In its second annual year, Adelaide Guitar Festival proudly announces the program of world-class finger plucking favourites of rock, classical, blues, flamenco, country and much more, from July 9 to 24, presented by Adelaide Festival Centre and visiting ten South Australian towns with the return of the On The Road regional touring program.
In a world premiere and festival exclusive, sharing centre stage are Spinal Tap’s cult bass player, Derek Smalls (otherwise known as Harry Shearer) and Australian rock legends, You Am I, who will perform their tribute show Majesty of Tap after turning it up to eleven with Smalls for one night only at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Extra keen enthusiasts will be able to catch a special screening of This is Spinal Tap and Q&A in July at Mercury Cinema.
Another world premiere and exclusive to Adelaide is El Corazón del Flamenco, featuring a double bill of Spanish flamenco star José María Gallardo del Rey and Victoria-based group Arte Kanela in one exhilarating, spirited evening of music and dance.
José will also perform the Australian premiere of his new classical composition Altamira in the double bill Origination, joined by a string quartet, and the world premiere of a quintet by renowned Australian composer Gerard Brophy. Rounding out the performance, Australian voice/guitar duo Quin Thomson and David Malone will present a program of beloved favourites and premiere new works by Quin and by classical composer (and Associate Professor at Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music) Maria Grenfell.
Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan: “The world’s most popular instrument will continue to shine in all genres in 2022, in both ticketed performances of all sizes and free and interactive opportunities. Whether you want to dance, learn, play, or simply sit, listen and enjoy, we have you covered this winter and hope you can join us at Adelaide Festival Centre and throughout regional South Australia.
”Many of our 2021 On the Road attendees commented how much they had missed and enjoyed the unique, intimate experience of live performance, which is something we all appreciate more than ever before. We were very fortunate to be able to hold events in so many regions in addition to the Adelaide performances, and this year we will get to expand on this further, plus welcome back international performers alongside some of our city and country’s best to present a fabulous program.”
This year, attendees will also be able to play the world’s largest acoustic guitar! The newly opened Festival Plaza will be home to The Immersive Guitar, which offers the free opportunity for participants to step in and get strumming on overhead strings. The project is a joint creation between performers Karin Schaupp and Vanessa Tomlinson, luthier Jim Redgate, architect Bruce Wolfe and structural engineer Hassan Karampour, and will be the site of a newly-commissioned work by Karin and Vanessa to be created and performed during the festival.
Commemorating the incredible milestone of 50 studio albums is Joe Camilleri, whose Black Sorrows need no introduction, but would not exist without him at the helm. Joe and the band will be joined by special guest Lecia Louise and her bluesy, rockin’ 60s and 70s-inspired tunes.
A celebration of the clear, precise beauty of classical music is triple bill Sketches and Orchestrations featuring China’s Xuefei Yang (China’s first internationally-recognised guitarist on the world stage), and sets by both the Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra (the festival’s Guitar Winter School Classical stream) and the Brisbane-based Riverside Guitar Ensemble.
Shred heads can rejoice when local guitarist/composer/80s enthusiast Cam Blokland with a stellar local band playing the best of Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen and more, followed by lead guitarist Simon Hosford and rock band Fair Warning who will channel the spirit of Eddie Van Halen in Foundations of Shred.
Songs Told of a Land of Gold brings to life the musical sounds of our beautiful country, via the charming sounds of country music. ARIA award winner and eight-time Golden Guitar winner Fanny Lumsden takes a break from sharing the stage with Paul Kelly, whilst self-proclaimed country vagabond Jimmybay will park his Kombi van, for one special night to each share tales from the road and weave together stories and song.
Another world premiere, Spectrums of Sound, sets the stage for two highly respected and prolific artistic duos to delve into new genre-bending works and sonic grooves. Out of Sinc is a collaboration between one of Australia’s most in-demand bass players, Nick Sinclair, and Adelaide-born ARIA award-winning jazz guitarist James Muller. Fellow duo Isola (guitarist/composer Cameron Deyell and percussion/producer Laurence Pike) share a 20-year history as friends and co-collaborators and will be joined onstage by their friend and multi-instrumentalist composer Jasper Leak, internationally known for his collaborations with Sia, Tegan and Sarah and Quincy Jones.
Three previous Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition winners – Pavel Ralev (2021), Pietro Locatto (2020) and Andrew Blanch (2019) – will present a monumental afternoon of inspiring solo recitals, sure to further cement their apt deserving of the title. The 2022 competition will be held on the final day of the festival to appoint this year’s winner.
Festival stalwart, Adelaide Guitar Festival Winter School, will hold a week-long guitar intensive with some of Australia’s finest guitarists in a small, immersive environment. Participants can choose from two streams: Blues and Roots (July 11 – 15) and Orchestra (July 18 – 22), open to all ages and with subsidies available.
Recorded in 2020 and with over 200,000 views, resonating with audiences everywhere were The Backstage Sessions, featuring some of South Australia’s most talented and emerging musicians performing in the intimate concert setting of the Festival Theatre stage. Six newly recorded sessions will be released throughout May and June to join the currently re-released 2020 recordings, ensuring plenty of online opportunities for those preferring to watch from home.
Free events include Paul Nash and the Classical Guitar Society of Victoria with a tribute to legendary Grammy-Award winning musician, Julian Bream; Yamaha Guitars’ Come and Try sessions where anyone can unleash their inner Tommy Emmanuel or Chick Corea via hands-on experience with the latest models; new handmade treasures from some of Australia’s finest luthiers at the Guitar Expo; and an historical exhibition of Yamaha guitars stretching from 1966 to the present day at A Tradition of Innovation.
After huge success in 2021, in 2022 Adelaide Guitar Festival On the Road returns, with additional regional towns added and program details released in May. An incredible lineup of local musicians will present free evening community hall concerts at new towns Elliston and Streaky Bay on July 8, and at Crystal Brook and Watervale on July 15. Also new in 2022 are Wallaroo (July 17) and Gumeracha (July 24) where residents will enjoy full-day micro-festivals, along with revisiting Tumby Bay (July 9), Cleve (July 10), Edithburgh (July 16), and a special one-day event in Eleanor Downs on Kangaroo Island (July 17).
Also returning in 2022 are Adelaide Festival Centre’s CentrED program, arranging artist visits to selected schools on Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, and the ever-popular Resonance program which will entertain residents in 11 regional and metropolitan aged care facilities.
In 2022 Adelaide Guitar Festival is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, Festivals Australia program and RISE funding body.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “In our second annual year of Adelaide Guitar Festival, and with the newly opened Festival Plaza precinct, we’re relishing the opportunity to welcome back audiences to our venues this winter. It’s a privilege to support our local artists and teachers and the next generation of performers via our Winter School and we look forward to showcasing some of our best South Australian talent at the free regional events, which proved very popular last year.”
Minister for Arts, The Hon Andrea Michaels MP: “It is wonderful to see our iconic festivals getting back in full swing, reinvigorating our state and enriching our lives the way that only live performance can. I heartily congratulate Slava and the Adelaide Festival Centre team on another exciting program and encourage everyone to get out and about this winter to enjoy the Adelaide Guitar Festival.”
Tickets on sale from 11am (ACST) on 28 April online and via Ticketek.