Get ready for the third annual HWS Guitar Day on Saturday, Sept. 19. This year’s exciting line-up includes the student band The Scope and local Finger Lakes band, El Ka Bong as well as guitar legend Gene Bertoncini, and musicians Rick Balestra, Ken Meyer and Greg Wachala.
Events will begin at 12 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library with a master class taught by Bertoncini, one of the pre-eminent jazz guitarists active today. According to the New Yorker magazine, “Bertoncini is an affecting, highly original guitarist that moves easily back and forth between classical and jazz guitar.” In addition to performing around the globe, Bertoncini teaches at the Eastman School of Music and William Patterson University.
Following the master class, a concert will be held at 3 p.m. on the Quad and featuring The Scope and El Ka Bong. The Scope is a band of Hobart and William Smith musicians who boast, “Funky grooves, visceral electronic rhythms, face melting improv, and mind distorting presentation.” El Ka Bong, comprised of musicians from the Finger Lakes region, provides “A unique blend of sounds that encompass elements of Latin, jazz, and reggae with a rock improv sensibility.”
To culminate the day’s guitar festivities, Bertoncini, Balestra, Meyer and Wachala will perform together in St. John’s Chapel at 8 p.m. Balestra, who has performed at past HWS Guitar Days, is a professor of guitar, has performed in a number of local jazz festivals, and has released an album, “From the Shore.” Wachala, another returning musician to HWS Guitar Day is an applied instructor of guitar at the Colleges, and a respected guitarist, composer and producer. Meyer, also an applied instructor of guitar at the Colleges, has received numerous accolades for his performances, including recognition as the national first-prize winner at the Music Teacher’s National Association Collegiate Artist Competition.
Admission is free for all events.