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International Guitar Night
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International Guitar Night

Presented by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. 

Venue: Center Theater


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Each year, International Guitar Night’s founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world for special concert tours of North America highlighting the diversity of the acoustic guitar.

We are proud to celebrate our 20th year of touring the U.S.  For our  special Anniversary Tour, Brian has put together his most eclectic  lineup yet:  Guest host Mike Dawes (England) and his incredible two-hand  contemporary style is joined by German Lopez and his sweet, high-pitched  timple from the Canary Islands; electrifying jazz virtuoso Olli Soikkeli  from Finland and Hawaiian Slack Key master Jim Kimo West.

Mike Dawes

Mike MontanaMike 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 has amassed around 80 million music video views online. He was voted the ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World right now’ by MusicRadar & Total Guitar Magazine in a December 2017 readers poll.

Jaw-dropping’ – Guitar Player Magazine (US)

‘The Acoustic Tapping Titan’ – Total Guitar/Musicradar

‘Among the best in the world. I know you’re going to love him’ – Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues)

Germán López

Germán LópezBrilliant young star of the “timple”, Germán López touches audiences with original instrumental music from the Canary Islands. On stage with guitarist Antonio Toledo, Germán López harnesses the grit of spanish flamenco, the structure of west african rhythms, the flourishing spirit of jazz, and an innovative 21st century approach to performing "island music." His principal instrument is one of the grandfathers of the ukulele, and part of the same instrumental family that includes the cavaquinho, the cuatro and the charango. Germán López's music has been praised for “entrancing” performances of "delicately rippling notes" (Huffington Post), notes that flow from musical traditions uniting Spain, Africa, and the New World. BEGINNINGS: Germán López was born in Gran Canaria in 1982. His musical studies begin at an early age, where he was accepted to study at the Conservatory of Music in Las Palmas at seven years of age. In the conservatory, Germán studied piano, music theory, and jazz studies. At the ripe age of ten years, he began to concertize publicly, notably collaborating with legendary timple virtuoso José Antonio Ramos. It was around this time that Germán developed a keen interest in the timple and other traditional Canary Island instruments. In addition to duo and ensemble concerts, Germán Lopez has also collaborate with symphony orchestras, including the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria in the "Teresa de Bolívar" festival. As both an educator and performer, Germán López has been awarded public prizes by the government of the Canary Islands on several occasions.

TODAY: At the end of 2007, the illustrious Womad festival shone a bright spotlight on Germán López, inviting him to take part on that year’s festival program held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Since then he has continued to perform concerts all over the Canary Islands, mainland Spain, and continental Europe, including WOMEX (2014 and 2015), the Zaragoza International Exhibition (2008), Vic’s Live Music Market (2008), Womad Cáceres (2014) and Womad Fuerteventura (2014), to name a few of them.

Germán López has released three studio albums, including: “Timplissimo” (2006), “Silencio Roto ” (2009) and “De Raíz” (2013). A new album with guitarist Antonio Toledo was be released on June 2016, titled “Canela y Limón”. This recording has led them to an amazing international tour in 2016 and 2017. They have performed in the US, Canada, Cabo Verde, Portugal, Germany, Czech Republic and Croatia. Germán López has also recorded with bands like The Lost Fingers, Mestisay, Taburiente, Totoyo Millares, Luis Morera and a variety of esteemed songwriters such as Sergio Alzola, Diego Ojeda and Luis Quintana. He has shared the stage with renowned musicians including Pancho Amat, Troveros de Asieta, Mestisay, Jorge Pardo, Antonio Zambujo, Nancy Vieira, Celina Pereira, Sidiki Toumani Diabate, Budiño, Andreas Pritwittz, Victor Merlo, Antonio Toledo and The Lost Fingers.

The “timple” is a diminutive 5 stringed instrument intrinsic to music of the Canary Islands. Of all the hypotheses that exist about the origin of the “timple”, the most widely accepted is that it descends from the european baroque guitar, smaller than the classical guitar, and with five strings. Unlike the ukulele that it resembles, the timple has a full resonance despite its high timbre, possibly due to its rounded back. The timple is related to other “travel guitars”, including the “cuatro” from Venezuela, the “charango” from Andean countries, the “cavaquinho” from Portugal or Brazil, and, of course, the Hawaiian “ukelele”.

Olli Soikkeli

Olli SoikkeliOlli 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 ClubBlue Note and the Lincoln Center.

Despite his young age he’s already played with stars such as Bucky PizzarelliStochelo RosenbergTommy EmmanuelAndreas ÖbergCyrille AimeeAnat CohenAntti 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.

2014 Rhythm Future Quartet’s debut album was released. 2016 Rhythm Future Quartet’s second album ‘Travels’was released which received rave reviews including Best albums of 2016 by Huffington Post and All About Jazz magazines.

The Wall Street Journal wrote: Olli Soikkeli, a riveting finnish guitarist who combines astonishing dexterity and speed with pure soul in a way that places him among the worthiest current day successors to the legacy of the great Django.”

Jim Kimo West

Hawaiian “slack key” guitarist
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. This warm and engaging fingerpicked guitar style has it’s roots in 1840’s Hawaii, when Mexican vaqueros first brought guitars to the Big Island of Hawaii. If you saw the Oscar-winning film, “The Decendants” you have experienced this great acoustic guitar tradition.

Jim Kimo WestKimo 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. His recent release, “Guitar Stories” goes beyond slack key, exploring other genres like West African guitar, Middle Eastern

Music and Americana.”Slackers In Paradise” features duets with slack and steel guitar legend, Ken Emerson and his latest CD, “Moku Maluhia-Peaceful Island” is a mix of “nahenahe” or very relaxing compositions.

Kimo has also worked as a composer for film and TV for many years and maintains a sophisticated private studio in Los Angeles. He has composed music for features films, network TV shows and specials and cable shows. His slack key compositions have been used in a number of features, TV spots, cable, web and in many documentaries.

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General public sale beings May 18th at 12:00PM.

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