Archive for Guitarist

Alfie Zappacosta

Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 8:30pm

Alfie Zappacosta
Advance $50.00 / Door $55.00

Alfie Zappacosta is undeniably one of Canada’s premier songwriters and performers with chart topping hits and a recording and acting career that has spanned 40 years. He continues to evolve as an artist by “doing it his way”, an effort that has been rewarded with an impressive song catalogue and a discerning loyal fan base.

Alfie Zappacosta decided on a music career in his teens and set his sights upon being a guitarist. When his vocal dexterity and song writing proficiency were uncovered by a publisher while writing for his first original band “Surrender”, events would be put in motion to champion Zappacosta (dropping his first name) as a solo artist and bring him to the world’s attention. “Start Again”, “Passion”, “When I Fall in Love Again” and “Nothing Can Stand In Your Way” became staples on Canadian adult contemporary radio and Zappacosta became a personified Rock Star.

In 1987, Walt Disney’s Danger Bay would bring Zappacosta an episode written specifically for him titled “Rock Star”. In the same year, he penned and sang “Overload” exclusively for the multi-platinum soundtrack “Dirty Dancing” and Loverboy would record Zappacosta’s “That’s Where The Money Goes” for their Wildside album. In 1988, he was awarded JUNOs for “Album of The Year’ and “Most Promising Artist”, an American Music Award for “Most Popular Album of The Year” and named the Canadian Publishers Music Association’s “Best Rock Star”.

Zappacosta’s distinctive baritone voice did not go unnoticed by artistic directors and in 1990, he was called to deliver his greatest challenge of his career – singing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Alfie’s portrayals of Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar and Che Guevara in Evita would bring a new audience and support his efforts to delineate his pop/rock image – a moniker that never reflected his authentic personality. The release of “Innocence Ballet” in 1996 would introduce Alfie Zappacosta (taking back his first name) and give center stage to his true rich vocals, his mastery at romance, his astute take on relationships and his advanced knowledge of music. Alfie is rewarded for his efforts with numerous award nominations in the Smooth Jazz genre and a performance with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2005.

Zappacosta has polished his live concert performances exposing his sophisticated, intimate and intense personality. His performances deliver a blend of acoustic, jazz and pop music prompting the listener to engage soulfully.

And the hits that originally brought Zappacosta to the world’s attention? – Alfie hasn’t turned his back on any of these songs. You will hear them in his program performed the way they were originally written and meant to be heard.

website: https://zappacosta.ca/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWL-xpYRATM

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J.P. Cormier

Sunday, February 9, 2020 | 8:30PM

J.P. Cormier
Advance $25 / Door $30

Nobody really knows who J.P. Cormier is for sure. That’s to be expected, believe me.

In 1974 he was a five year old boy, discovering an innate talent for playing the guitar, I had a little hand in that, guiding him through the beginning stages. He learned faster than I could teach. By the mid eighties, not out of his teens, he was a sideman for bands and artists of many different genres in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and all across the deep south. As he travelled and worked he added more and more instruments to his arsenal of capabilities. He became indispensable to the bands he worked for.

In the early Nineties, he became a sideman for one of Canada’s favourite sons, Stompin’ Tom Connors and also became a staple of the recordings at Studio H in Halifax. His work with the CBC there, spanned musical, production and arranging duties.

All this before he was 20.

In the mid nineties he reentered the musical scene of his beloved East Coast and the Island called Cape Breton. He exploded onto the trad music scene there as a fiddler, performing some of the most difficult music ever produced by legends like Winston Fitzgerald and Angus Chisholm with a facility that stunned onlookers. Especially those who knew he wasn’t born there, but born in Ontario to Cape Breton parents. Somehow, some way, his music was the real thing, sounding like he had been steeped continually in a handed-down brew of family tradition from the old country.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

His previous gig was in Nashville playing mandolin and banjo in a grammy nominated bluegrass gospel band and performing on the Opry, and playing television shows with the likes of Waylon Jennings. All those people also thought he was one of them, American, reared in the ways of bluegrass, old time and Americana music. They knew he was from Canada, but it just didn’t seem possible.

Then in 1997, something amazing happened.

An album released in Canada, out of nowhere, called Another Morning. This time it was him as a songwriter and a lead singer.

And what a songwriter he turned out to be. Some of the performances on that album are literally part of the musical vocabulary today in the East Coast. Songs like the title cut, and Kelly’s Mountain, The Molly May (co written with his cousin Gervais) and others. It inspired, 25 years ago, some of the biggest names in the business today. People like Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, David Myles, Joel Plaskett, all of which will tell you: that record changed things.

The Canadian industry thought so too, and it received a juno nomination and won an ECMA.

And that was just the beginning.

36 years later after stepping on stage as professional union musician for the first time at the tender age of 13, JP is still going, and frighteningly, still getting better.

16 albums followed the success of Another Morning, winning 12 more ECMA’s, another Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award and 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards. Each album was a snapshot of each thing that he can do. There are fiddle albums, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, tribute records, songwriting collections, a purely astounding spectrum of talent and musical vision.

His catalogue of recordings and the 150 or so records he’s produced on other artists, resemble the tapestry he weaves in live performance. Where he used to carry 3 and 4 piece bands, he tours alone now.

Just him and the instruments.

People still leave his shows confused, amazed and wondering what they just saw. Did they see a storyteller? A Songwriter? Arguably one of the best guitar players in the business today? Someone who crosses the lines between different instruments like there are no lines? Who was that masked man, anyway?

Accolades aside, and there are many from people like Chet Atkins, Marty Stuart, Waylon Jennings, Gordon Lightfoot; JP sees himself as just a performer. He’s shy, but has a razor sharp wit and lightning sense of humour. He can be reserved or edgy to the point OF no return. He speaks for soldiers, first responders, other artists, the forgotten and lost. He speaks sometimes only for himself and refuses rebuttal.

Of all the things he is, foremost he is an entertainer. I think one of the best.  After you’ve seen what he does, I’m certain you will too.

website: https://www.jp-cormier.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iL48otg0ME

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Albert Lee

Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 8:30pm

Albert Lee
$40 Advance / $45 Door

Albert Lee is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists in music history, having worked with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and The Cricketts over his long and illustrious career. The British-born country-rock artist started his career during the emerging rock ‘n’ roll scene of sixties London, when he swapped bands with the likes of Jimmy Page and Chris Farlowe.

“The ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.” – Eric Clapton

After moving to the U.S. and assimilating himself into the country music scene, Albert quickly garnered a reputation as one of the fastest guitar players in the business. He recorded a number of solo albums, and won a Grammy in 2002 for his contribution on ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’. He continues to tour today, and plays his signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar.

“A brilliant guitar player. His sound is unmistakable – often emulated, never equalled.” – Emmylou Harris

website: http://www.albertleeofficial.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z9lg-JZvxs

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Albert Lee

Wednesday, January 29, 2019 | 8:30pm

Albert Lee
$40 Advance / $45 Door

Albert Lee is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists in music history, having worked with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and The Cricketts over his long and illustrious career. The British-born country-rock artist started his career during the emerging rock ‘n’ roll scene of sixties London, when he swapped bands with the likes of Jimmy Page and Chris Farlowe.

“The ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.” – Eric Clapton

After moving to the U.S. and assimilating himself into the country music scene, Albert quickly garnered a reputation as one of the fastest guitar players in the business. He recorded a number of solo albums, and won a Grammy in 2002 for his contribution on ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’. He continues to tour today, and plays his signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar.

“A brilliant guitar player. His sound is unmistakable – often emulated, never equalled.” – Emmylou Harris

website: http://www.albertleeofficial.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z9lg-JZvxs

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Anthony Gomes

Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 8:30PM

Anthony Gomes
Advance $35.00 / Door $38.00 *

“A very talented guitarist… and where did that voice come from?” B.B. King

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.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

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.”

* Advertised pricing excludes pricing and fees.

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.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

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.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

 

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.

*Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.