Fingerstyle Guitar Summit
Ken Bonfield, Steve Davison, Teja Gerken & Tim Sparks
Thursday, April 25 08:00 pm
$18 General Admission
$21 General Day of Show
$28 Reserved Seating
Tim Sparks is an award-winning guitarist whose blending of musical styles has won him extensive praise from all corners of the music world. Guitar Player Magazine has called his music "Fresh, exotic, and totally cool.", Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls it "rich and sensuous", and guitarist Leo Kottke simply says "He's really one of the best musicians I know." From the early traditional country blues and gospel music he learned in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Jazz, Be Bop, classical and world music from his varied career across the U. S. and Europe, Tim has thrilled and inspired audiences and musicians world-wide.
Ken Bonfield is a recognized performer and composer of American fingerstyle acoustic guitar instrumentals played on guitars of his own design commissioned from master luthier Alan Carruth.In his open-hearted, welcoming concerts, workshops and master classes, he shares with listeners new guitar dimensions and sonic explorations. His compositions are performed with his "chamber ensemble " of handcrafted instruments ranging from standard 6 string guitars to an 11-string harp guitar, and includes two baritone guitars. Bonfield's work and calling is inspired by a deep love for the beauty, the sounds, and the craft of the acoustic guitar.
Ken Bonfield's instrumental guitar work patently avoids the incessant noodling that all too often defines virtuoso performances. Instead, melody is king and Bonfield's gifted fingers flesh out a beautiful cavalcade of notes that are at times reminiscent of a human voice singing and often soaring"
- Mountain Express
Mr. Davison is a finger style guitarist who composes on both the 6 and 12 string guitar. An aging hipster, his musical career started at age 12 playing the drums in a multitude of rock and roll bands. At the tender age of 19 he saw a performance on solo acoustic guitar in Denton, Texas by a performer named Thom Ward (who he would really like to locate!) that changed his life. He put down the sticks and picked up the guitar and started a life long journey of discovery.
He realized (too late according to some) that he really couldn't sing so he eventually turned to solo instrumental music. His compositions are built around simple melodic structures and focus on the intimate qualities of the wooden guitar and the tonal possibilities of alternate tunings that give the guitar such an extraordinary range. His influences range from the jazz piano stylings of Claudia Burson (who taught him what was musical and what wasn't) to the work of fingerstyle guitarists such as Leo Kotke, Ed Gerhard, Ken Bonfield, Peter Janson and Stephen Bennett.
Steve is a 2 time finalist and 2005 winner of the solo competition at the Arkansas Acoustic Music Festival and a finalist in the 2009 Merle Travis Fingerstyle Competition. Mr. Davison was a featured performer on Arkansas Educational Network Television’s “AETN Presents” broadcast and his music was also used as a soundtrack for another AETN production, “The Historic Bridges of Arkansas”.
Since 2009 Steve has been touring with Ken Bonfield as the Artistry of the Guitar. Artistry of the Guitar features solo guitarists in a "player in the round format". The concerts have featured such renowned artists such as Peter Janson, Larry Coryell, Tim Farrell and Dakota Dave Hull. Steve has performed in acoustic venues around the country including the Healdsburg Guitar Festival in California and the Montreal Guitar Festival in Montreal, Quebec.
Teja Gerken is no stranger to those familiar with contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music into a style that is uniquely his own, Teja's playing reflects his diverse musical interests. While many of his composition employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, others simply rely on his keen sense of melody and movement. Within this framework, Teja has created a repertoire that appeals to fellow guitarists as well as to listening audiences, and while original material is his main focus, he can also be found playing Irish traditionals, the occasional jazz standard, or improvising on themes by classical composers.
An active participant in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area acoustic music scene, Teja is a regular performer at many of the region's venues. A firm believer in creating community, he hosts a monthly acoustic guitar showcase at San Francisco's Bazaar Café, which features both established and emerging players. Teja also frequently introduces international talent to Bay Area audiences.
Teja has shared the stage with guitar visionaries such as John Renbourn, Alex de Grassi, Peter Finger, and Henry Kaiser, as well as with his mentors, Duck Baker and Peppino D'Agostino. He has been a featured guest at the International Guitar Night, as well as on radio stations such as San Francisco's KALW and KUSF, and Berkeley's KPFA.