Later on this month, URI is set to host a weekend full of concerts, lectures and more at the sixth annual international guitar festival. PHOTO CREDIT: uriguitarfestival.com
The University of Rhode Island’s sixth annual international guitar festival is set to be held from Oct. 14-17 with a hybrid format, making it accessible to all. This festival brings together superstar artists, music lovers and guitar fans alike for an action-packed weekend, featuring concerts, classes, lectures and more.
This year, for the first time, guests of the festival will have the choice to attend in person or online.
“All programming will be 100 percent hybrid,” said Adam Levin, festival director and URI classical guitar teacher. “You can enjoy concerts, master classes and lectures from the comfort of your home or you can join the festival in person. I’m personally very excited about being able to offer that again.”
This festival will include performances from a powerhouse lineup of artists, such as Duo Mantar, Maharajah Flamenco Trio, Mike Minelli, Derek Gripper and Kaki King, just to name a few. Along with the concerts, the festival will also be filled with various master classes and lectures with the artists.
“I think I’m most excited about being in cohort with such an incredible group of guitarists, all with different techniques and backgrounds,” King said. “I’ve actually toured with Derek Gripper and he’s a great friend of mine, but the whole line up is extraordinary, so what a treat for everyone.”
This will be Maharajah Flamenco Trio’s second time participating in the event.
“It’s a great festival that my friend Adam Levin runs really well, and it’s always been a lot of fun,” said trio member Silviu Ciulei.
In the past, the festival has been a big hit with just about 850 joining the first fully-online edition of the festival last year. This year, Levin expects there to be somewhere between 600 and 800 people attending. Levin said that at this event, attendees are hearing and learning about the guitar in so many different ways and in so many different forms, which makes it a really compelling festival.
“It’s not only you hearing amazing classical guitar, you’re hearing great jazz, flamenco. You’re hearing Brazilian music. You’re hearing acoustic fingerstyle guitar,” Levin said. “You really hear the guitar in all its iterations and forms.”
This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend and participate in what Levin believes is an “unending list of stardom” scheduled.
On the last day of the festival, the results of this year’s Rising Star Competition will also be announced. This competition requires young individuals within the two divisions –– young artist, open to classical guitarists age 18 and older, and high school, which is limited to ages 12 to 18 –– to submit a live performance video with them performing two contrasting works. The winner will perform at next year’s festival.
The festival will be taking place at various locations in and around campus including Pump House Music Works in Wakefield, the Fine Arts Center and University Club on campus and St. Augustine’s Church. There are multiple ticket options available depending on what events you wish to attend, including active participation tickets, a four-day auditor pass, day passes and concert passes. All ticket options have virtual and in-person prices. All prices and a schedule of events can be found at uriguitarfestival.org.