It's Guitarmania at The Montreal Guitar Show Print
Thursday, 28 February 2008 16:45
montreal_guitar_fest.jpgMontreal - For its second edition, the Montreal Guitar Show has stepped up its programming considerably with Guitarmania, an all-new concert series featuring such well known guitarists as Jim Hall, Martin Taylor and Pierre Bensusan performing in the intimacy of Place des Arts' Cinquieme Salle.

The largest guitar show in Canada-held this year on the first weekend of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (June 26 to 29)-is also doing more to help us discover the world of the guitar by increasing the number of free workshops with some of the top specialists in the field. Concert tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 1, at noon.

With the same passion as Montrealers and visitors who came out in force to the inaugural edition of the Montreal Guitar Show, organizers of this year's event set out to broaden their exploration of the guitar in all its forms. The result: the 2008 edition plays host to a who's who of guitar specialists from all disciplines, including renowned musicians, guest speakers, master luthiers, authors, etc.

On stage, we'll have a chance to see and hear virtuosos working in all musical styles, from fingerpicking to jazz, manouche and classical: Frenchman Pierre Bensusan, who leaves audiences spellbound with his mastery of world music, jazz and folk; Antoine Dufour, rising young Canadian acoustic guitar and fingerstyle whiz; Jim Hall, a bona fide jazz guitar giant; Michel Haumont, another extraordinary French musician who cites John Renbourn, Chet Atkins and Marcel Dadi among his influences, playing alongside fellow countryman Jean Félix Lalanne, a supremely gifted and eclectic guitarist whose playing has been likened to "the beating of butterfly wings;" guitarist John Jorgenson, one of the pioneers of Gypsy swing in the United States; dazzling American guitarist Andy McKee, who's been known to play one-handed and to use his instrument as a rhythm box; Montreal-born Erik Mongrain, a talented self-taught composer-performer and lap-tapping specialist whose idols are Michael Hedges and Montrealer Don Ross, the fingerpicking master and first repeat winner of the US National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship; Talented Montreal guitarist Jordan Officer, who performs with Susie Arioli and has also collaborated with Thomas Hellman and Richard Séguin; 20-year-old English fingerpicking phenom Gareth Pearson; the amazing Hawaiian Jake Shimabukuro, nicknamed the "Jimi Hendrix" of the ukulele; and Martin Taylor, described by Pat Metheny as "one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument!"

All of these artists will also give a workshop as well as meet their fans at the Show. Additional workshops will be given by leading guitar experts, among them world-class luthiers such as Rick Davis, William "Grit" Laskin, Tom Ribbecke, Jeff Traugott, Rick Turner and Ervin Somogyi, as well as Tim Brookes, author of the bestselling Guitar: An American Life, Jeff Doctorow, a major collector of luthier guitars-Doctorow owns one of two Picasso guitars by Linda Manzer, the other belonging to Pat Metheny!-and Georges Gruhn, author, collector and leading vintage guitar expert.

Above all the Montreal Guitar Show remains-much to the delight of aficionados-the ideal place to admire, try and purchase the most beautiful guitars handmade by some of the world's finest artisans. Some 100 exceptional guitar luthiers are expected to gather at the Hyatt Regency Montréal for this event.

A taste of things to come ...

Pierre Bensusan

Antoine Dufour

Jim Hall

Michel Haumont / Jean Félix Lalanne

John Jorgenson

Andy McKee

Erik Mongrain

Jordan Officer

Gareth Pearson

Don Ross

Jake Shimabukuro

Martin Taylor

Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 1 at noon.

Tickets for these concerts at the Montreal Guitar Show go on sale Saturday, March 1, at noon, at the Metropolis ticket office (59 Ste-Catherine Street East), Place des Arts (175 Ste-Catherine Street West - 514 842-2112 or, and at Admission ( or 514 790 1245). Diehard guitar fans will want to treat themselves to one of the attractive packages offered (information at

180 to attend every show in the Guitarmania series (plus taxes, service charges and venue fees)
$90 to attend two shows per component (2 for each component: 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.) (plus taxes, service charges and venue fees)

The Montreal Guitar Show, presented in conjunction with the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, would like to acknowledge the support of its partners: the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, Tourisme Montréal, the magazines Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle and Guitarist Acoustic, as well as Official Luthiers Forum (OLF), Acoustic Voice (AV),, and the Canadian Guitar Festival.

Subscribe to the Spectra Newsletter to get the early scoop on all the latest information concerning the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the SIMM and the Montreal Guitar Show. For more information, please contact the Info Jazz Bell line at 514 871 1881 or toll free at 1 888 515 0515, or visit