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Newport Guitar Festival

Updated: July 26, 2006

The Newport Guitar Festival will feature a number of player workshops. Some of the world's premier players will demonstrate their unique abilities and will speak about their art and their instruments. All workshops will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Newport, Rhode Island. The cost of attending each workshop is $40.

Please read this IMPORTANT NOTE if you intend to bring a guitar.

Player Workshop Schedule

Aug. 4th
Aug. 5th
Aug. 6th
10:00 - Noon Anthony Wilson Kinloch Nelson
Noon - 2:00PM Bill Mize Paul Asbell Mitch Seidman
2:00PM - 4:00PM Laurence Juber Muriel Anderson Michael Chapdelaine
4:00PM - 6:00PM Laurence Juber Guy Van Duser  

Please note:
Workshop content, presenters, and the workshop schedule are subject to change up until the date of the workshop. If you sign up and pay to attend a workshop, and that workshop is cancelled, our liability and your remedy is limited to a refund of the fee you paid for that workshop.

Workshop Descriptions
and Presenter Biographies

Muriel Anderson
Widely respected as the premier woman fingerstyle guitarist on the scene today, Muriel Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship and is host of the renowned "Muriel Anderson's ALL STAR GUITAR NIGHT®." Muriel Anderson Muriel Anderson's unique approach to the instrument virtually transforms the guitar into a lyrical choir, then a marching band, then a Japanese koto, then a Bluegrass band, amazing audiences with her technique and endearing them with her sense of humor. As one of the country's foremost fingerstyle guitarists, her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. Muriel is the founder of the Music for Life Alliance charity.

Paul Asbell - Paul Asbell Fingerstyle Country Blues Workshop
Fingerstyle blues guitar, in the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Merle Travis, Dave van Ronk, and others. Topics covered will include right hand fundamentals, such as alternate-bass technique, Delta-style drones, palm muting, and exercises to create effortless dexterity, syncopations and strong grooves. Left-hand issues range from basic chord concepts to sophisticated jazz and ragtime chord substitutions, moving bass lines, guide tones, etc, w/ emphasis on creating your own licks, turnarounds and variations within the style. All levels welcome, but many ideas will be geared to the evolved player. Tablature spoken here, but this will not be just a lecture - plenty of foot-stompin' music will be played, and participants are encouraged to bring an audio or video recorder to get the most out of the workshop!

From his early years, playing blues on Chicago's South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, Paul Asbell has earned an underground reputation as a true "musician's musician". He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, and numerous others. His most recent acoustic CD's, "Steel String Americana" and "Roots and Branches" have received glowing reviews from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Sing Out!, Guitar Player, Downbeat, Vintage Guitar, etc. He has taught guitar for over 35 years, including Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, Marlboro College, and University of Vermont, and has taught numerous workshops covering a variety of styles.

Michael Chapdelaine - Arranging pop songs and composing and for fingerstyle guitar
Michael ChapdelaineJust about any tune or idea that you ever thought of or heard can be played on solo guitar. It’s like solving a puzzle. Knowing what to leave in and what to leave out is the key.  We will work on issues of:

  • Melody: what is the melody and where should we put it in the texture and on the fingerboard so that it can sing out and we (player and listeners) can be moved by it.
  • Harmony: how to discover and voice the chords in a way that will support, and not conflict with, the melody.
  • Orchestration: none of the notes are equal. We’ll talk about how do we deal with that on a technical level.
  • Technique: We will look at many of the tricks that lead to making the music work on our instrument. (there are a lot of these to talk about).

Michael Chapdelaine is the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world's top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres; the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition and the National Fingerstyle Championships at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival at Winfield.

From New York's Lincoln Center to the Cactus Cafe in Austin, from Milano to Bangkok, Chapdelaine continues to enchant, dazzle and surprise audiences and critics alike as he redefines the modern acoustic guitar with his amazing technique, "soulful" expressiveness, and versatility as a performer, composer and arranger/producer. His performances, played on both steel string and classical guitars, include musical styles ranging from blues to Bach to country to rhythm'n'blues as he wins his audiences hearts with breath taking technique and the poetic magic of his original musical portraits and landscapes.

In 1994 Chapdelaine turned his attention to pop music, in arranging, producing and recording Time-Life Music's beautiful Guitar by Moonlight collection, which sold 250,000 copies in it's first two years in the stores. In 1998, he once again, expanded his musical range and gained instant notoriety and credibility in the "acoustic music" world as a "fingerstyle" guitarist and composer, by winning the National Fingerpicking Championships at Winfield.

Chapdelaine is Professor of Music and head of guitar studies at the University of New Mexico, and has previously been on the faculties of the University of Colorado at Denver and Metropolitan State University. He has given master classes throughout the world including, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru, Venezuela, Taiwan, Indonesia and at institutions such as, University of Miami, Mannes School of Music, University of Texas, and California State University. His teachers included the great Spanish maestro Andres Segovia.

Laurence Juber - Up Close With LJ
An entertaining, interactive, multi-level presentation. Laurence Juber freely demonstrates his technique, performing and discussing arrangements and original compositions from his extensive repertoire with such topics covered as: Warm Ups; Playing More Efficiently; Basic Fingerstyle Patterns; Fundamentals Of Harmony; Altered Tunings. It's part Concert, part Clinic and part Masterclass.

Laurence JuberAs a young working musician in London, England in the 1970s, Laurence Juber got an extraordinary, life-changing break when Paul McCartney hand-picked him to become Wings' lead guitarist. Juber spent three years recording and touring the world with the band, and during that time he also won a Best Rock Instrumental GRAMMY® Award for the track "Rockestra" from the Wings album "Back To The Egg."

After Wings disbanded in 1981, Juber embarked on a career as a solo artist, composer and arranger, and soon developed a reputation as a world-class guitar virtuoso, recently being voted #1 by Fingerstyle Guitar magazine. He has released 10 critically acclaimed solo albums, including "LJ Plays the Beatles" and his latest, "Guitarist."

As a studio and touring musician he has worked with such artists as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Al Stewart, Air Supply, Paul Williams and The Monkees. His guitar playing is featured on films such as "Dirty Dancing", "The Big Chill", "Good Will Hunting" and many others. His television credits include "Home Improvement", "Seventh Heaven", and most recently "Eight Simple Rules."

Update: The 2PM workshop has SOLD OUT; Laurence has agreed to repeat his workshop at 4PM.

Bill Mize
Bill MizeLooking to add some more interest to your own arrangements and performances? Bill will present a two part workshop on developing a more dynamic style of your own that reflects your musical influences. He will spend the first part of the workshop demonstrating some of the techniques that he has learned and developed along the way, and will discuss how they drive his own writing and arranging skills.

Some examples:
1) moving your bassline beyond "1 and 3" & other common patterns,
2) combining syncopated and interesting bass lines with melody smoothly,
3) dissecting arrangements to understand counterpoint,
4) "guitarcussion" and other special effects for subtle interest.

After these discussions, Bill will use the second half of the workshop as a "master class". This format will allow selected participants to perform one of their own arrangements or compositions, and receive feedback and ideas in front of a supportive group. Interested participants should bring their guitar and sign up prior to the class. Bill will offer ideas on technique, composition and arranging in three 20 minute sessions. Sometimes we all get "stuck" and good feedback and a different perspective can be useful in achieving breakthroughs.

Applauded by critics and guitar enthusiasts alike for his composition, tone, emotion and smooth "multi-part" style, Bill Mize is a past winner of The National Finger- style Guitar Competition at The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. (Guitar Player Magazine has labeled this event the U.S. Open of guitar competitions) Bill's music is featured on the Grammy-winning recording, Stellaluna, as well as popular guitar compilations Windham Hill Guitar Sampler by Windham Hill Records and Masters of the Acoustic Guitar by Narada Records. John August Music/Mel Bay Productions have transcribed Mize's second cd, Tender Explorations, into a songbook, and several guitar magazines have published some of Mize's arrangements and original compositions. Bill tours nationwide and is a frequent clinician / performer at guitar camps including the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina, and Steve Kaufmann's Guitar Camp in Tennessee.

Kinloch Nelson - Mapping the Fingerboard
Kinloch Nelson This workshop will be mostly discussion, and a certain amount of playing. Guitars are welcome; please have them in tune before the class begins. You probably will want to bring a notebook.

1. Points of Reference: fret board markers and the octave grid.
2. Horizontal & Vertical: the linear aspects of fingering in melody and chord motion.
3. Chord components and their relationship to scales, both vertical and horizontal.
4. Why standard tuning produces only five primary chord shapes: E,A,D,G, & C.
5. Using the five shapes and the octave grid as framework for understanding and cataloguing everything else: scales, melodies, riffs, bass runs, other chords...
6. You don’t need a huge book of 5000 chords, or for that matter even a little booklet. You only need two pages and a little bit of understanding. You can figure out the rest.
7. Tying this all together to play songs.
8. One more tidbit...how this information can inform playing in Alternate Tunings.

There will be handouts: worksheets, diagrams, music paper, TAB paper, and a few songs to apply the material to. Players of any level are welcome.

Kinloch Nelson began playing guitar in 1957, performing in 1969 and teaching guitar in 1973. His  nearly 40-year  career has run the gamut from solo classical and folk concerts in coffeehouses and folk festivals to club dates with jazz, country, rockabilly, rhythm & blues, and rock bands.

Nelson studied classical guitar privately with Stanley Watson in Rochester NY, jazz guitar with Gene Bertoncini at Eastman Music School, and music theory at the University of Rochester. In 1973 Nelson began teaching both privately and at The Hochstein Music School in Rochester NY where he was on the faculty for twenty-five years. Other teaching activities have included workshops at The University Of Rochester, S.U.N.Y. at Oswego, and summer residencies at Maryland Summer Center For The Arts. In 1985 Nelson co-founded the Guitar Society of Rochester, Inc. which during its ten year run presented many of the world's greatest guitarists. It also supported local artists through master classes and concerts, gave thousands of bedside serenades to hospital patients through the Guitar Outreach Program, and provided consultation to the Eastman School of Music in its formation of a guitar program. Nelson has appeared in concert at The Wolftrap Center For the Performing Arts; Washington, DC's Glen Echo Dance Theater; Maryland Center for the Arts in Baltimore; National Association of Music Manufacturers in Nashville, & Los Angeles; Art Park in Buffalo, NY; Time/Warner Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY; Owen Sound Folk Festival; Akron Folk Festival; Golden Link Folk Festival; North American Folk Alliance; Fretted Instrument Guild Of America; and appearances in Peru, Canada, and Ireland.

Duke Robillard -- CANCELLED
Duke RobillardDuke Robillard’s three decade plus musical career has been a fruitful one with more highlights and accolades all the time. The recipient of four WC Handy awards for best guitarist from 2000 to 2005, he has also garnered a blues foundation producer of the year award in 2004 and several other international awards in the last decade.

Duke started on his professional musical journey at the age of seventeen by forming his first band after high school “Roomful of Blues”. He led that group as singer, guitarist, songwriter and front man for a dozen years and two albums before venturing on the path his musical quest has led him. Short stints with Robert Gordon and The Legendary Blues Band (one of the greatest of Muddy Waters backup bands) led to the formation of “Duke Robillard and the Pleasure Kings” his powerful blues rock trio of the early eighties. He has gone on to record eighteen solo albums and has appeared as guitarist and/or producer on albums by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Ruth Brown, Jay McShann, Herb Ellis, Scott Hamilton, Kim Wilson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Pinetop Perkins, Billy Boy Arnold, Roscoe Gordon, The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Whose guitarist, Jimmie Vaughn he replaced from 1990 to 1992), John Hammond, Debbie Davies, Bryan Lee, Mark Hummel, Bruce Katz and the list goes on and on…

It’s no secret among blues and swing fans that Duke’s style has influenced many local, national and international guitarists over the years; famous and unknown! His lyrical phrasing and stunning command of classic blues and jazz styles has been thrilling audiences for decades. Duke keeps himself busy these days touring, producing, and writing and can be heard with his blues touring group “The Duke Robillard Band” which includes longtime Roomful of blues Baritone Saxophonist, Doug “Mr. Low” James.

Mitch Seidman
Mitch Seidman Mitch Seidman has accumulated over thirty-five years as a professional guitarist and music educator, and has performed throughout New England, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. He has appeared overseas at jazz festivals in France and Germany, and was an artist-in-residence for the Centro Cultural Norteamericano in Costa Rica. Seidman has recorded with Harold Vick, Harvie S (formerly Harvie Swartz), Ted Brown, Alan Dawson, and Joe Hunt, and has performed with John Pisano, Teddy Kotick, Joe Beck, George Garzone, Herb Pomeroy, Hal Crook, Holly Hofmann, Vera Auer, Michael Formanek, Tyrone Brown, Eddie Jones, Freddie Moore, and numerous others. He has recordings on Jardis (Germany), Cadence, and Brownstone Records. He has earned a bachelors degree in Composition at Berklee College of Music and a masters degree in Music Education at Boston University. Seidman is a Professor of Ear Training at Berklee College of Music, and a contributing editor to 20th Century Guitar Magazine with a monthly instructional column entitled Fretware. He has co-authored a guitar book with CD for Berklee Press entitled Playing the Changes, Guitar distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation (http://www.berkleepress.com/catalog/product?product_id=6057681). Aside from his Ear Training classes he has instructed numerous ensembles, and teaches Fretboard Harmony at Berklee's annual Guitar Sessions.

Mitch Seidman's workshop will include developing linear approaches to jazz improvisation on chord changes coupled with ear training to help your solos become more focused and better connect your hands and ears. He will also address accompaniment techniques that will include chord voicings and rhythmic clarity that will help you become more supportive as you play in duos, trios, and large ensembles. More advanced approaches to guitar playing may also be addressed. Intermediate level guitarists will find this workshop most helpful, as well as professionals and guitar teachers interested in acquiring additional techniques of performing and instructing. Attendees are invited to bring their guitars and writing materials. Handouts will also be distributed.

Mitch will be performing on an 18" custom-built Eclipse archtop guitar built by luthier John Monteleone.

Mitch Seidman may be contacted at mseidman@berklee.edu regarding the workshop.

Guy Van Duser
Guy Van DuserRounder and Daring recording artist Guy Van Duser is internationally known for his unique 'stride guitar' style of playing, as well as his imaginative and sometimes outrageous arrangements for finger-style guitar, including the amazing Stars and Stripes Forever­­! His technique is a fusion of the finger-picking virtuosity of Chet Atkins with the swing and stride piano styles of Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and other jazz pianists of the 1930s. He has elevated the swing­style guitar from its traditional rhythmic­accompaniment role, and has influenced a new generation of guitarists.

Guy has thirteen albums and CDs available on Rounder, Daring, and Green Linnet Records, and is the author of Stride Guitar from Mel Bay Publications. He also performs classic swing jazz as a 'two man big­band' with clarinetist Billy Novick, and the two are now celebrating their thirtieth season together. As a composer, Guy produces soundtracks for films and public television programs, such as Frontline, Nova, and The American Experience (that's Guy, playing guitar on the Antiques Roadshow theme song). His workshops focus on his process of arranging for guitar, a layered concept of simultaneously playing bass lines, chords, and melody, almost as though he were holding a small piano in his lap. Guy is an exceptional teacher as well as performer! Don't miss him!

Anthony Wilson
Anthony Wilson Anthony Wilson, the 31-year-old composer-arranger-guitarist, carved out a distinctive niche in the jazz community with the release of his self-titled debut CD in 1997 and the follow-up Goat Hill Junket in 1998. Featuring crackerjack nonets, the albums introduced an inspired composer and performer with a fresh, identifiable voice. Wilson's five-horn charts - full of memorable melodies, propulsive lines and sophisticated orchestration - were a contemporary blend of the good-time feeling of post-war rhythm-and-blues bands led by the likes of Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker, and the thinking-man's jazz purveyed by Duke Ellington, Gil Evans and Charles Mingus. No less impressive was his playing; he produced a thick, resonant cut a la Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt, spinning out soulful improvisations with an air of inevitability.

from his bio page on mamajazz.org



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