Guitar Player Workshops
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All Workshops are $35     Purchase Tickets

Pierre Bensusan


Friday, August 15 10:30 to 12:00 noon

Pierre Bensusan has exploded on the fingerstyle guitar scene and now is one of the world's most in-demand performers. Working exclusively in DADGAD tuning, Pierre will present some of the secrets of his lyrical, eclectic style.  This is great workshop for those who wish to enliven their playing with musical styles from around the world.

Born in Oran, French-Algeria in 1957, Pierre Bensusan's family moved to Paris when he was 4. He began formal studies on the piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival blooming in Britain, France and North America, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage then moved to the horizons beyond. At 17 he signed his first recording contract and one year later, his first album Près de Paris, won the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Monteux Festival in Switzerland.


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Hamza El Din


Friday, August 15 12:30 to 2:00 PM

Hamza El Din, considered the father of modern Nubian music, will give a lecture/demonstration on the oud, including the use of the oud in African history and culture. "Oud music from the Middle East, Iran, Asia Minor, and the Balkans is all built on a system of tetrachords, groups of four consecutive notes common to different but related maqams, or musical scales," he explains in a great interview at "The music moves from one scale to another in the same composition, transitioning by means of shared tetrachords."

He has composed music for the Kronos Quartet and for the play "The Persians" (directed by Peter Sellers). In recent years, he performed at major festivals including Edinburgh, Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Montreux, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Monterey and Festival Cervantino (Guanajuato, Mexico). His best known recording in the U.S. is Eclipse, produced and engineered by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart.

Pictured at left top with the Grateful Dead and below with the Kronos Quartet.


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Phil Keaggy


Friday, August 15 2:30 to 4:00 PM


Phil was born March 23, 1951 in Youngstown, OH, the ninth of 10 children. On Phil's 10th birthday his father presented him with a Sears Silvertone guitar and the magic began. Phil played with a variety of bands in his early career. In 1970 his band Glass Harp recorded their first album and people began to take notice of him. This was also the year when Phil became a Christian, and he left Glass Harp to pursue a solo career. Phil continues to be one of the most exciting fingerstyle performers in the world today. He describes this workshop as appropriate for "beginners to bald guys."



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James Nash


Friday, August 15 4:30 to 6:00 PM

Looking to breathe new life into familiar flatpick tunes and have more fun jamming? This class will work on melodic and rhythmic embellishments, playing up and down the neck and in different keys, expanding the usefulness of chords and scales, and building confidence in improvising. Please feel free to bring any questions you wish-depending on interest. We can also work on accompaniment, playing in groups, switching between lead and rhythm, improving speed and dexterity, etc.

James, a Nashville native, started playing the guitar at age 9 and studied with Nashville session regular Jerry Kimbrough throughout high school. At 18, he came to California to attend Stanford University, where he was soon snatched up by San Francisco-based Occam's Razor, an alternative melodic rock band. After squandering his youth playing the devil's music, James picked up mandolin and rediscovered his Southern roots (and righteousness!) frequenting middle Tennessee bluegrass festivals with his father. In addition to his work with The Waybacks, James writes and performs his material solo, plays with Lane and the Badass Chicken Bones, and is frequently found sitting in with an assortment of Bay Area bands.


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Muriel Anderson


Saturday, August 16 10:30 to 12:00 noon

A former national fingerpicking guitar champion, Muriel is also a versatile writer. Her compositions include solo works, songs, and separate pieces for guitar with cello, choir, and orchestra. Maintaining an active tour schedule, Muriel has released seven CDs in the U.S. and three in Japan, and has published five guitar books and three videos. Muriel will review techniques for creating emotion and adding character to your playing.


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Richard Glick


Saturday, August 16 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Back by popular demand, Richard Glick of Fine Guitar Consultants will once again help de-mystify the process of  selecting a  guitar. With the primary focus on hand made instruments, Richard will coach individuals on how to identify unique elements in guitars that will or won't likely work well for that player’s physical style and playing technique. Richard will bring guitars in as examples, and will discuss woods, bracing, body styles, and will generally help separate rampant guitar myth from reality. The workshop attendee will leave with a clearer focus on what types of instruments will serve their music best.

Richard is a full-time guitar consultant who works with guitar players at all levels who take their fun seriously. He represents more than 35 small makers of fine hand made guitars, and maintains a substantial inventory of mechanically near-perfect guitars covering a wide variety of tonal ground.


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Corey Christiansen


Saturday, August 16, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

This clinic will teach students how to learn the jazz language by mastering lines and phrases played by the masters. Many students struggle with playing improvised jazz solos that are beyond the simple and mundane "scale=chord" thinking. Lines and phrases of the masters of jazz will be discussed as well as some of the techniques (such as utilizing guide tones, chromaticism, and playing the upperucture of chords) that are commonly used in the jazz language. After learning a line or phrase in all twelve keys, Corey will demonstrate how to apply these lines to jazz standards to create solos in the style of the jazz masters. Soon students will see how a little bit of vocabulary can go a long way in learning the jazz language.

Corey Christiansen began playing the guitar at the age of five. The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival awarded Corey with outstanding big band guitarist in 1995 and outstanding solo guitarist in 1995 and 1996. In 1999 he became adjunct guitar instructor at the University of South Florida where he worked with the jazz guitar students and directed many of the jazz combos. He is currently guitar editor at Mel Bay Publications.


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Patrick Landeza


Saturday, August 16, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

This class will be for the beginner/ intermediate, focusing on technique and how to develop the “slack key” sound. We will work on open G tuning (Taro patch tuning) and will cover slack key scales, vamps and licks, which will lead to a song. This class will also cover a brief history and discuss the different styles of slack key artists. If you always wanted to learn Kiho’alu, now is your chance!

George Winston considers Patrick Landeza “one of the best and most dedicated of the new generation of slack key players”. Patrick has honed his craft with the help of Kiho’alo’s best players. Landeza continues to pass the tradition on by becoming a driving force behind slack key instruction on the mainland. With moving original compositions and heart-warming stories, Patrick exudes the spirit of Aloha in his performances. He is currently working on a slack key instructional DVD for beginners and continues to travel the nation sharing his kiho’alo.


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John Stowell

Jazz and Blues Guitar

Sunday, August 17 10:30 to 12:00 noon

A hands-on workshop on how to practice scales, arpeggios and bass lines. Explanation of chord construction, basic jazz progressions and harmony, scale substitutions and chord melody. An overview of the guitar's roll in Jazz and Blues. All levels welcome for a relaxed and informal session to improve your ears and technical skills

John Stowell began his successful career with guitar lessons in his native Connecticut from guitarist Linc Chamberlind, and from John Mehegan, pianist and respected jazz educator at the Julliard School of Music and Yale University. Several years later he met noted bassist David Friesen in NYC and launched a critically acclaimed touring and recording association that lasted 7 years, included 6 albums and performances in Europe, Canada, USA and Australia.



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William Coulter

Hands on fingerstyle technique using DADGAD tuning.

Sunday, August 17 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

This workshop will introduce the basics of playing Celtic guitar in DADGAD tuning. We will explore basic chord progressions and rhythms for common Irish dance tunes, and 'jigs and reels'. We will also learn a fingerstyle arrangement of a slow air, and will learn a fingerstyle accompaniment to a traditional song. No prior experience in DADGAD is required. Bring your guitar tuned to DADGAD, a pick and a capo.

William earned his Bachelor of Arts (classical guitar) from UCSC and a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory. During his classical studies William was always drawn to traditional Celtic and American folk music. This led to a second Master's degree from UCSC, earned in 1994, in ethnomusicology with an emphasis on traditional Irish music, language and song. William has recorded numerous albums all on the Gourd Music label. William has also appeared on compilations produced on the Narada label, Windham Hill and Hearts of Space.


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Alejandro Cervantes


Sunday, August 17 2:30 to 4:00 noon

Learn how to improve your speed, strength and sound through the use of fun exercises using Spanish and Latin rhythms. This course will be valuable for players in any style and is fine for beginning or intermediate students. Please bring a guitar (nylon or steel string), a nail file, pen and paper.

Alejandro Cervantes was born in Paracho, Michoacan, Mexico in 1964. He started making classical guitars at age twelve in his father’s shop. After graduating from the music conservatory, he decided to develop Cervantes Guitars, a line of concert classical and flamenco guitars in the style of famous makers such as Rodriguez, Fleta, Hauser, etc. and by the best guitar makers in Mexico such as Carlos Pena, Gabriel Hernandez, Sergio Trejo and Daniel Caro amongst others. Alejandro also founded a guitar school for children in Mexico. Fifty percent of his students from this school have won national championships.


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Paul Asbell


Sunday, August 17 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

This workshop features Fingerstyle blues guitar, in the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Merle Travis, Dave van Ronk, and others. Topics covered will include right hand fundamentals, such as alternate-bass technique, Delta-style drones, palm muting, and exercises to create effortless dexterity, syncopations and strong grooves. Left-hand issues range from basic chord concepts to sophisticated jazz and ragtime chord substitutions, moving bass lines, "guide tones", etc, with emphasis on creating your own licks, turnarounds and variations within the style. All levels welcome, but many ideas will be geared to the evolved player. Tablature spoken here, but this will not be a "lecture"- plenty of foot-stompin' music will be played, and participants are encouraged to bring an audio or video recorder to get the most out of the workshop!

Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Otis Rush, Magic Sam, John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and numerous others while in his hometown of Chicago, Ill. During this time he appeared on the milestone recording "Fathers and Sons" featuring Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield and also played on "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" LP, featuring Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and members of the Rolling Stones. His most recent acoustic CD, "Steel String Americana", received glowing reviews from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Sing Out!, Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar. He has taught guitar for over 30 years, at Dartmouth College, University of Vermont, St. Michaels College, Skidmore College, and presently at Middlebury College.


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