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International Guitar Night imports four global fretman to where it all started Saturday
The Cowichan Theatre feels like home to International Guitar Night’s host-fretman Brian Gore.
“It’s the place where it all started,” he said from Vancouver about Saturday’s bill starring Italy’s Pino Forastiere, Argentina’s Quieque Sinesi, and the U.K.’s Mike Dawes.
“I think the first time we played in Duncan was 1998 or ‘99.”
That’s when Gore and Cowichan Folk Guild’s former artistic director, Brent Hutchinson, spawned a fret event that’s truly gone global.
“We’ve used the theatre to record our live CDs,” Santa Cruz-based composer said. “They’re fantastic, and they’ve been a big success.”
IGN 2013 sees the guys perform 10 Canadian dates, plus 21 next year across the states.
Saturday will hear solo work, and varied pairings of the quality quartet.
“Each player has his own style, and an instrument to match his style,” said Gore, 50. “Mine’s from (luthier) Carter Poulsen of Santa Cruz.”
Forastiere is described by New York critic John Schaefer as “a mix of Steve Reich’s interlocking rhythmic patterns meets Michael Hedges’ techniques, all while admiring Eddie Van Halen.”
“Pino is very intricate, with an extended technique,” said Gore.
Press material says Sinesi “is considered one of the most important guitarists in Argentina for his personal style that incorporates elements of jazz, classical, improve and world music.”
“Hearing Quieque will be really special — with folkloric music and some tango,” noted Gore.
Brit Dawes, a 20-something player, is said to be “completely spellbinding,” remarked the Evening Post. The International Guitar Foundation simply called Dawes skill “incredible.”
“Mike’s up-and-coming with youtube footage with millions of views,” Gore said of the “very tasteful arranger.”
Gore described his own finger-style playing as “very smooth and melodic.”
News & Review said Gore’s got “one of the most unique new acoustic guitar styles on the scene today.”
His booking of stellar talent has evolved after IGN1 was successful in Duncan, he explained.
“When we first started out doing the shows in Duncan, we kinda pieced things together just for that particular night.
“From Duncan, I got a booking agent. Now we’re a touring act on two continents,” Gore said of North America and the British Isles.
“That means we have to pick players well in advance, and keep one lineup for each season.
“There’s also a synergy created when people commit to doing a tour — that creates a bond between the players and makes the show better.”
His three guests are likely making Canadian debuts Saturday in the string-genre with loyal fans.
“The misconception is that the guitar is something not a lot of people are into — but next to the voice, it’s the most popular instrument out there,” Gore said.
“We’ve shown that working under a collective banner we can have a good turnout, and we do that in lots of different places.”
“One thing we really proved early on in Duncan was that people thought guitar was an insider sport for fellow guitar geeks like me, and no one would come to a large-scale show — or they had to be a headliner to draw a huge crowd.”
Part of IGN’s popularity spills from Gore and his guests doing their homework “well in advance” by talking about songs, comparing ideas, then practising together.
“We’re flexible enough for us to bring out our own style and sensibility to it — you’ll hear something at the show you may never hear again.”
“We won’t blast your ears out, but we will blow you mind,” said Gore.
Extra! The News Leader Pictorial is running a contest to win two IGN tickets — plus a private guitar lesson with a performer of the winner’s choice the following morning. Call 250-746-4471.
What: International Guitar Night
When: Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cowichan Theatre
Tickets: $28, Cowichan Folk Guild members and students, $22.50. Call 250-748-7529.