Photo by Kayla Michaud |CIGAR| Students with and without guitar skills are welcome to come. 

The University of Rhode Island, along with the Pump House Music Works, will be hosting this year’s Guitar Festival consisting of classes, discussions and performances from international artists. A wide range of genres will be featured at the festival, including classical, gypsy jazz, fusion, african and acoustic.

The Festival will begin on Friday, April 6 and will occur throughout the rest of the weekend, concluding on Sunday, April 8. On Friday and Saturday, the festival will be taking place at Pump House Music Works in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. On Sunday, the festival will be hosted in the Fine Arts Center on campus at URI.

According to Adam Levin, the artistic director for the festival, the weekend provides “a platform to unite guitarists from around the world together, in a single place to give concerts and master classes and also offering an educational opportunity to inspiring young guitarist and music lovers.”

On Friday, registration will begin at 6 p.m. and include a welcome address followed by a reception until 7:30 p.m. when Jacob Reuven, the Israeli Mandolinist, and Levin, the Classic Guitarist, will take the stage. At 9:30 p.m. after their performances, Reuven and Levin will be available for a meet and greet and to sign CDs.

On Saturday, events will begin at 9 a.m. with a welcome address. Between 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. there will be three master classes taught by Fareed Haque, Goran Ivanovich and Derek Gripper. Gripper will then give a lecture about the Montessori Guitar Method while lunch is going on from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m..

Levin, Reuven and Hague will all be conducting ensemble coachings from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.. At 4:00 p.m. there will be performances by Virtuosos of New England: Robert Bekkers and Frank Wallace with Nancy Knowles. Afterwards the artists will be available for a meet and greet.

There will be a break for dinner before the night ends with performances by Boston Guitar Orchestra, Peter Janson and Gripper at 7:00 until 9:30 p.m. Artists will be available for a meet and greet and CD signing afterwards as well.

On Sunday events will start up again at 9:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Atrium. Janson, Wallace and Levin will be teaching master classes from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.. Bekkers will be teaching a technique workshop from 11:30 to 12:30 a.m..

During the lunch hour all the artists will be giving a lecture on surviving the arts. Followed by a lecture about improv, fusion and cultivating a personal voice given by Ivanovic and Hague until 2:30 p.m.. Wallace, Bekkers and Janson will all be coaching ensembles from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Following this, there will be an hour long open mic session for anyone who wants to perform until 5:30 p.m.

There then will be a two hour dinner break followed by performances from RIMEA All-State Guitar Ensembles and Goran Ivanovic-Fareed Haque Duo. The performances will conclude at 9:30 p.m. and the festival will finish off with a meet and greet and CD signing by these artists.

This festival will be “An eye opening experience,” said Levin. “It will show anyone who will come…that the guitar is such a rich instrument that’s attached to different cultures. It’s truly a universal instrument.”

No guitar experience is needed to participate in the festival. Passes for the festival can be purchased for all three days or single days. The same goes for tickets to the concerts. Passes and tickets can be purchased at the door and online at

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Kayla Michaud
I’m doing this because I honestly think that by working for The Good Five Cent Cigar you receive a stronger more well rounded journalism education at URI. I’m here to put all my effort into learning more about the journalism field and acquiring the skills needed to be a journalist. While being an editor is a challenge, it’s a challenge I accept because while I’m constantly learning new ways to help reporters it’s also a position that helps myself identify what I can personally improve on. The position also helps me gain team building skills from working on a production team.