Guitar Festival


2017 Thursday Night Guitar Summit & Celebration Opening Dinner Show
5:30pm – 7:30pm at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club


Kinloch Nelson, Michael Chapdelaine & Sean McGowan kick off the SBAIC festival with a Guitars-In-The-Round acoustic music concert featuring a wide spectrum of today’s modern fingerstyle guitar.  Jazz, blues, folk, American popular and roots music, originals and stump-the-audience obscurities will be the order of this evening’s first class entertainment.

$12 in advance with priority dinner seating. $15 at the door open to all!

Dueling Guitars!
8 pm – 10 pm at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club 

National fingerstyle champions Richard Smith & Tim Sparks will blow the doors off  the SOhO with their incrediSparksble guitar wizardry.

$20 in advance for both shows with priority dinner seating.

$12 at the door open to all for just the late show.


Friday Night Dinner Show
5:30 – 7:00pm at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club

Ken Emerson & Jim “Kimo” West – Slackers in Paradise

Hawaiian slack key guitar (ki ho’alu) is one of the great acoustic guitar traditions of the world, dating back to the 1840’s when guitars were first brought to Hawaii and relatively unknown outside the islands until recently. In “Slack Key” some of the strings are slacked from standard tuning, with the bass, melody, and improvisation played at the same time, and is often played to accompany traditional dance or song.

Ken Emerson and Jim “Kimo” West are both living legends in the world of Hawaiian slack key and acoustic steel guitar. Their diverse musical influences venture beyond the islands toward the land of blues, ragtime and even jazz. Both have played on Grammy-winning records.

Ken Emerson’s family moved to Hawaii in 1968. Absorbing the Hawaiian culture, Ken began studying Hawaiian language and music emulating the players of the 1920’s and ‘30s era by listening to vintage Hawaiian 78 rpm records, zeroing in on the jazz and blues styles of Sol Ho’opi’i and Sol K. Bright.  Soon Ken was playing alongside such legendary performers as Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Raymond Kane, and Moe Keale.  Ken plays both Hawaiian Slack Key and lap steel guitar and switches easily between them during his performance, laying his guitar on his lap and picking up a steel bar for an instrumental interlude.

Jim “Kimo” West first visited Hana, Maui in 1985. Already a devotee of open tunings, he was immediately drawn to the gentle rhythms of ki ho ‘alu and soon began writing his own songs. The rich physical and cultural landscape of the Hana Coast has provided the inspiration for many of his compositions. While always retaining the heartfelt essence of traditional slack key, Jim brings much of his own musical heritage to his original ki ho’alu instrumentals. His style can best be described as “nahenahe”, meaning “soft, sweet or gentle voice”, a fusion of old and new but still rooted deeply in tradition.

Ken and Jim will follow this special concert with a Slack’n’Steel workshop at 2:45 on Sunday.

$12 in advance with priority dinner seating. $15 at the door open to all!

The Guitar Summit continues

Friday After Dinner Show
7:30 – 9:00pm at SOhO


Doug Young, Mark Hanson & Teja Gerken continue the weekend’s acoustic music showcasing a wide ranging sampling of today’s modern fingerstyle guitar including dropped tunings, slack key, and all sorts of advanced guitar techniques.  Teja will teach a workshop at the Celebration on Saturday; Doug and Mark will teach on Sunday.

$20 in advance for both shows with priority dinner seating.

$12 in advance with priority dinner seating. $15 at the door open to all!

Chapdelaine | McManus: Classical Outlaws Play Somogyi

Friday Night 8:00pm – 10:00pm at The Center Stage

McManus RevMic

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 in Winfield, Kansas.  From New York’s Lincoln Center to the Cactus Cafe in Austin, from Milano to Bangkok, Michael 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.

Tony McManus is known as one of the leading Celtic guitar players, collaborating with top musicians in Ireland, Brittany and Galicia as well as his native Scotland. Tony is also a fine classical player, and will team with Michael in a classical pairing not seen before.

Ervin Somogyi is one of the leading steel string and classical acoustic guitar builders in the world.  This concert is rare opportunity to hear both luthier and musician.

Presented informally, trading stories and humor, the evening of acoustic music will be a delightful treat for those who love the harmonies of the classical guitar and have an opportunity to meet truly gifted maestros in their fields.  Michael and Tony will both be teaching workshops on Saturday.

This concert is funded in part by the Center Stage Theater Rental Subsidy Fund.

$20 adults / $12 students


Saturday Night 7:00pm Fine Guitar Benefit Auction

8:00pm Headliner at the Lobero

David Lindley

On record and in performance, David Lindley and Jackson Browne have a musical association reaching back almost 40 years. David’s legendary stringed-instrument virtuosity has been showcased on many of Browne’s albums, beginning with 1973’s For Everyman, and on classics such as Late For The Sky and The Pretender (the latter two both on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time). Browne also produced Lindley’s 1983 LP, the acclaimed El Rayo-X.

Throughout this long and distinguished career, David Lindley has been one of the world’s most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Warren Zevon, Ben Harper and many others.


Friday and Saturday Afternoon 5:00-6:00pm

700 – 900 State St. between Ortega and Canon Perdido

Jackson Gillies

Jackson Gillies was Santa Barbara’s 2016 Teen Star USA winner, has performed at the Concert to End Gun Violence Across America with Kenny Loggins and opened for Jim Messina.  He is actor, a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and recently created,  produced and performed in the “Something That Matters Concert” to raise awareness about Hidradenitis Suppurativa.


Friday and Saturday Afternoon 5:00-6:00pm

700 – 900 State St. between Ortega and Canon Perdido


Bicultural music samurai… residing in Los Angeles and travelling the world from Japan, GOH (Goh Kurosawa) is a ‘tap/slap’ guitarist armed with his original songs of acoustic rock jazz, electrifying soundscapes, and stunning arrangements of familiar global melodies.

Friday and Saturday Afternoon 5:00-6:00pm

700 – 900 State St. between Ortega and Canon Perdido

Bruce Goldish

Late night at the Courthouse or Marshall’s, it’s sweet harmonic to caffeinated percussive guitar. On stage, throw in a Tom Waits voice and a few good stories.  Around town, he’s played the Festivals, concert series and clubs, including SOhO, Cold Spring Tavern, and the Coral Casino. On national tours, Goldish has been the feature performer at Nashville’s The Bluebird Cafe, Duluth’s Playground and NorShor Theaters, New York’s Living Room and New Orleans’ Neutral Ground.

Friday and Saturday Afternoon 5:00-6:00pm

700 – 900 State St. between Ortega and Canon Perdido

Dani Vargas

Drawing from diverse stylistic approaches, Dani brings a unique take to the modern acoustic sound.  The work with his duo Aerial Visions, ‘City Life’ (2016), ‘Writings in the Sky’ (2017) introduces compositions demonstrating technical proficiency, canorous melodies, and harmonic maturity. The feel is often dark and introspective, yet uplifting, by virtue of the beauty and honesty that so naturally accompany the acoustic guitar. Dani will release is his first acoustic solo album in September, displaying a seasoned artistry, while complex yet accessible, inviting listeners of all walks of life into a dynamic musical experience.

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