Could Chicago Guitar Festival in October 2010 Boost Local Scene?

The classical guitar scene in Chicago doesn’t feel like much of a guitar scene at times. At least not compared to other major cities like Los Angeles and New York City.  Yes, there is a Chicago Classical Guitar Society, but the society part is weak. There is the Segovia Guitar series, but the lineup is often self-serving and too repetitive. Considering this is Chicago, I expect more from such an artistic city. But I am hoping with the announcement of a new guitar festival that it will serve as a turning point for the city.

Dot-to-Dot Management, in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Serbian Cultural Arts Center of Chicago, will present the Chicago Guitar Festival.  Currently scheduled from Wednesday, October 6 to Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the festival will include a week of performances by guitarists from all over the world at venues across the Chicagoland area.

The Festival aims to enrich the pallet of the area’s listening audiences by featuring a combination of Chicago’s homegrown artists and internationally-renowned guitarists.  Artists scheduled to perform include Adam Del Monte, Renato Anesi Trio, Fareed Haque, Badi Assad, Gyan Riley, Tim Sparks, The AK Trio, Paulinho Garcia, Alfonso Ponticelli, Eastern Blok and The Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo.

This is an interesting and eclectic lineup that is scheduled. Badi Assad is often overlooked because her brothers, Sergio and Odair, but she no slouch of player by any means. Adam del Monte is better known in the guitar community as flamenco player, but he also plays classical guitar.  I am interested to hear Gran Riley, son of the acclaimed minimalist composer, Terry Riley.  Also, I have heard a couple of recordings by the Kapsalis/Ivanovic duo, which were quite good, so I am looking forward to hearing this duo in concert.  I am less familiar with some of the other artists, but I am looking forward to hearing and learning about them throughout the week.

Although the lineup isn’t strictly about the classical guitar, I am hopeful that the festival will evolve into something more that will feature other great players like Ricardo Cobo, Antigoni Goni, David Tanenbaum, David Russel, Adam Holzman and other young guitarists that deserve some Chicago love.

A complete schedule of concerts, dates, times and locations will be announced later this summer.  For more information, visit www.chicagoguitarfestival.com.

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