An Extraordinary Musical Evening Celebrating American Guitar Traditions
Masters of The Steel String Guitar featuring Jerry Douglas, Albert Lee, Wayne Henderson and More
Tuesday Jun 07
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm
Proceeds will support the National Council for the Traditional Arts’ work on behalf of folk and traditional arts and artists across the U.S. and are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at The Hamilton
$100 Gold Seated Ticket: 95% is deductible
$60 Seated Ticket: 100% deductible
$25 Standing Ticket: 100% deductible
A Benefit Concert in Support of the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)
Masters of The Steel String Guitar
A BENEFIT CONCERT IN SUPPORT OF THE
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE TRADITIONAL ARTS (NCTA)
Masters of the Steel String Guitar reunites three of the original artists who participated in the NCTA’s legendary tours of the same name a quarter century ago: Jerry Douglas, Albert Lee and Wayne Henderson, who now stand at the pinnacle of their respective musical worlds. It also introduces some amazing younger players, just as the tours of the ‘90s did: 25-year-old St. Louis bluesman Marquise Knox, the Harris Brothers of Lenoir, NC, and 11-year-old Blue Ridge flat picker Presley Barker, joined by special guests 13-year-old fiddler Kitty Amaral, bluegrass singer extraordinaire Dudley Connell and blues harmonica wizard Phil Wiggins.
Proceeds will support the the National Council for the Traditional
For more information, please visit the ncta website: ncta-usa.org
Jerry Douglas, the evening’s musical host, is widely recognized as the greatest innovator on the Dobro in the last 50 years—possibly the greatest ever. He’s been described as the Jimi Hendrix and the Charlie Parker of acoustic music. The New York Times has called him "dobro's matchless contemporary master." He has won 14 Grammy Awards, 3 CMA (Country Music Association) Musician of the Year citations, 24 IBMA honors (International Bluegrass Music Association), and received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Though he got his start in bluegrass, he has made an impact in fields ranging from rock and roll to jazz, from blues to Celtic, from mainstream country to contemporary classical, world music and beyond.
Albert Lee occupies a unique niche – British by birth and upbringing, he gained acclaim in the 1960s as one of the UK’s top R&B players, and since the 1970s has been recognized as one of the top rockabilly/country guitarists in the world. In England, Albert Lee is a household name, and in Nashville and Los Angeles, he’s long been one of the most in-demand session guitarists. Nicknamed “Mr. Telecaster,” he is a musician’s musician, noted for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique, his lightening speed and melodic sensibilities. Vince Gill described him as “One of the finest guitar players who ever walked this earth. . .”
Wayne Henderson is the Appalachian guitarist the Nashville pickers talk about, the one who lives in a very remote area of the Blue Ridge (Rugby, VA, pop.7) and makes those acoustic guitars with the amazing tone, the ones that are so hard to get. Sometimes Wayne’s playing is mistaken for flat-picking but actually he uses a thumb pick and fingerpicks to achieve amazing speed and fluidity, transforming fiddle and banjo pieces and even the occasional jazz standard into stunning guitar solos. Eric Clapton waited seven years for a Henderson guitar because, as Wayne reasoned, “Well, he’s already got plenty of nice ones to play.” The story is chronicled by Wall Street Journal writer Allen St. John in his book Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument.
If there is an artist who could be said to truly connect the past, present and future of the blues, it is 25-year-old bluesman Marquise Knox. Born and raised in St. Louis with family roots in Mississippi, Marquise burst onto the blues scene at age 16 with astonishing performances that exhibited the mastery and musical sensibilities of someone far beyond his years. He learned guitar from his grandmother, Lillie, a former Mississippi sharecropper, and played with his Uncle Clifford, a major early influence. As a teenager, he was mentored by revered St. Louis bluesman Henry James Townsend, a foundational figure in the blues of that city. Having absorbed from the masters the essence of what made the blues one of 20th-century America’s quintessential musics, Marquise is carrying the torch into the 21st century.
The Harris Brothers
Rooted in the musics of the upland South, the Harris Brothers draw from old-time, bluegrass and the distinctive blues of the region, as well as country, jazz, and rock, to create a sound uniquely their own. With Reggie on guitar (and a vintage suitcase kick drum), Ryan on bass, and seamless brother harmonies, listeners often ask, “How can two people put off such a big sound?” The brothers, from Lenoir, NC, cut their teeth playing on front porches and at community picnics. During 30-plus years of making music, they moved from bluegrass jams and rocking house parties, to a progressive blues band, to a country trio. When their bassist moved away, the duo was born, joined by the suitcase drum. The brothers never make a set list, so no two performances are ever the same.
Presley Barker, age eleven, from Trap Hill, NC, has been playing bluegrass and old time guitar for four years. He has been influenced and mentored by highly accomplished local guitarists including Wayne Henderson and Steve Lewis, and has quickly emerged as an astonishingly gifted flatpicker. This past summer, Presley shocked the field by winning the prestigious Adult Guitar Competition at the 80th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention – beating out Wayne Henderson for the honor.
Kitty Amaral, age thirteen, first learned fiddling from her Elk Creek, VA neighbor Jerry Correll, and has since become a mainstay at local jams and a regular frontrunner in regional fiddling contests. She has immersed herself in the music, learning from a host of master Blue Ridge musicians. Kitty and Presley met at a fiddlers' convention in 2013, and instantly found themselves to be kindred spirits. They have formed their own bluegrass band ShadowGrass with other young players from the area.
Dudley Connell has been an important figure in bluegrass music since the 1970s, first as the founder and mainstay of the Johnson Mountain Boys, and later as lead singer and guitarist of the Seldom Scene, two legendary Washington, D.C. bluegrass bands. His is one of the most soulful and distinctive voices in bluegrass. After growing up in Rockville, Maryland, as the son of bluegrass enthusiasts, Connell got his start in the mid-'70s fronting the traditionally-oriented Johnson Mountain Boys. In 1995, Connell surprised many people in the bluegrass world when he joined progressive giants the Seldom Scene, helping to guide this venerable group founded in 1971 into the new millennium. He also recorded a series of "brother-style" duo albums with Don Rigsby, and contributed his fine singing and guitar to the work of numerous artists, including Hazel Dickens and the supergroup Longview.
Phil Wiggins of Takoma Park, MD, is arguably America’s foremost blues harmonica virtuoso, and a master of the unique blues traditions of the Piedmont. He achieved worldwide acclaim over three decades as one half of the premier Piedmont blues duo of Cephas & Wiggins. Blues from the Piedmont – the hilly region between the Appalachians and the low-lying coastal areas that stretches through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland – is one of the oldest forms of the blues. It draws heavily on earlier fiddle and banjo string band music that was equally popular among rural blacks and whites, and served as a staple at country parties, hoedowns and square dances. Although Phil Wiggins’s harmonica playing is rooted in the melodic Piedmont or “Tidewater” blues of the Chesapeake region, his mastery of the instrument now transcends stylistic boundaries.