitar … he creates a beautiful musical soundscape. His application of musical cascades and original compositions shed new light to the term ‘ear candy’.”

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