SHETLAND Arts have announced the performers and venues for this year’s Peerie Willie Guitar Festival, which runs from Thursday 18th to Friday 21st September.
Now in its fourth year, the event is a celebration of the life and music of Shetland’s own “guitar hero”, Peerie Willie Johnson.
This year’s programme includes elements of jazz, blues, classical, flamenco and South American folk with concerts in the Garrison Theatre on Friday and Sunday evenings, Mid Yell Hall on Saturday evening and an acoustic afternoon concert in Bigton Hall on Sunday.
Visiting performers include patron of the festival Martin Burns, who will be performing with Scottish-Canadian singer Alison Burns. The duo recently recorded an album entitled 1:AM, inspired by the collaborations of Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald.
Irish classical guitarist Redmond O’Toole, the first guitarist in the world to adopt the groundbreaking eight-string “Brahms guitar”, is also performing, as is Miguel De La Bastide, a Flamenco guitarist and composer originally from Trinidad who now lives in Canada.
From San Francisco, USA, comes Brian Gore, a fingerstyle steel string guitarist whose unique melodic technique incorporates classical and percussive styles with open tunings and “stream of consciousness” improvisation.
Also visiting are Cecilia Zabala, a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who draws on a rich mixture of influences from Argentinian folklore to contemporary languages of the 20th century including jazz, tango, and Brazilian music; and Andy Sheppard, a steel string guitarist, singer and songwriter from Toronto, Canada, influenced by a range of North American, Asian and African music, and a master of fingerstyle, slide and laptop techniques.
There will be a public guitar workshop in Islesburgh Centre on Thursday 18th September and workshops held in schools throughout Shetland during the festival.
Shetland Arts music development officer Bryan Peterson said: “It’s a very varied programme with some hugely talented guitarists, and we’re really looking forward to taking the festival to Mid Yell for the Saturday night concert as it’s only a few miles from where Willie was born.”