Simplicity is a form best left unaltered. Sometimes all you need is just a guitar and a stage (along with some microphones and amplifiers depending on the size of the venue). It is through this simplicity intricacies can form. Almost as if simplistic and intricate are the same. International Guitar Night is as simple as a guitar and a stage, but as intricate as the dynamic finger plucking and imaginative percussion utilizing almost anything readily available. Well tonight the stage was The Barns at Wolf Trap and International Guitar Night played to a sold out audience.
It started out with a solo performance by Brian Gore. His guitar playing is really intimate. It’s like he’s painting a picture for you with his guitar. Just like how a painter would sit on an ocean front and paint a picture; Brian Gore sits on an ocean front (in San Francisco) and composes music on his guitar. He then translates it to you live on stage. His finger plucking is quick but smooth like a soft brush stroke.
Brian Gore was followed by Solorazaf a Madagascan. Solorazaf plays in an interesting manner. It’s like rock n roll mixed with jazz scat. There are a lot of tongue clicks and throat clearing shouts. His scat is random and unpredictable (and in a different language) It was fun seeing world music played in such a rock n roll manner. I had never heard that before. It was like listening to hard rock in another language.
Next on stage was Celso Machado the World Solo Artist of the Year. He was great! He just doesn’t play guitar but a number of instruments. His solo guitar performance was awesome (“Parazula” was rhythmic and exciting) but he later plays some of the best tambourine I have ever heard. He would make the tambourine sound like a complete drum set, cymbals and all. Celso Machado is the Jimi Hendrix of tambourine. Slapping it on his elbows and thighs and doing intricate finger rolls in the process. He shook the tambourine so quickly it sounded like a rattle snake. Anything he beats his hands on sounds great. He beat on his water bottle and made it sound incredible.
Martin Taylor also had a solo performance. His guitar playing is amazing. It sounds like he’s playing multiple instruments at once. As if he’s playing a bass while playing both rhythm and solo guitar. His guitar playing is smooth and jazzy. I should have snapped my fingers instead of applauding his performance. The best of the night had to be when all four musicians played at once. It took away from the whole simplicity concept but it’s always interesting to see jazz musicians, rock musicians, folk musicians, and percussionist improvise live on stage.
This was a fun concert. At times it was as calm and relaxing as anything you could imagine. At other times, it was as rhythmic as a Sheila E concert. It was the best of both worlds. I would recommend seeing International Guitar Night. It would be hard to leave without being impressed. It’s a cast of all star talented guitar players and major artist in the contemporary guitar scene. If you like guitar or good music for that matter you should see International Guitar Night.