Each year, International Guitar Night’s (IGN) founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world for North American tours that highlights the diversity of the acoustic guitar.
IGN celebrates its 20th year of US tours with guest host Mike Dawes (England) and his incredible two-hand contemporary style on Friday, February 21at 8pm in the Bankhead Theater. Tickets start at $20. He is joined by Turkey’s fretless guitarist Cenk Erdoðan; Finland’s electrifying jazz virtuoso Olli Soikkeli and Hawaiian Slack Key master Jim ‘Kimo’ West.
Brian Gore notes, “We have built a loyal and growing audience for IGN. Each tour offers an enthralling view of the burgeoning acoustic guitar renaissance. Sell outs and encore requests are the norm for IGN. Each tour is its own unique musical experience. The mélange of mind bending British finger style, Turkish fretless improvisation, virtuosic gypsy jazz, and laid back Hawaiian slack key is sure to be a winner.”
Mike Dawes, an English guitar player, is known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument using unique extended and micro techniques. He is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle performers. Dawes is lead guitar player for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, featured on many DVDs and PBS releases, notably “Spirits…Live”, debuting at #2 on the US Billboard chart. Dawes has amassed 80 million music video views online. He was voted ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World’ by MusicRadar & Total Guitar Magazine in a 2017 readers’ poll.
Cenk Erdoðan, born in Istanbul in 1979, won a four-year scholarship at Istanbul Bilgi University for Music Composition, graduating with first class honors. Cenk, a leading Turkish-fretless guitar educator, performs globally. In 2008, Cenk recorded his first album ILE, produced by Baykus Music. He moved into film composition, writing music for the Turkish romantic Issiz Adam. The score won Cenk a Yecilcam Award. In 2016, he arranged and conducted orchestral music for Sezen Aksu, queen of Turkish pop. Cenk released his album, Lahza, a guitar & drum project with original music and live improvisations, with Swedish drummer Mehmet Ikiz. He performs regularly with his solo, duo, and trio projects and composes in a wide range of musical styles.
Olli Soikkeli, born in Finland in 1991, started playing guitar at age 12. Olli was introduced to the music of the great Django Reinhardt. Gypsy Jazz became Olli’s main focus, playing Finland’s jazz clubs and festivals. After touring Europe with musicians such as Paulus Schäfer and Arnoud Van Den Berg, Olli moved to New York City in 2014. Olli has played in Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note and the Lincoln Center; with stars Bucky Pizzarelli, Stochelo Rosenberg, Tommy Emmanuel, Andreas Öberg, Cyrille Aimee, Anat Cohen, Antti Sarpila and Marian Petrescu.
Jim “Kimo” West came to Hana, Maui in 1985. Best known as guitarist for the musical comedy artist, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kimo is one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” artists, garnering millions of streams on Spotify and Pandora. This warm and engaging fingerpicking guitar style has its roots in 1840’s Hawaii, when Mexican vaqueros brought guitars to the Big Island. The Oscar-winning film, “The Descendants” features this great acoustic guitar tradition. Kimo is a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards, three-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee, and a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important tradition alive. For work with “Weird Al”, he earned four Grammys and a Billboard #1 CD debut for 2015’s “Mandatory Fun”