To build a totally immersive archtop guitar experience! The Rocky Mountain Archtop Guitar Festival was created to bring together not only the greatest builders of these instruments, but also the greatest players and educators who love them in order to create a mini-camp learning environment. What better way to learn about the finer distinctions of these great guitars than to spend a weekend up close and personal learning from the masters who endorse them? Each artist will not only be doing guitar demos for their respective luthiers, but also presenting a clinic and a performance during the festival.
Meet the Artists (work in progress, more announced daily!)
Each attending Rocky Mountain Archtop Guitar Festival Artist represents one of the builders or sponsors of the festival, and will be doing a clinic, performance and/or product demonstration, as well as hanging out all weekend in a very casual, accessible environment. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Born in New Haven,Connecticut, Ed moved to New York in 1978 to play guitar with Dizzy Gillespie from 1978 to 1992 performing in Gillespie's quartet, big band and with The United Nation Orchestra which recorded the Grammy Award-winning Live at Royal Festival Hall (Enja). Gillespie died in 1993, and Cherry released his first recording as a leader, 'First Take' (Groovin' High). That same year, Ed recorded with Paquito D'Riveras' small group which recorded "Havana Cafe" (Chesky Records). Ed also worked with composer/saxophonist Henry Threadgill for two years and recorded three cds with Henry's 'Very Very Circus' group.
Rodney started playing the guitar at age 6. He has recorded two records for the Blue Note label, “The Undiscovered Few” and “Soul Manifesto”. He has toured worldwide, performed and recorded with a who’s who of music including Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Lena Horne, Quincy Jones, Christian McBride, Stevie Wonder, Elvin Jones, Kenny Burrell, Stan Getz, and countless others. He was the house guitarist for the Apollo Theatre for 9 years, and the staff guitarist for the Rosie O’Donnell Show for 6 years. He has written commercials and has more than 125 compositions recorded. He recently scored a documentary film for PBS about African American GIs in WW2. He served as Musical Director/Producer for Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Gloria Lynne, Ernestine Anderson and others.. He has been a professor of Jazz Guitar Studies at The Juilliard School for 12 years and at The Manhattan School of Music for more than 20 years and has conducted clinics and workshops worldwide.
Frank Vignola, born December 30th, 1965, is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, John Lewis, Lionel Hampton, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List:” for the Wall Street Journal.
Born in Italy and now based in New York City, Pasquale Grasso has developed an astounding technique and concept informed not by jazz guitarists so much as by bebop pioneers like Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and the classical-guitar tradition. His new digital-only EP series, available beginning in June from Sony Masterworks, showcases Grasso in the solo-guitar format, where his intensive studies of both midcentury jazz and classical meld into a signature mastery that is, remarkably, at once unprecedented and evocative.
A hectic touring schedule; eighteen recordings as a leader, including his newest release, Junkyard Duo; countless sideman recordings including Ray Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Roger Kellaway; soundtrack performances on three of Clint Eastwood’s distinguished films—most notably Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby; producer, arranger, acclaimed educator, in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept., when does Bruce Forman rest?
Jimmy Bruno, born July 22, 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a master jazz guitarist and jazz educator. One of the most critically acclaimed jazz guitarists performing today, Jimmy Bruno came to prominence as a jazz musician in the 1990's, after a successful twenty-year career as a sought-after commercial guitarist and session musician. After a whirlwind round-the-world tour as the youngest member of the Buddy Rich Orchestra, he went on to play guitar in orchestras for Frank Sinatra, Anthony Newley, Doc Severinsen, Lena Horne, and many more music icons. Additionally he spent many years as an LA session musician working with Tommy Tedesco.
2021 JUNO Award winner Jocelyn Gould has been called “a leader in the next generation of great mainstream jazz guitarists.” Jocelyn has performed and recorded internationally as a leader and with GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Freddy Cole, JUNO-winning trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg, DownBeat Trombonist of the Year Michael Dease, Etienne Charles, Jon Gordon, Rodney Whitaker, Randy Napoleon and Diego Rivera. Jocelyn’s debut album, Elegant Traveler, won the 2021 JUNO Award for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo. Jocelyn is a Professor and Head of Guitar Department at Humber College in Toronto.
Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation. Haque has toured and recorded with Joe Zawinul, Billy Cobham, Dave Holland, Paquito D’Rivera, Sting, Zakir Hussain, Bob James, Joe Henderson and many others, in addition to co-leading groups with Tony Monaco, Paul Wertico, Goran Ivanovic, Garaj Mahal, and The Chicago Immigrant Orchestra. Haque has released numerous albums as a leader, in jazz, classical, world music and fusion styles, and is the recipient of numerous accolades and awards including Best World Guitarist, Guitar Player Magazine 2009, 2004 Acoustic Album of the Year, 2007 Independent Music Award, and Best New World Music Group in Chicago Reader Poll 2020.
Acclaimed seven-string jazz guitarist Ted Ludwig has been a part of the jazz scene in New Orleans since 1997. Ted earned his Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the University of New Orleans Jazz Studies Program, under the direction of the legendary pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. He received an ASCAP award, the Louis Armstrong award, and the Overture to the Cultural Season award for his outstanding musicianship and creativity. Ted has recorded, produced, and released four albums as a leader and has continuously performed on many other recordings as a co-leader and sideman. In 2016, Ted was the youngest inductee into The Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.
Sean McGowan is an award winning fingerstyle jazz guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. Originally from Maine, Sean studied at Berklee earned a DMA in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California. Sean is a Professor of Music at, and currently serving as Chair of, the University of Colorado Denver's College of Music and Arts. Sean is a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians, and his workshops incorporate a holistic approach to playing. He is also a contributing editor and educational advisor for Acoustic Guitar magazine, author of Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Solos (Hal Leonard) and the String Letter book/video instructional methods The Acoustic Jazz Guitarist, Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials, and Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar.
Beth is a music industry leader, veteran world touring performer, champion of music education and trailblazer who has carved out an important path in the guitar world. As an educator, she has risen from GIT faculty member to serving as Guitar Department Chair, on to Assistant Dean, and now to Vice President at Musicians Institute. She considers her 36 years as a member of its esteemed guitar faculty (GIT), teaching thousands of students as one of her proudest achievements. Beth is the author of two best-selling guitar instructional method books by Hal Leonard/MI Press, and a freelance music writer for Los Angeles Magazine and Jazz Guitar Today. She received her undergraduate music degrees from The University of California, GIT and a Master of Music degree in Studio/Jazz Guitar from USC.
World renowned guitarist educator and Emmy award winning composer, Tim is a member of the legendary Northwest Gypsy Jazz Group Pearl Django and popular duo with Jamie Findlay. In between gigs with PD and Jamie, Tim tries to play as many Solo Guitar performance as he can fit into the schedule. In addition to his live playing and recording schedule Tim is also a well respected and popular teacher with a busy schedule of private lessons, classes and workshops. Recent activities include new Master Class courses with TrueFire, Jazz Guitar Camps with Frank Vignola, an Instructional DVD for Hal Leonard Publishing, Master Class Videos for JazzGuitarSociety.com
Over 40 Artists and Clinicians, More Announced Soon!
There are a limited number of all-access weekend workshop passes available, which include a la carte clinics, presentations, workshops and special performances. There are plenty of tickets available for the guitar exhibit, and many of the public performances are free, but access to the special events and education opportunities will sell out quickly.