ADELAIDE International Guitar Festival – Preview

10340166_666396830075465_7602581529100756555_nAdelaide International Guitar Festival announces two new international acts, unveils young South Australian talent and lifts the lid on an amazing late-night line up to complete the full program for this year’s jam-packed event  


Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan today announced the full line up for this year’s Adelaide International Guitar Festival (AIGF) from July 17-20, including two world-class international acts, and the first-ever Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra, featuring South Australian school kids.

The Festival’s opening night will be a Spanish extravaganza, starring the José Antonio Rodríguez Trio, direct from flamenco heartland, Córdoba, Spain.  Rodríguez, one of the Córdoba Guitar Festival’s favourite sons, is now a composer and performer of international renown. He won his first flamenco prize aged 17, and embodies flamenco music and philosophy with exquisite sensitivity.


The Córdoba Guitar Festival is a sister event of the AIGF and Rodriguez’s appearance in Adelaide further cements the shared vision of both events.  The trio will be supported by outstanding local company Flamenco Areti.Festival Theatre, Thursday July 17.

The closing performance of the Festival on July 20 pays homage to fresh, young guitar talent from across the globe – from European stars to SA school kids.

The Stochelo Rosenberg Trio is led by world-famous gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg from the Netherlands. Regarded as a true heir of Django Reinhardt, Rosenberg is synonymous with gypsy jazz. In Australia for the first time with his new power trio featuring energetic young players Sebastien Giniaux (France) and Joel Locher (Germany), his legendary flair and virtuosity are infused with unprecedented vigour.  This dynamic, hip trio will amaze with their crossfire of unbelievable solos, breathtaking rhythms and constant invention.

The trio will be supported by the inaugural Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra. AIGF Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan and Brisbane’s acclaimed guitar ensemble specialist Paul Svoboda have visited schools across the state and hand-picked 50 of SA’s best young guitar players, aged nine to 18. Many of these youngsters will realise a dream of performing on the Festival Theatre stage, taking their place in the 75-strong guitar orchestra, led by Grigoryan and Svoboda. The orchestra also includes 25 young players from Svoboda’s Aurora Guitar Ensemble.

Both Slava and Leonard Grigoryan will play solos in this performance. This inspiring concert will celebrate the dedication of young guitar students across the State, as well as the passion and commitment of guitar teachers. 6.30pm on Sunday July 20.

Heading up his third Festival, Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan said he was proud to be able to showcase not only international acts, but to turn the spotlight on young, emerging talent from around the world.

We are thrilled to be able to secure the amazing talents of players such as the José Antonio Rodríguez Trio and Stochelo Rosenberg Trio,” he said. “This calibre of talent is rare and to be able to bring them to Australia is just fantastic.

But unearthing raw, local talent through the inaugural Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra has been an absolute honour for me. By visiting SA schools, from Elizabeth to Kensington and beyond, I have been able to experience the grass roots of SA guitar talent.

To be a part of the musical journey of these amazing local kids and to encourage and work with them has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job as artistic director of this Festival. With the help of SA guitar teachers we have been able to discover the most passionate, talented kids and to hear them perform as part of our closing night performance will be a career highlight for me.”

Also announced today is the late-night component of the Festival, the much-loved Coopers Late Night Sessions. Enjoy the club-like vibe of the Space Theatre and soak up the sounds of a diverse and talented bunch of players each night of the Festival.

Get set for a wild opening night when three of the world’s finest shredders come together for the first time. Local young gun Cam Blokland, Sydney’s Simon Hosford, who has played with a host of stars and is associate musical director on Australia’s Got Talent and X Factor, and composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Marcel Yammouni will get the place jumping on July 17.

Award-winning blues veteran Chris Finnen and his close friend of more than 40 years Phil Manning will join forces for an inspiring three-part club show. A founding member of the legendary band Chain, Manning has been at the forefront of Australian blues since the ‘60s. Finnen, too, is one of the gems of Australian blues and was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.

And for an unforgettable night of jazz, three of the best will take to the stage on July 19. Adelaide’s James Muller (Vince Jones, Renee Geyer, Don Burrows and more), Sydney’s Ben Hauptmann (James Morrison, Joss Stone, Gurrumul) and innovative bass player Christopher Hale will be joined by vocalist Gian Slater and Ben Vanderwal on drums to complete this stellar line up of jazz talent.

And the Coopers Late Night Sessions closing  Festival Finale will be a surprise packet of amazing Guitar Festival guests, including an encore performance by the People’s Choice winner of the 2014 15 Minutes of Fame. This is the segment of the festival where young hopefuls vie for the chance to be discovered, winning the opportunity to share the stage with their guitar heroes.

The Festival’s Meet the Maker series is back by popular demand. Step inside the minds of the men and women who handcraft beautiful guitars, gaining insight into the patience, talent and inspiration behind their works of art.

There is also a host of exciting events on to complete the program for this year’s Guitar Festival, including Workshops, Master Classes, Talks, and the GreenRoom’s GuitarARt competition, where 18-30 year olds show off  their creative sides by transforming a guitar into a work of art.

Several shows for this year’s Adelaide International Guitar Festival have already been announced including Adelaide classical guitarist Andrey Lebedev, who will take to the stage in an amazing double bill with the talented Sydney Guitar Trio. The Sydney Guitar Trio, featuring Raffaele Agostino, Janet Agostino and Richard Charlton, joins forces with actor and musician, Rory O’Donoghue to present a program of storytelling and music in the Dunstan Playhouse on Friday, 18 July.

An extraordinary Festival premiere sees one of France’s favourite sons of classical guitar Judicaël Perroy on a standout double bill with acclaimed composer and performer Máximo Pujol in the Dunstan Playhouse on Thursday 17 July.  Máximo Pujol brings his tango trio direct from Buenos Aires to Australia for the first time.

In what promises to be a major gala event of the Festival, one of our finest musical exports the Australian String Quartet (ASQ) will be joined on the Festival Theatre stage by three very special guests on Saturday 19 July. Firstly, acclaimed Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero will accompany the ASQ, then AIGF Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan will join the quartet on stage, and finally Argentina’s contemporary tango virtuosos, the Máximo Pujol Trio, will accompany the ASQ to complete this once-in-a-lifetime event. This exclusive gala concert will open with a dynamic performance by Brisbane’s acclaimed Aurora Guitar Ensemble, directed by Paul Svoboda.

In an Australian premiere event, a magnificent double-bill featuring two giants of the guitar world will perform with the Adelaide Art Orchestra on July 18. Classical music legend Pepe Romero will perform solo the world’s most beloved guitar concerto, Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. And returning to Adelaide after his outstanding 2010 Festival appearance is Yamandú Costa. This young genius will perform the Australian premiere of his orchestral suite, Fantasia Popular.  


Also performing on 18 July is spellbinding slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Steeped in Indian classical music, Bhattacharya has an international following not only for his playing but for his extraordinary instrumental arsenal. A tireless innovator, he is accompanied by his “Trinity of Guitars” – including his lap-slide chaturangui,  14-stringed gandharvi and the anandi, a four-string slide ukulele, all devised to facilitate his lyrical flights.


In an all-Australian exclusive, leading Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg joins intrepid proponent of period instruments Geoffrey Morris in an exploration of some of the finest songs ever penned for voice and guitar.  They’ll be supported by the outstanding Guitarissimo, a group showcasing the talents of Elder Conservatorium musicians. Expect exquisite songs and rare masterpieces in this one night only show on 19 July.


Electric guitarist extraordinaire Guthrie Govan brings his virtuosic playing to the Guitar Festival in an Australian premiere performance. Govan has recorded with acts ranging in genre from melodic rock to jazz fusion, played with power trio The Aristocrats and recently played on Steven Wilson’s album The Raven That Refused to Sing. Govan’s skilled elision of jazz and progressive rock comes to the fore in his solo work and will enthrall audiences on 19 July.


Composer and bass guitar virtuoso Christopher Hale will perform his Flamenco-infused jazz project Sylvan Coda on 20 July in the Dunstan Playhouse. Hale’s origins in Flamenco and Afro-Cuban music emerge in a fearlessly original performance, featuring an 8-piece ensemble with Johnny Tedesco’s striking Flamenco dancing and a stunning vocal section led by jazz luminary Gian Slater. To open this performance Aloysius Leeson Quartet bring together some of South Australia’s most versatile musicians.

And talent from across the globe will converge on Adelaide for the Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition. The international contenders this year are from the Russian Federation, Thailand, USA and Romania.  The ACT, NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA will represent Australia in this prestigious competition.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO Douglas Gautier said this year’s Adelaide International Guitar Festival showcased world-class performers as well as celebrating emerging new talent.   


“Slava Grigoryan has again curated a top-class program attracting world famous names to this year’s Adelaide International Guitar Festival,” he said.


“The Guitar Festival is a unique music celebration of the world’s most popular instrument and a highlight of our 2014 Festival calendar which also includes the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June and OzAsia Festival in September. We look forward to once again shining the arts and culture spotlight on this outstanding event.”



WHAT Adelaide International Guitar Festival

WHEN July 17-20, 2014

VENUE Adelaide Festival Centre

BOOKINGS BASS 131 246 or online at

MORE INFO – For further information visit

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