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Acoustic Guitar Night with Michael Gulezian, Vin Downes, and Trevor Gordon Hall
June 12, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Preservation New Jersey is pleased to welcome THREE MASTERS of contemporary acoustic guitar to the 1867 Sanctuary! This special evening will feature Michael Gulezian and the return of Vin Downes and Trevor Gordon Hall. If you love contemporary solo acoustic guitar in a beautiful, intimate, acoustic “listening room” setting, Heaven will be at the 1867 Sanctuary!
Although there are many guitarists who are exceptionally accomplished at playing the guitar, Michael Gulezian (gu-LAY-ze-in), (www.timbrelinemusic.com) by contrast, has distinguished himself with his music – boundary-free, horizon-expanding, genre-bending, transcendent, soulful, kickass, mind-opening, exquisitely gorgeous instrumental solo acoustic guitar music. Music that quite literally defies description.
For more than three decades, Michael has unpretentiously walked onstage and delivered one riveting performance after another. Each one of Michael’s albums has raised the aesthetic of contemporary solo acoustic guitar to a new level. He’s been called the musical link between John Fahey and Michael Hedges. Artists as diverse as Michael Hedges, Willy Porter, and Henry Kaiser have claimed him as a primary musical influence. Young lions such as Erik Mongrain, Andy McKee, and Trevor Gordon Hall are quick to acknowledge him as an inspiration. For those who follow solo acoustic instrumental guitar, Michael Gulezian is firmly established in the genre as one of the most significant artists of our time.
As a child Michael was exposed to a wide palette of musical forms, from diverse cultures, spanning many centuries. His mother sang Armenian folk songs, and his father (a renowned ethnomusicologist) played ancient Middle Eastern music on the oud. Michael began playing guitar at the age of six, assimilating everything from the Hindustani raga improvisations of Ravi Shankar, to Gregorian Chant, to the rock of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Early on, the foundation was laid for the duality that informs his music to this day: rock attitude, imbued with a mystical, spiritual essence – all tempered and disciplined by a rigorous program of classical guitar training.
Michael soon discovered the early fingerstyle guitarists of the Mississippi Delta: John Hurt, Son House, Bukka White, Blind Blake, Reverend Gary Davis, and Robert Johnson. The entirely different rhythmic and harmonic modalities of that idiom exploded Michael’s conception of musical possibility. But the crystallizing moment occurred upon hearing the music of the immortal John Fahey – godfather of American solo acoustic guitar, and founder of the hugely influential Takoma Records label. Michael found many of his own influences distilled into Fahey’s idiosyncratic voice, and locked onto Fahey’s then-radical concept of acoustic instrumental guitar as lifelong medium for composition and creative self-expression.
One generation removed from the musical arabesques of his Armenian heritage, infused with the raw emotional power of the Mississippi Delta trailblazers, fiercely devoted to his art, and blessed with technical proficiency in the extreme, Michael Gulezian remains a seminal force on the cutting edge of the American solo acoustic instrumental guitar tradition.
“Vin Downes is a brilliant guitarist and a heart-felt composer.”
~ Will Ackerman – Grammy Award winning producer
Vin Downes (www.vindownes.com) is a composer and fingerstyle guitarist who has released four studio albums, two of which were recorded and produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer, Will Ackerman and award winning engineer/producer, Tom Eaton. He has performed nationally as a soloist and as a member of The Gathering – A Concert Series presented by Will Ackerman and Will Ackerman Presents – Four Guitars.
Downes’ music has ranked in the top 10 of the ZMR Radio Airplay Chart and reached #1 on the One World Music Album Chart. He was a ZMR nominee for Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic in 2015. His music can be heard on radio stations worldwide.
He has written, recorded, and performed with musicians including Will Ackerman, David Crosby, David Cullen, Tom Eaton, Eugene Friesen, Tony Levin, Michael Manring, Liz Story.
“Just beautiful. I love the way you play…really fine touch…and you swing!”
~ David Crosby – The Byrds, CSN, CSNY, CPR
Trevor Gordon Hall (www.trevorgordonhall.com) is a powerful emerging voice, albeit without words to his music, showing that combining honest heart felt compositions with precise technical virtuosity do not sideline an artist in today’s world but can launch a wider reach than ever before. With an exploding presence on streaming services like Spotify, YouTube etc, a tour calendar that has taken him all over the world, it’s safe to say that this is a new era for artists like Trevor to engage listeners from all cultures, languages, genres, and backgrounds.
Rated one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 years of age by Acoustic Guitar magazine, Trevor is an instrumentalist from Philadelphia USA whose style ranges from edgy driving rhythms to delicate melodic themes. Exploring the guitar’s full creative potential, his blending of sounds weave together textures into grand yet intimate and lyrical compositions. While leaving no physical aspect of the guitar untouched, Trevor navigates audiences through an igniting experience of music that isn’t just heard but felt. Aside from being featured on NPR, NBC, PBS and countless international media outlets, Trevor’s tour calendar has taken him to 14 countries and counting performing at many historic places including Carnegie Hall in NYC, Union Chapel in London, Music History Museum in Bologna, Adolfo Mejia Theater in Colombia, and more. He has also had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the most trusted and legendary names in the music business prompting high praise from John Mayer, Steve Miller, Graham Nash, Steve Hackett, Dar Williams, Will Ackerman, Pat Martino, Stanley Jordan, Phil Keaggy, Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee and more.
At the start of his career, Trevor caught the eye of 9 time Grammy award winning producer Joe Nicolo (James Taylor, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, etc.), who produced two of Trevor’s releases, Finding My Way and Let Your Heart Be Light, in 2008 and 2009. Then in 2010, inspired by his studies and always on the hunt for new sounds to utilize, Trevor collaborated with various builders to design an instrument combining an African finger piano (kalimba) and an acoustic guitar. The instrument combination, which Trevor calls the “Kalimbatar”, has opened up new possibilities for solo instrumental music. Compositions inspired by the pairing of the two instruments were first introduced in previous releases but fully realized in Trevor’s Candyrat Records debut Entelechy. Upon its release in 2011, this album rapidly climbed the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, as well as YouTube Top Commented/Top Favorited/Most Discussed categories gathering millions of views with the release of performance videos.
In the next few years leading up to his 2014 album Mind Heart Fingers, Trevor redesigned and fine-tuned the Kalimbatar with the help of master luthier Sheldon Schwartz. Trevor recorded with his new instrument at Imaginary Road Studios in VT with Grammy winning and long time hero Will Ackerman (Founder of Windham Hill Records.) Mind Heart Fingers was the result of a unique experience created between Will, Tom Eaton and Trevor, to capture a heart-felt recording honoring the guitar tradition which Windham Hill helped to launch, while looking forward to what is next for the guitar scene. This project reached #4 on the ZMR international radio charts and was nominated for best instrumental acoustic album of the year by the ZMR awards.
Constantly working on new sounds and possibilities, Trevor released the first of an EP series entitled Kalimbatar Classics Vol. 1 in 2015 featuring his arrangements of classical piano standards for the Kalimbtar. Moving from that into the electronic world in his 2016 release Late Night with Headphones Vol. 1, Trevor introduced his listeners to new sounds incorporating electric guitar and electronic textures.
Trevor is an artist on a mission to ride the line between being adventurous and accessible. As Grammy winning Will Ackerman has said “…Trevor has a stunning range stylistically while being made cohesive by the power of Trevor’s artistic voice and vision…a guitarist we will need to pay attention to…”, and guitarist Don Ross agrees, “…Trevor has a timeless sense of melody, and he creates some of the richest sonic textures you’re likely to hear from any contemporary composer/guitarist…”
The 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center is wheelchair-accessible through a wheelchair ramp through the gate on the left side of the building. All parking is across the street in the Ewing Presbyterian Church lots, including an inner ring across the street for disabled parking. Passengers may be dropped off at the curb directly in front of the main entrance; please use your hazard flashers when stopped there. Concert parking is recommended in the north lot (by the field closest to I-295). For your safety, please cross at the marked crosswalk and press the yellow button to activate flashers.
To Purchase Tickets
- $20 for General Admission
- $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary
- $5 for School and College students with ID
- $15 per person for Groups of 10 or more**
Tickets can be purchased online or reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows. (Sorry – we don’t mail tickets. Tickets will be held at the box office and a receipt will be emailed from PayPal if purchased online.)
**GROUP RATES (10 or more people). Group rates apply only to advance online sales and must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rate tickets cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert.
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