This year’s Guitar Festival features a very rich and diversified program suitable for any age, culture, personal music preferences and styles.
More than 300 artists will perform during the Festival which runs August 11-14. That includes 18 international acts, 66 national artists and almost 200 local musicians, plus four world premiere pieces that will be performed across various shows. The Adelaide Guitar Festival is expected to gather numerous international and national attendees contributing to the fame and image of the Adelaide city as a unique festival city. Tickets are still available, but shows are quickly getting sold out. This year’s Guitar Festival features a very rich and diversified program suitable for any age, culture, personal music preferences and styles.
International headliners Punch Brothers will prove why they are the global kings of progressive bluegrass when they take to the stage at the Adelaide Town Hall tomorrow night.
The world-class talent keeps on coming when 2016 Grammy Award winners Béla Fleck and partner Abigail Washburn team up for a true folk music explosion. This is banjo music like you have never heard before, at the Adelaide Town Hall on August 12.
One concert that is sold out is the Guitar Festival Symphony Gala. This will be a night of ground-breaking musical beauty featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. This once-in-a-lifetime event boasts world premieres of new works from esteemed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and a new concerto by Australian composer Andrew Ford, written for the electric guitar. Adelaide Town Hall, August 13.
The Festival is well on track to reach box office targets. It has already surpassed ticket sales for the same time in 2014 by more than 10 per cent. Several shows are at near capacity, including Punch Brothers and Memories of Spain.
All this great music comes just as the inaugural Guitars in Bars program comes to a close. This new initiative ran from July 15-August 10 and was an open access program that took the Adelaide Guitar Festival out to the pubs, clubs, galleries and other public venues across South Australia.
Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan says, “Guitars in Bars has been an unequivocal success in all ways. We knew artists and venues would be keen, but we had no idea just how huge this project would be. We ended up with around 600 artists taking part in more than 250 gigs at 107 venues with attendances estimated at 18,000. It really does prove that live music, and in particular great guitar music, has a devoted and keen audience in South Australia."
“All this incredible music is a prelude to our main Adelaide Guitar Festival program. I could not be happier with the diversity and talent on offer this year. From bluegrass to folk, rock to rockabilly, classical to jazz, there truly is something for all guitar tastes. Plus, we have workshops and talks, 15 Minutes of Fame and the Classical Guitar Competition. This year’s Festival epitomises the notion of immersive.”
Resonance was another new initiative at this year’s Festival. This heart-warming program saw world-class guitarists playing in hospital wards and homes for older people around Adelaide. Musicians, including Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan, who played in the Burns Unit of the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Starlight Room at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, played guitar for music lovers who may not be able to otherwise attend the Festival. The smiles, dancing and clapping from audiences beautifully highlighted the very rationale behind this concept – the inherent human need for music in one’s life, and music’s role in health, wellbeing, and recovery. This notion will be discussed by musicians and medics in a free panel discussion at the Festival on August 12 at the Adelaide Festival Centre.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier says, “We’ve already seen Adelaide audiences really embrace Guitars in Bars, as well as the Resonance program. Now the main event, Adelaide Guitar Festival, is here. We know from the thousands of people who attended Guitars in Bars that there is a real hunger for guitar music of all kinds."
“This year’s Guitar Festival delivers exquisite music from world-famous talent such as the Punch Brothers, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, as well as from some of the best Spanish musicians in the genre. The variety of the program and the reach of this beautiful music perfectly reflects why Adelaide was named as a UNESCO City of Music.”
In an Australian premiere, Adelaide audiences will step inside the creative and personal life of the late Paco de Lucía. This iconic flamenco guitar star is the subject of a moving documentary, crafted by his filmmaker son Curro Sánchez, who will come to Adelaide to present the award-winning work – Paco de Lucía: The Journey. This special event will include a Q&A with Sánchez, as well as live flamenco performances by dancer Maria Bermudez, direct from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and local flamenco favourites Flamenco Areti.
This year’s Festival will include another incredible film, Girt By Sea ‘A love letter to the Australian Coastline’. This visually poetic documentary celebrates our connection with the sea over the past century. Directed by SA’s Shane McNeil, the film draws on visual collections, archival footage and crowd-sourced home movies. The Panics return to Adelaide to perform their own enigmatic soundtrack live to the film, as well as highlights from their back catalogue and songs from their forthcoming album. Shane McNeil will be joined by The Panics’ Jae Laffer for a Q&A describing how historical images and musical composition came together to create this mesmerising evocation of our long-standing love affair with the Australian coast.
One of Spain’s most revered guitarists, Ricardo Gallén will be performing in the Dunstan Playhouse, showing off his passion for the notoriously challenging work of Bach. Opening the show will be the incredible talent of Bogdan Mihailescu, winner of the 2014 Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition. The Romanian native returns for his Australian debut recital.
Get set for a night of Spanish artistry as the Artistic Director of the Seville Guitar Festival, Francisco Bernier presents his Australian debut performance in Memories of Spain. The stunning repertoire includes Sors, Turina, Abril and Tarrega. This special night will be opened by Italy’s Massimo Scattolin and Australia’s Sergio Ercole who will play works from their recent recording. In a true feast for the senses, patrons will enjoy Spanish cuisine tastings with the artists following their performance.
Keeping with the flavor of Spain, composer and aficionado of Spanish Guitar musicology, Ken Murray will perform three new works by Brazilian composers, along with a variety of works by artists including Radiohead and Guinga. Oliver Fartach-Naini directs the special guests Guitarissimo who will join Murray on stage.
Also not to be missed is the most prestigious guitar competition in the Southern Hemisphere the Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition, attracting competitors from all over the world. Come and see the rising stars deliver their personal best as they compete for the top prize. The winner receives $10,000, a guitar made by local luthier Jim Redgate (value $16,000), plus an invitation to play at the 2018 Adelaide Guitar Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, August 14. All cash prizes donated by the AFC Foundation.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, one of the world’s most prolifically recorded guitarists, is also one of the greatest collaborators in ground breaking jazz. The Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio comprises the hippest rhythm section on the scene with Brian Blade on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass.
Muthspiel will also be performing with the Australian String Quartet, alongside Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan and Australian doyen Karin Schaupp in an exquisite salon performance featuring rarely performed chamber works for guitar and strings. Grigoryan Muthspiel Schaupp opens with the stunning spectacle of the 2016 Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra, an ensemble of 80 young and emerging players formed especially for the Festival and led by charismatic director Dr Paul Svoboda and leading composer Richard Charlton.
Schaupp will also star in the scintillating Don Juan, written, directed and starring the multi-talented actor Tama Matheson.
The popular Coopers’ Late Night Sessions return to the Space Theatre with incredible artists and a huge variety of guitar styles and genres.
Inspired by contemporary flamenco whilst embracing its Andalusian traditions, Bandaluzia presents a unique interpretation of the art form, imbued with elegance and precision. Get rockabilly ready with the Sydney outfit, Cruisin’ Deuces. For lovers of blues and roots Genevieve Chadwick is the one to see, who has been said to, “look like an angel, roar like a lion and play guitar like a demon”. On the same bill is one of folk’s finest Daniel Champagne, whose exhilarating style will leave you wanting more. And ARIA winning songwriter Matt Walker brings beautiful guitar and poignant vocals in heart-stirring songs alongside Shane Reilly’s sweeping pedal steel. They perform a show together with Adelaide’s own Velvet Moth, a genre-mincing outfit comprised of players from legendary local surf/instro masters GT Stringer and acclaimed R&B favourites, The Streamliners.
The kids won’t miss out either when Josh Earl puts on his family show My Family is Weirder than Your Family, celebrating the weirdness in every family through hilarious song!
Plus there is 15 Minutes of Fame, where hopefuls can try their luck in the spotlight, plus Workshops, Artists Talks and Master Classes. 2016 will also see the return of Meet the Maker where Australian luthiers show off their craft and incredible handmade guitars. For the first time this year, the Guitar Expo will be held in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer, where spectacular one-off, rare and beautiful guitars will be on display and for sale.
Another FREE event for the Festival this year happens in the Adelaide Festival Centre’s West Wing Foyer – the Yamaha Come and Try Room. Adults and children are encouraged to try their hand playing the latest Yamaha equipment, with a session each day of the festival. For available times please refer to the Festival guide.
The Adelaide Guitar Festival, a biennial event, is the most significant festival of its kind held in the Southern Hemisphere, bringing masterful artists from around the world together with some of the best Australian musicians to deliver an eclectic and entertaining program of events. The festival is made up of performances, free and low cost workshops, master classes, artist talks, panel discussions and programs for emerging musicians.
This year’s Festival is a must-see not only for guitar lovers – but music lovers of all ages.
The Adelaide Guitar Festival sincerely thanks:
Festival Partners: Yamaha, Wilson Parking, Holden, Adelaide City Council, InterContinental, Sidewood Wines, Coopers
Resonance Program partners: Salisbury Council, Unley Council, ACH Group (Aged care and housing group)
Find a flip book to the full 2016 Adelaide Guitar Festival here: https://issuu.com/festivalcentreadelaide/docs/agf16-issuu-brochure