FOLSOM — Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College opens its third season with Summer Guitar Fest, offering three stellar artists of diverse backgrounds in a seamless show.
Featuring Mimi Fox, winner of six consecutive Downbeat Magazine International Critic’s Polls; Pierre Bensusan, Guitar Player Magazine Readers Choice Award – USA; and two-time Grammy award-winner Laurence Juber, selected by Sir Paul McCartney himself as lead guitarist for Wings.
Internationally renowned guitarist/composer/recording artist Fox has been named a winner in six consecutive Downbeat Magazine international critic’s polls and has been recognized by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists on today’s scene. In one of many feature stories, Guitar Player Magazine hailed Fox as “a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them.”
Fox has performed/recorded with some of jazz’s most commanding players, including fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, and Mundell Lowe, Grammy-nominated saxophonists Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez and Houston Person and the late Don Lanphere, vocalists Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Kevin Mahogany and Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer), B3 organ masters Joey DeFrancesco, Barbara Denerlein and Dr. Lonnie Smith, and powerhouse drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also performed outside of the jazz world with legends Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and with Patty Larkin’s Vanguard Records-produced La Guitara project.
Fox has released eight highly acclaimed albums as a leader, including two on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. 2006’s double CD, Perpetually Hip, received rave reviews from scores of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox’s “Masterwork.” In a glowing Cadence Magazine review, Jim Josselyn said: “to say Mimi Fox’s touch, sound, sensitivity and understanding of the guitar as a solo vehicle of expression is masterful would be an understatement. This is simply some of the best guitar music I have heard.”
If “World Music” is music that pays tribute to the spirit of a collection of human beings through distinct rhythms, traditional instruments and harmonic colors, French-Algerian guitarist, singer and composer Bensusan can be recognized as one of the most eloquent and diverse world musicians of our time.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today,” Bensusan was voted “Best World Music Guitar Player in 2008” by Guitar Player Magazine Readers Choice. His name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius, long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey.
There is a sense of something both playful and serious in his work, an unparalleled sense of freedom in his compositions and his improvisations. His “manner” of playing defies classification — crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk and more. None can be isolated as simply “Brazilian,” “Arabic” or “French”; rather, they represent our world in its current state, a world sharing itself, fusing cultures together in ways we have never experienced.
Two-time Grammy Award-winner and Fingerstyle “Guitarist of the Year” Juber fuses folk, jazz, pop and classical styles, creating a multifaceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. Lead guitarist for Sir Paul McCartney’s Wings, Juber is a world-class guitar virtuoso solo artist, composer and arranger.
Juber has released 18 critically acclaimed solo albums, including “Guitarist” and “PCH.” His solo CD, “Pop Goes Guitar,” includes the arrangement of “Stand By Me” that was heard nationally in the Diamonds Are Forever commercial. His last release, “Wooden Horses,” showcases LJ’s compositions for solo guitar, and his latest CD is LJ Plays The Beatles Vol. 2, a follow-up to Vol.1 which is one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s’ all-time Top 10 acoustic albums. Juber is featured on the CD “Poppin’ Guitars,” a tribute to the music of the Sherman Brothers, and can be seen in the documentary film “The Brothers” about those celebrated Disney composers.
As a studio musician, his playing can be heard in the recent NBC Dateline documentary “Children Of The Harvest” and Ken Burns documentary “The Tenth Inning.”
Summer Guitar Fest will be presented AT 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Tickets are $19 to $29 with premium tickets available for $39. Students with IDs get in for $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.netor from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.
Opening in February 2011 as Three Stages, the facility was renamed in 2013 to honor Dr. Brice Harris, Chancellor Emeritus of the Los Rios Community College District, for his many contributions to the capital region, including the vision and leadership he provided in opening this regional arts center.