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Larry, El, Eric, Justin

Larry Pattis

Named one of the "Top 10 Best Acoustic Music Artists of the Decade" by the International Acoustic Music Awards, Larry Pattis has been a featured headline performer at such illustrious venues as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Freight & Salvage, Club Passim, Godfrey Daniels, the Turning Point, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, and many more.

Pattis, a Chicago native, experienced music in his early years, from Bach & Mozart, to Allan Sherman, Benny Goodman, and more on the hi-fi at his grandparent's apartment on the near-north side of Chicago. It wasn't until his senior year of high school that he chanced upon solo acoustic guitar music. Smitten with folk and Classical guitar music, Pattis also discovered the still thriving greater Chicago folk music scene at clubs such as The Earl Of Old Towne, Amazing Grace and more…and he found himself influenced as much by the touring singer-songwriters as he was the guitar music itself. He began performing in the local coffeehouses and on-campus at Indiana University of Bloomington, IN during his college years.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival said, "Larry Pattis blends the emotional commitment of folk and the prowess of classical, a harmonious union of beauty, melody, nuance and technique that demand- and reward- serious listening."

Yet, beyond the words and accolades, in listening to his superb recordings or experiencing the magic of a live concert, Pattis succeeds in merging styles of instrumental guitar music not normally found together in the same room. Both Folk and Classical styles seem to be fully represented within Larry's playing and compositions, and although devoted to the emotive side of the instrument, he demonstrates considerable technical prowess. His musical vision is a blending of beauty with technique, bringing forth the many voices that the steel-string and classical guitar can manifest. Like that of classical guitar masters, Pattis' music is filled with strong melodic content and rich harmonic counterpoint, supported by moving, evocative rhythms and he allows the experiences of life to influence his writing. His pieces are inspired by his relationships to places and friends, but also to the strong emotions we all have in common.

"Clear and resonant mastery" — Missoula Independent

El McMeen

Internationally acclaimed acoustic guitarist El McMeen has been listed among the “100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists.”

His artistry has been praised in numerous publications, including the NY Daily News, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and Guitar Player Magazine. El’s music has been hailed by critics as “stirring … unbridled acoustic beauty” and “drop-dead gorgeous” (Guitar Player Magazine) and as a “treasure” (Dirty Linen Magazine).

While he plays in many styles, El’s music focuses on beautiful melodies, and his up-tempo pieces reflect a joyful, toe-tapping pulse. He emphasizes touch, tone, and phrasing. He specializes in rhythmic flexibility and often employs harp-like arpeggios in many different genres of music, Celtic, spiritual, original, and pop.

El’s original composition and performance of “Le Mans” won First Prize (Instrumental) in the 6th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards contest in 2009.

El has toured throughout the United States, and is also concentrating on guitar instruction, workshops and writing, in addition to composing and arranging pieces for guitar. He has released 12 outstanding recordings, instructional and biographical DVDs for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop, and numerous books with companion CDs for Mel Bay Publications.

“El McMeen is one of the most accomplished solo guitar performers in the country. His renderings, almost spiritual in nature, are touching and sweet, ethereal and magical, all at the simplest bending of a note or picking of a chord. His arrangements are friendly and warm as the chiming of a grandfather clock as he wields his masterful touch over the wood and steel of his instrument. With mastery second to none, El McMeen is a true treasure and an artist to be reckoned with.” -Metronome Magazine

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Justin King

"Though perhaps best-known in the acoustic guitar world for his tapping and percussive skills as showcased on his popular 2001 album Le Bleu (which he recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in England), Oregon-born Justin King has enjoyed a varied career in and outside of music. Growing up he was a fan of Nirvana and other Northwest groups and took up both drums and guitar. In his late teens he moved into fingerstyle acoustic music, inspired by Will Ackerman and other Windham Hill guitarists—especially Michael Hedges, the most influential of all the percussive “tappers.” He toured as a solo opening act for the likes of James Taylor, B.B. King, and Al Green, but then formed a band that signed to Epic Records called Justin King and the Apologies, which mixed melodic electric rock with some of his acoustic guitar flights.

When that band had run its course, King immersed himself in another one of his passions—photography. He managed to get embedded as a photographer documenting the Oregon National Guard on two tours in Iraq (in 2008 and 2009), then went to Haiti in 2010 to capture that country’s struggles after its devastating earthquake that year. In between all that he found the time to cut an album called Humilitas Occidit Superbiam, on which he played guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, and even cello. He built his Vinegar Hill Sound recording studio in Brooklyn, and it was in that city that he formed his current rock group, King Radio, who released their excellent self-titled debut (recorded by Jim Scott) in the fall of 2015. In that eclectic band, which blends elements of folk, soul, country, rock, gospel, and more, King plays electric and acoustic guitars and keyboards."

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Eric Skye

Often billed as an acoustic jazz guitarist, Eric Skye actually occupies an unique niche between Americana, jazz, and blues. It's an original style, threaded together with a healthy respect for the groove, and a love of unadulterated acoustic tone. Eric Skye has performed live on morning television for NBC and FOX, has been featured on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and performed on many live radio broadcasts all over the United States. Skye has been featured in magazines such as Guitar Player, Fretboard Journal, Premier Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar World, Jazziz, Jazz Improv, 20th Century Guitar, Acoustic (UK), Akustik Gitarree (Germany), The Guitar Note, The Guitar Bench, and was on the cover of Acoustic Guitar in China. Eric has played all over the United States, at such notable venues as Yoshi's in San Francisco, Club Passim in Boston, The Freight And Salvage in Berkeley, the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz, the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland Oregon. Plus he is a regular at the NAMM shows in both Los Angeles and Nashville. Skye has played at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival, and the Fretboard Journal Summit. In 2011 Eric was bestowed the rare honor of having the renowned Santa Cruz Guitar Company release a signature model guitar, the 00-Skye.

Skye’s latest album is Ballads and Blues, a collection solo jazz/blues guitar. Skye’s previous release was 2015's June Apple, a collection of early American fiddle tunes arranged for mandolin and guitar. The album features Eric, in his alter ego mode as an oldtime/bluegrass flatpicking guitarist, along with the masterful mandolin work of Tim Connell. Also released in 2015 was the acoustic guitar duo album, Artifact, with Los Angeles based Mark Goldenberg, who was a longtime guitarist for Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and many more. This album was featured in a long insightful piece in Premier Guitar magazine. It’s a collection of eight original, highly improvisational genre-bending guitar pieces recorded all in one take. Skye's 2012 solo guitar release, A Different Kind Of Blue -a solo acoustic guitar re-imagining of the iconic Miles Davis record Kind Of Blue- was acknowledged by the Miles Davis estate and named in Acoustic Guitar magazine's top ten albums of 2012.

"A guitar master" -The Oregonian
“A perfect synthesis of eclectic influences” -Acoustic Guitar
"A fabulous 'seminar' on quietly building drama" -Guitar Player
"Taste, tone, and technique" -JAZZIZ
“Stunning improvisational performances” -Acoustic Guitar

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