Guitar wizard Don Ross, noted for his use of extended technique performs at the West End Cultural Centre on Saturday February 15th, 2014. Don is the only person to twice win the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship (1988 and 1996).
Don Ross is currently touring music from his 2012 CandyRat Records release Upright and Locked Position. In addition, Don has recently released an album with the young Alberta-born guitarist Calum Graham titled 12:34.
Born into a musically rich home (Don’s dad is an operatically-trained singer), Don Ross began playing publicly in his hometown of Montreal at the age of 15. Inspired by the music of legendary Canadian singer/guitarist Bruce Cockburn, Don wrote his first strong instrumental tunes for solo guitar around this time.
Don eventually studied Music at Toronto’s York University. After graduation in 1988, Don entered and won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. This earned him a fair amount of media attention back home in Canada, and within days he was scouted to record for Toronto-based independent record label Duke Street Records. After numerous releases for Duke Street, Don then signed with Columbia/Sony and recorded three more CDs for that label: This Dragon Won’t Sleep in 1995, Wintertide in 1996 and Loaded. Leather. Moonroof. in 1997. In the meantime, Don won the Fingerstyle competition in the USA for a second time in 1996. To this day, he is still the only player to have won the competition twice!
In 2010-2011 Don was hired as a Dalhousie University professor teaching history of guitar and techniques, while still travelling extensively for music. He did not renew his contract for the following year due to high demand for concert appearances around the world. A multi-instrumentalist, in addition to acoustic guitar Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums.
“Ross...has been on the forefront of the contemporary fingerstyle guitar movement, and it is no exaggeration that his groove-oriented style has influenced a generation of fingerstyle players...”
Guitar Player magazine
February 15th marks opener Daniel Champagne’s second appearance on our stage, following a heartfelt standing ovation from the audience after his debut performance to a packed house opening for The Brothers Landreth. Daniel Champagne has covered a lot of ground for an artist so young. Hence, his second album The Gypsy Moon (Volume 1) is what the 23-year-old Australian singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso calls “a collection of road songs” – one which plays out to the listener like a sonic tour diary.
“Well, I’ve been on the road for nearly five years now, that’s a lot of people and places, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of memories; which are all these songs are really made from. This album is just a whole stack of my memories,” says Champagne.
Don Ross website | musicCBC
Daniel Champagne website