Archive for Guitarist

Johannes Linstead

Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 8:30pm

Johannes Linstead
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

From being named Canada’s “Guitarist of the Year,” to winning eight “Best Album” awards, to seven top-ten US Billboard charting albums, and winning the “People’s Choice” award in the UK, Johannes Linstead has become recognized internationally as one of the best selling guitarists in the Instrumental, Jazz and World Music genres.

Chances are even if you don’t know the name you’ve heard his music. Johannes’ songs have been used in some of the most popular TV shows, such as Californication with David Duchovny, The Following with Kevin Bacon, Burn Notice, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Pawn Stars, Person of Interest, and others. World champion figure skater Stephane Lambiel used Johannes’ song “Zabuca” as part of his choreography during the Winter Olympics, and recently “Cafe Tropical” was featured in the hugely popular video game Tropical 4 and 5. Johannes is an endorsed “Influential Artist” with Yamaha Guitars USA, the largest musical instrument manufacturer in world, and in 2016 signed an endorsement deal with D’Addario, the largest string manufacturer in the world, and in 2018 partnered with D’Angelico Guitars of New York city.

His group consists of congas, bongos, accordion, bass and Spanish guitars, with each band member lending his own unique charisma, creating a rare on-stage chemistry that moves audiences to their feet, clapping along with the music and occasionally shouting out “ole!” They perform at many of the top music venues in the US and Canada, including the Catalina Island JazzTrax festival in California, which was named the #1 jazz festival in the US. Johannes’ legendary concerts have brought the group as far as the Middle-East, performing for royalty in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Together, Johannes and his group set the stage on fire as they let loose a fiesta of Afro-Cuban percussion and Spanish guitar magic.

When creating new music Johannes derives his inspiration from his many travels, from Spain to the Caribbean, from India to the Middle East. Each new land bringing him a wealth of exotic sounds and rhythms to colour his musical pallet. Having developed a love for the tropics, Johannes now calls the Dominican Republic his home away from home.

A deeply spiritual person, Johannes is a certified yoga instructor and conducts yoga and music retreats when his touring schedule allows. In 2006 he founded Divine Earth (divineearth.org), a humanitarian organization promoting meditation, yoga, holistic living, and the healing power of music.

Johannes states, “I use music as a way to express what words cannot say. Every note contains a part of me and all the love, joy, hope and compassion in my heart. I believe that music has the power to uplift humanity – I see it all the time at every one of my concerts. To be able to bring happiness to so many people is a true blessing.”

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Martin Simpson

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 8:30PM

Martin Simpson
Advance $25.00 / Door $30.00 *

There is no doubt that after 45 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.

There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and “One Day”.

His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Hawley, Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan, Dom Flemons and many more.

Martin has been nominated an astounding 27 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. The year 2008 saw an incredible 5 nominations for “Prodigal Son’ and 2 wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented 6 nominations for his CD, “True Stories” and a win for Best Traditional Track, “Sir Patrick Spens”. 2012’s nominations for Martin include, Best Album for ‘Purpose & Grace”, Best Traditional Track for “The Lakes Of Ponchartrain” and Best Musician. In 2014 his album, ‘Vagrant Stanzas’ was nominated for Album Of The Year, but it was a member of The Full English that he collectively took home awards that year, for Best Group and Album Of The Year. 2015 saw him working in a new trio with the wonderful Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr and they also released an album together, ‘Murmurs’, to wide, critical acclaim. He is currently working on new material for his next solo album.

Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.

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Candyrat Guitar Night with Luca Stricagnoli and Gareth Pearson

Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 8:30pm

Candyrat Guitar Night ft. Luca Stricagnoli and Gareth Pearson
$25 Advance / $30 Door

Luca Stricagnoli
Luca Stricagnoli is an acoustic guitarist known for his unique style and innovative playing techniques. His original approach to music has led him to a variety of successes from obtaining over 100 million views on his music videos to having the opportunity to perform all around the globe. Using up to five guitars in the same piece, modified capos, and self-conceived stratagems, Luca continually leaves his audiences in awe and wondering what’s next for the up-and-coming guitarist.

Gareth Pearson
Gareth Pearson is referred to as “The Welsh Tornado” which is particularly appropriate, seeing as this special talent combines fingerstyle pyrotechnics, with explosive lead runs making Pearson one of the most exciting acoustic musicians gigging today. His distinctive style can be heard through his creative and innovative arrangements which cover a wide spectrum of genres, including country, folk, classical, pop,rock, jazz, swing, and bluegrass music.


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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: 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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Anthony Gomes

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | 8:30PM

Anthony Gomes

Advance $35.00 / Door $38.00 *

Anthony Gomes, #1 Billboard Blues Artist, is a triple threat force as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. This, along with his high-energy shows and dynamic stage presence, make him one of the top draws on the Rock/Blues circuit today.

Gomes’ new record Peace, Love & Loud Guitars, named Best Blues Album of 2018 by Blues Rock Review and SoundGuardian Magazine, is the culmination of a life spent honoring Blues traditions while never losing sight of his own identity.  The Toronto-born guitar slinger stands his ground as a creative artist and is eager to push the Blues back into the mainstream.

“My goal is to keep the Blues fresh, exciting and even dangerous,” says Gomes. “I want to bring back the thrill longtime Bluesmen created in their day. At the same time, I think it’s very important for the music to grow and evolve.”

He has performed with the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Heart, Sammy Hagar, Joe Bonamassa, .38 Special, Jonny Lang, Robert Cray and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Gomes recalled a conversation he had years ago with one of those legends. “B.B. King told me the Blues are like the laws of the land. They need to be amended to the times we live in,” Gomes said. “As an artist, it’s very exciting to think that the Blues can be just as groundbreaking today as it ever was.”

Believing that music can inspire the human spirit, Anthony founded the Music Is the Medicine Foundation in 2010. This non-profit organization is dedicated to changing the lives of others through the healing power of music.

Anthony Gomes has nothing left to prove while leaving all his passion on the table. Nonetheless, he continues striving to not only find the legendary “lost chord,” but the ultimate combinations of words, notes and performance. Looking for an actual 21st Century guitar hero? Here he is.

You can get a free album download featuring his hit song “Come Down” and other hit songs from throughout his career at: www.freegomesalbum.com.


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Martin Taylor

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 8:30PM

Martin Taylor
Advance $40.00 / Door $45.00 *

Award-winning guitarist, Martin Taylor, has established a unique musical career as an internationally acclaimed musician, and his inimitable style has seen him recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing. As well as being a true guitar innovator, he is also a master concert performer, dazzling audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humour, with a strong stage presence. As well as his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genre including, Stephane Grappelli, Jeff Beck, Gary Burton, Chet Atkins, Bill Wyman, George Harrison, Dionne Warwick, Diane Schuur and Jamie Cullum. He spends much of the year travelling the world, playing in concert halls in Europe, North America, Japan, Asia, and Australasia as well as presiding over the uniquely innovative Martin Taylor Guitar Academy online.

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Rob Tardik

Friday, May 17, 2019 | 8:30PM

Rob Tardik

$25.00 Advance / $30.00 Door *

In a career spanning over two decades, Canadian artist Rob Tardik has established himself as a multi-award winning guitarist and contemporary jazz/world instrumental music artist. He has performed at venues across North America, including the prestigious Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto. Rob enjoyed a stellar release with his 2011/12 3rd CD release Balance, Energy, Laughter, Love (B.E.L.L.) which spawned 3 U.S Billboard singles two of which went Top 10. Rob was featured on the cover story for the Oct/Nov 2012 issue of Smooth Jazz News Magazine and his single “Christmas Morning” was Billboard’s most added holiday track in 2012. B.E.L.L. also made the top 50 list of 2012 on SmoothJazz.com coming in at #15 and was a top 10 album (#6) in Smooth Jazz News Magazine, 2011. Café Jazz Radio named Rob the #1 Canadian Smooth Jazz Artist for 2011 and B.E.L.L. its #1 CD for 2011 and “East Meets Wes” the #1 single of the year.

Rob recently placed first overall in the instrumental category in the prestigious 2017 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), for his acoustic fingerstyle song titled “Voyageur” off his Moments album. His latest album, SYNERGY, is now available, with the first title track debuting as the #1 added track on the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. His 2016 holiday track “Christmas Moments” and his sultry fall romantic single, “Eros” (Passion) both debuted as one of the most added tracks on the Billboard U.S Smooth Jazz charts, from his 5th Album “Moments” released in November 2015. His earlier two singles in 2016, “Right of Passage” and “Hang Time” were the #1 most added new tracks on the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts. Rob released his 4th studio CD “Limitless” at the end of summer 2013. His first single “One World” went to #1 on the charts for 3 weeks in summer/fall 2013. In 2010, Rob won the prestigious Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the Year; and held the #1 spot on the U.S.-based, Music Choice Contemporary Jazz charts for 4 weeks in Sept/Oct 2010. Rob is currently on the guitar faculty at Centennial College, Metal Works Institute, and the Merriam School of Music and studied music at York University in Toronto. He has worked for Roland Canada as a guitar product specialist. Rob also holds diplomas in Recording Engineering from TRW and in Media Arts from Humber College. Rob has also been honoured, being named Mississauga’s 2007 “Established Performer of the Year”, and nominated again in 2016, and 2017. This award was previously won by Oscar Peterson and Rik Emmett. Rob is currently endorsed by Godin Guitars, Roland Canada and D’Addario Music.

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Garnet Rogers

NEW DATE

Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 8:30PM

Advance: $30.00 | Doors: $35.00

Garnet Rogers
In a darkened bedroom, lit only by the amber glow from an old floor model radio, two young brothers aged 6 and 12 lay in their beds, listening to the country music broadcasts from the Grand Ol’ Opry, and practiced their harmonies. Two years later, the youngest one was playing the definitive 8-year-old’s version of “Desolation Row” on his ukulele. He soon abandoned that instrument to teach himself the flute, violin and guitar.

Within ten years, and barely out of high school, Garnet Rogers was on the road as a full-time working musician with his older brother Stan. Together they formed what has come to be accepted as one of the most influential acts in North American folk music.

Since then, Garnet Rogers has established himself as ‘One of the major talents of our time”. Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “charismatic performer and singer”, Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence – close to six and a half feet tall – with a voice to match. With his “smooth, dark baritone” (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs “give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart” (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.

Resolutely independent, Garnet Rogers has turned down offers from major labels to do music his own way.