Guitar Congress connects vendors, luminaries, fans

Guitar aficionados will flock to the area this week for Towson University's First World Guitar Congress, which runs through Wednesday.

Nearly 100 local and national exhibitors are expected to attend, and, in addition, there will be performances from artists including the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Jerry Douglas, Jim Hall and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.


"This congress offers those attending the events the opportunity to experience world class guitar and amplifier manufacturers, custom guitar builders, string manufacturers, guitar studios, guitar products and accessories and so much more in one location during what we believe will be an outstanding week-long celebration of the guitar," Dr. Helene Breazeale, executive director of the congress, said in a news release.

Exhibits will be open to the public (Susquehanna Room and Susquehanna Terrace) on the second floor of the University Union. Admission to the exhibits is free. The exhibits will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Saturday; and from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.


Here are some highlights of the schedule:


8:45 a.m.: Symposium: Choosing the Right Guitar for You (Potomac Lounge)

3:10 p.m.: Symposium: A Conversation With Les Paul, Inventor and Musician (Chesapeake Rooms)

4:30 p.m.: Jennifer Batton, Benjamin Verdery and Ralph Towner perform (Stephens Hall Theatre)

7:30 p.m.: Dick and Jimmy Dale, John Scofield and Eric Johnson perform (Towson Center Arena)


11:05 a.m.: Symposium: A Comprehensive View of Flamenco for All Ages (Chesapeake Rooms)


2:05 p.m.: Symposium: Women in Jazz and Rock with Sheryl Bailey, Jennifer Batten (Chesapeake Rooms)

4:30 p.m.: Dusan Bogdanovic, Adam and Laila del Monte and John Hammond perform (Stephens Hall Theatre)

8 p.m.: Tuck and Patti, David Russell, Pat Martino and Les Paul Trio perform (Towson Center Arena)


11:05 a.m.: Symposium: Performance Day: Physical and Mental Preparation with Tuck and Patti, David Russell, and Marija Temo (Potomac Lounge)

1 p.m.: Symposium: What Makes Blues So Special? with John Hammond, Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin, Derek Trucks (Chesapeake Rooms)


1 p.m.: Symposium: Classical Guitar in the 20th Century with Eli Kassner (Potomac Lounge)

4:30 p.m.: Howard Alden/Jimmy Bruno/Frank Vignola, Derek Trucks, and Hubert Sumlin and Bob Margolin perform (Stephens Hall Theatre)

8 p.m.: Sharon Isbin, Jim Hall, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra perform (Meyerhoff Symphony Hall)


8:45 a.m.: Symposium: Guitar Education (Chesapeake Rooms)

1 p.m.: Symposium: Composing Music for the Guitar (Chesapeake Rooms)


7:30 p.m.: The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Paco Pena and Albert Lee perform (Meyerhoff Symphony Hall)


8:45 a.m.: Symposium: Comping: The Art of Accompaniment with Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno, Frank Vignola, and Jim Hall (Chesapeake Rooms)

10 a.m.: Symposium: A Conversation with Martin Taylor (Potomac Lounge)

4:30 p.m.: Johnny Hiland, Sheryl Bailey and Jerry Douglas perform (Stephens Hall Theatre)

8 p.m.: Sergio and Odair Assad, Juan Martin, Martin Taylor and Tony Rice will perform (Stephens Hall Theatre)



8:45 a.m.: Symposium: Guitar Neighbors and Relatives with the Hunt Valley Rondalla (Chesapeake Rooms)

11:05 a.m.: Symposium: Session Players with Johnny Hiland, Tony Rice, Albert Lee and Jerry Douglas (Chesapeake Rooms)

2:05 p.m.: Symposium: Harmony with Martin Taylor, Jimmy Bruno, Frank Vognola and Howard Alden (Chesapeake Rooms)

3:10 p.m.: Symposium: The Future: Where Is the Guitar Going? with Maurice Summerfield, Sergio and Odair Assad, Andy Summers, Tony Rice, Marty Friedman, David Spelman and Beth Marlis (Chesapeake Rooms)

7 p.m.: Andy Summers and Marty Friedman perform (Towson Center Arena)


For a complete schedule listing, visit the First World Guitar Congress Web site at musiccongresses/.

Towson University is at 8000 York Road. Tickets for concerts at Stephens Hall Theatre are $30, and tickets for concerts at the Towson Center are $25. Master classes, clinics and symposiums cost $10 per session. To attend all events, registration is $385. A daily pass (which excludes the evening concerts) is $75. Tickets can be purchased at the Center for the Arts ticket office, located in the lobby of Stephens Hall, or by phone at 410-704-2787. Tickets for events at the Meyerhoff are $25-$40 and can be purchased by calling 410-783-8000.

For more classical music, theater and dance events, see Page 38.