The fifth edition of the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival and Rising Star Competition is just around the corner! Even though the festival was initially supposed to take place earlier this year, it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we know the dates – September 25-27, 2020.
Adam Levin – the artistic director of the festival.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most music festivals to go virtual this year, including the guitar festival at the University of Rhode Island which is going to take place this month. Our friend and the artistic director of the festival, Adam Levin, has fully taken advantage of the new nature of this event by inviting artists from all over the world, including from South Africa, France, South Korea, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Mali and the United States.
The festival will start with a concert of two great musicians: Eight-string classical guitarist, Redmond O’Toole, and American Blues guitarist, Corey Harris. In the evening of the same day, we’ll hear the concert of Dave Veslocki and friends. The ensemble will perform classical, flamenco, electronic and jazz repertoire. On the second day we will hear a great Korean classical guitarist, Bokyung Byun, and Raphaelle Feuillatre who is the winner of the 2018 Guitar Foundation of America competition. The evening concert will feature Duo Sonidos (Adam Levin and William Knuth), followed by a performance by Eliot Fisk and Zaira Meneses. On September 27, the last day of the festival, we’ll hear a recital by Luther Enloe. The final concert will feature a Kora (21 string African harp) player, Yacouba Sissoko, and returning guest artist from South Africa, Derek Gripper. All concerts are free (with an RSVP).
The participants will also have an opportunity to attend masterclasses in both group and one-on-one formats. Our good friend, Frederick Sheppard, who is one of the leading experts of Agustín Barrios-Mangoré music is going to be one of the lecturers at the festival. For those of you who don’t know, we carry all 6 volumes of Sheppard’s “El Libro De Oro” books with teaching materials used by Agustín Barrios-Mangoré with his own students. Recently we’ve also expanded our stock by adding the newly issued diary of Agustín Barrios-Mangoré, a publication that can’t be missed by any serious Barrios fan (Read more). Along with Frederick Sheppard’s lecture, the festival will also present lectures on polyrhythmic guitar with Derek Gripper; self-promotion and branding with Patricia Price; tone colors with Scott Borg; and creating community through the guitar with Matthew Rohde.
In addition to concerts and masterclasses, there is also the Rising Stars Competition with two divisions: one for young artists who are 19 or above and one for high school students. The prizes include an appearance at the next edition of the festival, a Kenny Hill concert guitar, Augustine Strings, and more!