Every summer the Canadian Guitar Festival happens near Kingston, Ontario.
Now in its tenth year, the festival features performances from many of the most talented acoustic guitarists in the world. It’s also host to the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition which has launched the career of many of the world’s best fingerstyle players.
Legend of the acoustic guitar, Don Ross (named by CBC Music as one of the top 25 greatest Canadian guitarists ever, and tops many lists of best acoustic guitarist in the world), performs every year.
Grammy winning Ed Gerhard is returning this year after mesmerizing the audience with his tone last year.
Legends of the acoustic world appeared at a near staggering rate last year, like flat picking master and guitar historian, Dan Crary and Antoine Dufour, one of the greatest contemporary fingerstyle players ever. While the Men of Steel, Don Ross, Tony McManus and Beppe Gambetta riveted guitar fanatics.
This year the line-up is no less impressive. Former member of the Frank Zappa band, Ike Willis, is someone to look forward to. What guitar enthusiast wouldn’t want to see him burn up some trademark Zappa sounds? He’s made a long career for himself, and we’ll be witness to the reason why.
Jon Gomm is coming from the UK to dazzle is with his incredibly alive and expressive brand of fingerstyle. See his famous guitar, Wilma! Michael Manring will prove to us that bass can be played solo with as much dazzle as any instrument, it just takes a genius to do it. The Italian fretboard killer Pino Forastiere will be sure to bring an international splash to the stage this year. As well young UK Singer Songwriter sensation John Ainsworth.
Calum Graham, former 1st place winner in the competition, is back to show us his latest inventions. He’s been on tour with Don Ross most of this year, so there might be a duet performance in the cards. The list goes on, and on, with Dylan Fowler, the ever impressive Gregory Hoskins, Maneil Jamal, Brooke Miller and Ray Montford of Ottawa.
As tradition dictates, last year’s winner of the competition will also be showcasing his talents, the only difference being that Justin St-Pierre will now be welcomed back to the stage as a featured act.
If you’re in attendance you may be able to mingle with the performers as they take in some of the inspiring entertainment. It’s a family friendly event, and not surprisingly there’s a wonderful grassroots atmosphere created by a big family of acoustic guitar lovers. The acoustics are great, and can easily be enjoyed under the beautiful sheltered outdoor amphitheatre. There’s also camping on site, so relax and enjoy yourself for a weekend of the best guitar music, period.
Visit the Canadian Guitar Festival website for more information. www.canadianguitarfestival.com
The festival runs for three days from Friday August 1 until Sunday August 3. Buy tickets in advance to save yourself 10% off gate prices.