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Guitar-A-Rama, Show #1 Featuring Craig Thatcher presented by Reading Musical Foundation & Eye Consultants of PA
June 23, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 4:45 pm
4th Annual Guitar-A-Rama: Part of the month-long community series of events and happenings known as Berks Country Fest, Reading & Berks County, PA.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
1PM (Doors open at 12:30PM)
A combination teaching, learning, concertizing experience bringing together guitarists with diverse backgrounds and styles to collaborate and interact with each other and the general public. This program is tied directly to the Reading Musical Foundation’s Olivets Boys & Girls Club Guitar Lessons After School project which gives high school students the opportunity to attend weekly music lessons and earn a Martin guitar if they have perfect attendance. The students, under the mentorship of Josh Taylor, will also perform at some point during the show. Past featured performers and mentors have included Grammy and Emmy Award winners
The program allows audience members to watch guitar masters perform in an intimate concert setting but also have a learning experience while being able to interact with the musicians one on one. There’s no doubt the culture of the guitar and related instruments like ukuleles has had significant impact on the culture of Americana, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Classical, Rock, Jazz and related musical art forms both here in America and around the world. At the same time, America being the melting pot that it is, guitarist here have drawn from a vast repertoire of guitar styles to help form the foundation of what music in this country has evolved into. It’s a creative wheel that’s in perpetual motion. This event is a celebration of the instrument and its players.
First Ticketed Show (Matinee) – 1:00pm
Doors open at 12:45pm
1pm to 1:30pm: Guitar sessions begin in the 125 seat theater with local teacher Josh Taylor and his students from the Reading Musical Foundation inner-city Guitars After School class of 2017/2018. Various styles of guitar music are featured, according to what students have been working on.
1:45pm to 2:15pm: Craig Thatcher (Martin Guitar World Traveling Player/Ambassador)
2:30pm to 3:30pm: Jay & Lee World Guitar Trio
3:45 pm to 4:45pm: Alex Fox & Trio
Second Ticketed Show – 6:00PM
6 to 6:30pm: Josh Taylor
6:45 to 7:30pm: Jay & Lee World Guitar Trio
7:45 to 8:45pm: Alex Fox Trio
While this is going on, we also offer guitar performers and workshop sessions in the Sly Fox Stage area of the Goggleworks for anyone who wants to just enjoy the afternoon and evening of music at the Goggleworks. There would be no ticketing fee to attend the music and “Guitar Workshops”. The “ Guitar Workshop” is an informal playing session where Q&A and back and forth is encouraged from the audience to the musician, etc.
Sly Fox Pub Stage (PENDING FREE & INFORMAL MUSIC)
12 to 1pm: pending
1:15 to 2:15 pm: pending
2:30 to 3:30 pm: pending
3:15 to 4:15 pm: Josh Taylor & Reading Musical Foundation/Olivets Guitar Students
5 to 5:45 pm: pending
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Josh Taylor with Reading Musical Foundation / Olivets “Guitars After School” students will perform: This session will showcase the talent of students who have studied under Josh Taylor, a music education specialist in the inner-city Reading School District. Funded and supported by the Reading Musical Foundation, the Olivets Club of Reading and Berks Country Fest/Guitar-A-Rama, students study guitar during the school year and if they progress according to standards, as well as have perfect attendance, they are awarded their very own Martin guitar at the end of their senior year. Students have become proficient in various styles of guitar playing and some have gone on to begin careers as musicians and entertainers. This concert and Guitar-A-Rama is their showcase.
Craig Thatcher has been added to the world-class lineup at our 2018 Guitar-A-Rama, for the ticketed matinee show only. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Craig Thatcher has been entertaining audiences with his exciting brand of blues/rock music for over 35 years. He’s been a featured performer in the past at Berks Country Fest’s Guitar-A-Rama and also performed at Bethlehem’s Musikfest for many years and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and most recently in the Far East, performing mainly in theatres and outdoor festivals. Craig has led his own band since 1993 and is also the guitarist for Simone, daughter of jazz legend Nina Simone. Craig has released five CDs under his own name.
While best known for his blistering electric blues style, Craig also has a well-earned reputation as an outstanding acoustic guitarist, having won many regional awards in that category. He is the Martin Guitar Company’s “on-call” artist, performing at Company functions throughout the year. Craig has opened for many international touring artists including Derek Trucks, John Hammond, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower, Kim Simmonds, Chris Smither, Jonny Lang, Jorma Kaukonen and others.
Jay & Lee World Guitar Trio: This engaging couple, (husband and wife), play a unique brand of guitar fusing Spanish, Flamenco, Classical and Acoustic styles. Jason and Elysa Hochman are the founders of the New York Guitar Academy as well as Jay & Lee Rumba Flamenca and are among the most sought after flamenco and classical guitarists in New York City. They are proud winners of the WeddingWire 2018 Couples’ Choice Awards with over 30 5-star reviews. They represent the top 5% of wedding professionals on WeddingWire. Jay & Lee were also awarded with Best of 2017 on Gigmasters with over 100 verified bookings and 40 5-star reviews. They have many notable performances. They have performed at Lincoln Center, US Open Finals Pre-Game Shows and events for widely recognized organizations, businesses and celebrities. Jason and Elysa create a beautiful and powerful atmosphere of exciting world guitar music that include original compositions and unique and great arrangements of Spanish Classical and Nuevo Flamenco guitar pieces. Their trio includes a skilled percussionist.
Alex Fox & Friends: A fabulous featuring the spellbinding guitar work of Alex Fox along with a bassist and percussionist. Fox was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was inspired by a broad range of artists ranging from The Beatles to The Gipsy Kings. Fox later received a scholarship to train with the director of the Teatro Colón Symphony Orchestra, an opportunity which signaled the start of his career as a conductor, teacher and composer. It was during this time that Fox honed his own unique style which blended, according to his official biography, “classical rumba and flamenco rhythms with a Mediterranean flair.” Fox moved to Miami Florida, United States, in 1987 where he quickly established himself as a noted local artist in the South Beach area. In the 1990s, Alex’s performances at the Breakerwater Hotel, South Beach, were so popular that the crowds stopped traffic. His first album, To The Gypsies, was an independent production under his own label, Coco Musical, Inc. The album met with critical and commercial success worldwide, leading to the release of six more albums.
Highlights of his career include: