Internationally renowned classical guitarist Claude Bourbon headlined a free concert at the 193 Degrees Coffeehouse last night.
The coffeehouse collaborated with the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies and Strike A Chord to host the show.
“It was a joint effort,” Paul Bueno de Mesquita from the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies said. “We heard Claude perform about a year ago. There are so many students who love guitar music–we just thought we’d bring him to campus.”
This concert is the first event in the “Guitars for Peace” music series by the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. Though admission for the concert was free, donations from the event will go toward the Steven Miles Scholarship for Social Justice.
Bourbon is a classically trained guitarist who was born in France and grew up in Switzerland, but has performed all around the world. He is known for his unique fingerpicking style. His music includes Spanish, Latin and Western folk influences.
“Whatever it is, Claude’s got it,” Bueno de Mesquita said.
It was a full house at 193 Degrees when the concert began at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, with audience members filling most of the coffee house’s tables and couches. The event began with a brief introduction by Bueno de Mesquita.
“You guys are in for one exciting night of fantastic guitar music,” he said.
This was then followed by student performances from Strike A Chord. The on-campus music group is a non-profit organization that often does charity events. They performed several covers during their opening for Bourbon, including Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” and The Wallflowers’ “One Headlight.”
After the students’ performances, there was a brief intermission while Bourbon prepared for his performance. During this time, audience members had the opportunity to purchase Bourbon’s CDs, which were on sale at the door. He has released several albums in the past, including “A Drifter’s Life,” “Over the Mountains,” “We’ll Meet Again” and “Stop Breaking Down.”
Bourbon came onstage shortly after 8 p.m., sitting down with his acoustic guitar in front of the illuminated fireplace and two large speakers.
His wide variety of influences was evident in his set of songs. The songs were mostly instrumental, with minimal vocal accompaniment.
According to Bourbon, he has been performing for almost 30 years, and writes all of his own songs. This concert was his first time performing at URI.