The guitarist resumes his annual 7-string concerts

An unusual Davis musical tradition returns to the concert scene in early July, as guitarist and composer Matthew Grasso hosts another of his annual concerts featuring several performers playing music for the seven-string guitar (one string higher). than the “standard” instrument).

Grasso began to take a serious interest in the seven-string guitar a few years ago, and he eventually asked Northern California luthier Greg Byers to build him a custom instrument. And Grasso started networking with other guitarists who love a seven-string instrument.

In 2007, while chatting with Watermelon Music owner Jeff Simmons, Grasso joked about organizing a concert focusing on 7-string guitars to be held on July 7 (i.e. 7/7) from 7:07 p.m., with a donation suggestion. $7 at the door. But soon, Grasso realized that his “joke” was actually a project he wanted to pursue. And when Grasso’s unusual concert took place, the performance drew a packed audience, much to Grasso’s delight.

Guitarist and composer Matthew Grasso will bring back his annual concert with the seven-string guitar on July 7. Courtesy picture

Encouraged by the success of what he originally considered a one-time project, Grasso decided to hold a concert on July 7 (focusing on 7-string guitars) on an annual basis. And the annual concert has become a distinctive musical tradition from mid-summer in Davis…that is, until 2020, when the COVID pandemic (which canceled all local concerts for many months) forced Grasso to suspend his annual July 7 concert.

In 2021, Grasso relaunched his annual seven-string guitar concert, this time as a small-scale outdoor “alley concert” on July 7. Seven.”

This year’s concert will take place on Thursday, July 7, again starting at 7:07 p.m. The venue will be the Davis Odd Fellows Hall at 415 Second Street, and Grasso will be joined by renowned seven-string guitarist Adrian Bellue (who has aa released several albums and performed in Sacramento, Davis and in the Canadian city of Repentigny, in the province of Quebec during the month of July). In addition to Grasso and Bellue, other performers will include a violin/guitar duo and outfit known as the Multi-String Guitar Ensemble (featuring a variety of instruments with seven or more strings. Suggested donation is $14 (7×2) or $21 (7×3). matthewgrasso.com.

In an essay (published on his website) that describes how he converted to the seven-string guitar, Grasso writes, “Although the seven-string guitar presented me with a bigger mountain to climb mentally and physically, the additional possibilities it offers made the effort worthwhile. I had to abandon my previous six-string guitar repertoire. This led me to create new transcriptions of works such as Ravel’s Suite de la Mère l’Oie, Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun” and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. . I have also composed a handful of new works for the seven-string guitar, including a concerto. The possibilities of composition and arrangement offered by this instrument are really exciting.

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Grasso returns with a 7-string guitar on July 7

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