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Guitar-A-Rama presented by Reading Musical Foundation and Customers Bank
June 11 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Guitar-A-Rama is coming to Building 24. For this variety show, world-renowned guitarists will take turns on stage to perform hits from a variety of genres. When the guitarists are not performing, they’ll be hanging out with audience members to exchange guitar-playing tips and tricks.
Check out the lineup here:
Noon to 12:15pm: Josh Taylor and RMF / Olivets Guitar Students
Josh Taylor is a guitar teacher/performer who teaches inner city students how to play the guitar. If the student has a perfect attendance record to their lessons and learns the instrument within specified guidelines, they are awarded their very own Martin Guitar at the end of the school year. The program had almost perfect attendance and has produced more guitar players. Josh and the kids will open our Guitar-A-Rama show, giving you the chance to enjoy them and take pride in what they’ve accomplished. Through programs like this, Berks Country Fest: An Americana Jamboree, in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, solidifies itself and the region as a nurturing ground for up and coming players who aspire to professional careers.
12:15 to 1 p.m.: Jim Hurst
Veteran guitarist Jim Hurst has traveled the world wowing audiences with his own style of precise playing, featuring fingerpicking, flatpicking and strumming. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association’s ‘Entertainer of the Year’ – Guitarist award. Here’s a video link to Jim Hurst performing: https://youtu.be/vsy2mN0zuEc
1 to 1:45 p.m.: G.E. Smith
Returning for to our festival for the second year in a row, G.E. Smith is the former iconic music director of the smash TV hit, Saturday Night Live. He won an Emmy for his work on Saturday Night Live and he has toured the world performing with and directing most of the top names in the industry such as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd and on and on. Here’s a link to a video featuring G.E. Smith performing in our Sound Room: https://youtu.be/9vWf2J8sdug
1:45 to 2:30 p.m.: David Cullen
Returning again in 2017, David is a fabulous, multi-genre style guitarist who lives in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region. He earned a Grammy for a compilation project with Will Ackerman and Windham Hill Records. At home with every style of music including jazz, rock, pop, folk and classical, David’s playing is always impeccable and his tips for helping others to play are invaluable. His work with music students at West Chester University is legendary. Here’s a link to a video of David Cullen performing on his nylon string guitar in our Sound Room: https://youtu.be/2-xqF12prP0
2:30 to 3:15 p.m.: Craig Thatcher
Craig is a guitarist’s guitarist and tours the world as a Martin Guitar Musical Ambassador. A highly skilled recording artist and live player, Craig’s styles run the spectrum from blues to folk and everything in between. For this show, Craig is also bringing in two other distinguished players to form a trio. Keyboards will be manned by Cliff Starkey. Cliff is the leader of yet another fine Reading Musical Foundation music program for inner-city students interested in learning music composition, electronic music and keyboards here in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region. Cliff is the former music director of the hit Food Network TV cooking show, Emeril Live. Also joining the trio will be percussionist Don Plowman. Here’s a link to video of Craig Thatcher performing in our Sound Room: https://youtu.be/XsFpa-6zssc
3:15 to 4 p.m.: Final Jam
Unrehearsed, unscripted and raw, the “FINAL JAM” of each Guitar-A-Rama is when we invite all of the players up onto the main stage at one time for a last musical hoorah! Some of the most memorable moments happen when players from diverse backgrounds and styles fuse together as one to perform. Fueled by members of the audience and creative drive, if the Guitar-A-Rama Final Jam was the only thing that happened for the ticket price, it’d be well worth it. Audience members are invited and encouraged to take photos and videos of this once-in-a-lifetime musical happening.
INFORMAL CHAT & TEACHING ROOM SCHEDULE
12:30pm to 1pm: David Cullen
1 to 1:30pm: Craig Thatcher
1:30 to 2pm: Josh Taylor
2pm to 2:30pm: Jim Hurst
2:30 to 3pm: G.E. Smith
Tickets are on sale online now at www.berkscountryfest.com
Tickets are also available in person at:
Mail N Ship 4 U: 96 Commerce Drive, Wyomissing, PA
Meadowood Music: 8521 Allentown Pike, Blandon, PA
Zeswitz: 100 Gibraltar Road, Exeter Township, PA