Guitar maestros will be the theme of the day at the Jones House, as Italian acoustic guitarist and singer Beppe Gambetta and gypsy jazz aficionados Swing Guitars continue the 2019 Summer Concerts at the Jones House series on Friday, June 14, starting at 5 p.m.
Gambetta, a native of Genoa, is a renowned guitarist, composer, teacher, author, and researcher of traditional music, and he was heavily influenced by the playing of Watauga County’s Doc Watson.
“Beppe reached out to us because he had heard about the Doc Watson Day Celebration,” says concert organizer, Mark Freed. “I was already a fan and thrilled to hear from him, but his schedule didn’t allow him to come for our Doc Day festivities.”
Gambetta is an in-demand guitar instructor, and he will be working at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp in Maryville, TN.
“We were so happy he was able to schedule a stop in Boone on his way to teaching at the Kaufman camp,” Freed says.
Though Gambetta lives in Genoa and tours around the world, he makes frequent tours to America and has been a regular performer at MerleFest, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, and the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. His music is heavily influenced by a combination of American roots music and European traditions that can make his style hard to pin down.
His website states, “With America in his heart and his roots in the sun and the olive trees of the Mediterranean Sea, he naturally and seamlessly bridges the shores of the two continents, creating in spite of the interposed ocean a musical fusion where American root music and Ligurian tradition, emigration songs and folk ballads, steel string guitars and vintage harp guitars not only co-exist but interact, weaving a deep dialog unaware of any rigid classification.”
Over his career, Gambetta became friends with Doc Watson and had opportunities to perform with him. He has also shared stages with David Grisman, Gene Parsons, Norman Blake, Tony Trischka, Rushad Eggleston, and many more. He has more than a dozen albums of original and traditional songs, tunes, and compositions, and he has written and published several instructional books, recordings, and videos. This will be his first performance at the Jones House.
Swing Guitars will take the stage following Gambetta, featuring the jazz-guitar styling created and popularized by Django Reinhardt in the 1930s and 40s. The band features several busy local and regional musicians, who collaborate as Swing Guitars for a limited number of gigs to share their love for “Django music.” Guitar players in the group include Appalachian State University jazz faculty member, Andy Page, guitar enthusiast James Schaller, and bass player, Ben McPheron. Song writer and founding member of the Lazybirds, Jay Brown, often performs with the group, and special guests have been known to make appearances.
“Swing Guitars is an annual favorite amongst a number of our regular concert-goers,” Freed says. “And we are always thankful they carve out a spot in their schedules to join us on the Jones House porch.”
The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free and open to the public. Concerts are held every Friday in June, July, and August, starting at 5 p.m., and they are held rain or shine. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy the music from the Jones House lawn. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Jones House property, if patrons are of legal age and bring their own beverages. No open containers are allowed beyond the Jones House property. Friendly pets are permitted on leash.
The 2019 Summer Concerts at the Jones House sponsors include the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, Burton Moomaw Acupuncture, MPrints, Melanie’s, Stick Boy Bread Co, and Rosemary Horowitz/Jerry Hyman.