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   This years concerts feature Brandon Sprague, Norman Liota, Jalan Crossland and Johnnie Aseron ,.... two nights of  guitar magic.

 

Jalan Crossland                 www.jalancrossland.com

Jalan Crossland is widely acclaimed by audiences, critics and his musical peers as one of the country’s premier acoustic guitarists. Along with dozens of regional contest awards, his extraordinary guitar work has earned National Fingerstyle Championship honors in 1997 and the State Championship Flatpick Title in his home state of Wyoming in 1999. He is a talented vocalist, banjo player, songwriter and an engaging showman.

Touring solo or with his band, Jalan performs full-time for audiences all across the U.S. and Europe and has shared showbills with Taj Mahal, Blues Traveler, the David Grisman Quintet, John McEuwen, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Leftover Salmon, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Young Dubliners, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, the Grand Teton Symphony and many more of today's greatest entertainers. His unique blend of traditional and cutting-edge acoustic sounds can be heard on CD, cassettes and on finer radio stations everywhere.

Johnnie Aseron      

Composer, Lyricist, Storyteller & Musician

Drawing from his multicultural urban and rural upbringing and extensive world travels, Johnnie Aseron plays from a poetic musical vision inspiring us to feel the interwoven potentialities and problems of our times.

“Who are we? What are we doing? What are we here for?” are questions addressed by minstrels of times gone by. Johnnie, a 20th Century minstrel, employs singing, acoustic guitar, flute, percussion and other various instruments in sharing his original and insightful arrangements. He takes us to places that most of us seldom have access to in our everyday lives.

Through storytelling he creates a space that invites us to discover our environment, our cultural histories, the diverse peoples around us and ourselves. His music, stories and songs connect us to feelings so real that the thresholds of the explicit and personal merge together with the universal. There the nature of our humanness is embraced. It is through his vulnerability that he compels us in a leap of the heart, touching the pulse we all share -- one world heart.

He has a long list of special conferences and events that he has both performed and participated in, as well as Gallery listings and workshops from Primary School through University level.

He has spent years in residence working abroad in Universities from England to Australia with Cultural Awareness groups and Indigenous Peoples.

Currently he is the Director of the STORIES AND SONGS (of the People) Foundation. (www.storiesandsongs.org)

 

Norman Liota                                

The terrain of Norman Liota’s musical imagination is as vast and varied as the landscape in which he tours; the man and his guitar travel well After having graduated from York University’s music department and having taught high school, Norman abandoned the straight and narrow for the more adventurous life of an itinerant musician. Originally trained as a classical guitarist, but cutting his teeth on virtually every idiom, Norman’s nimble fingers cover an expanse of open tunings, cascading harmonics, stunning techniques, rhythmic intensity, and, of course, his dazzling classical guitar repertoire. Acclaimed as “one of the best acoustic guitarists ever” (Pioneer Journal, PEI), “Liota’s skills as a composer and vocalist are as formidable as his guitar virtuosity” (Chiliwack Progress Weekend, BC).

It is this glowing and growing reputation that has enabled Norman to travel far and wide, having become a feature performer throughout North America. Indeed Norman’s songwriting has been said to have “an eloquence that invites the listener to share rather than be overwhelmed … placing Liota deservedly between James Taylor and Jackson Browne” (Stratford Beacon Herald, ON).


His music is infused with elements of folk, jazz, blues and classical, all synthesized to a sophisticated degree. His boundless creativity bespeaks a lifetime of discipline and discovery. He is the only performer known to write and perform on prepared guitar (i.e. the guitar is prepared beforehand by inserting objects like paper or plastic between the strings). This distinctive technique allows Norman to elicit the most otherworldly sounds and consistently transfixes audiences. “There is no question, the crowd was mesmerized … how rare indeed when an artist brings something totally new and different to the craft”, said Brian Gladstone, Winterfolk festival director, upon hearing Norman on prepared guitar.

Brandon Sprague

Brandon Sprague lives in Rapid City and was born in Durant , Oklahoma . He excels as a blues guitarist and vocalist, performing with bands and as a solo performer.  Brandon has opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds,  Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, George Thorogood, Chicago , the Doobie Brothers, Indigenous, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bigh Head Todd and the Monsters,  as well as the legendary B.B. King.

            Brandon played with the popular Black Hills R&B act Soul Kitchen /  Shakedown

featuring blues vocalist Kim Kane. Shakedown released a CD to critical acclaim tited “ Electric Church ”.

Brandon lists some of his influences as B.B King, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall Sr and Jr, as well Jimmie Hendrix, Albert and Freddie King.