Art of Guitar Benefit

Guitar Stars Eric Skye and Brett Hallam Holland Perform to Benefit Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival Sunday, June 9 at 7:00 pm at The Rio Theatre SANTA CRUZ, CA — Monday, May 13, 2013 — Two virtuoso guitarists are appearing in concert on Sunday, June 9 at 7:00 pm at The Rio Theatre to benefit the Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival. Concert tickets are $20 and are available in advance at or locally at Tomboy, 1207 Soquel Ave., next to The Rio. The Rio Theatre is located at 1205 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz and can be reached phone at (831) 423-8209 and online at The county-wide festival, planned for February 1 through March 15, 2014, will allow the details of fine guitars built in Santa Cruz to be viewed in close proximity, under glass in a gallery setting. A number of musical and lutherie-related events are also planned. “Many people are aware that Santa Cruz is home to some of the most admired guitar builders in the world,” said Jayme Kelly Curtis, producer of the festival. “What might startle people, as it did me, is to learn just how many renowned guitar makers live and work in Santa Cruz. I’ve identified 20 luthiers (instrument makers) who have achieved recognition in the art of high-end guitar building here in Santa Cruz. And unless you’re a guitar player or collector, opportunities to appreciate the diversity and beauty of these instruments is rare. The exquisite, intimate details are not apparent to audiences that see guitars being played on a stage. Displaying them in a gallery will give everyone the freedom to examine the details closely, without fear of damaging the instruments.” Pacific Northwest acoustic guitarist Eric Skye plays an eclectic and original style with a wide range of influences from bluegrass, to blues, vintage funk, jazz and classical, threaded together with a healthy respect for the groove. Skye has been featured in magazines such as Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Jazziz, Jazz Improv, 20th Century Guitar, among many others. Skye’s most recent CD, A Different Kind Of Blue, is a solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar re-imagining of the Miles Davis’s landmark 1959 recording Kind Of Blue. Acoustic Guitar Magazine named A Different Kind Of Blue one of its top ten acoustic albums of the year. Skye uses a signature model guitar made by the Santa Cruz Guitar Company, one of 20 local instrument builders the Festival plans to exhibit. Skye has a website at Brett Hallam Holland, a New Zealand composer, guitarist and singer/songwriter, incorporates two hand tapping, slapping, walking bass lines, improvisation, and open tunings into his songs and arrangements that are big on groove and strong on melody. Hallam Holland relocated to Nashville in 2011, and is now based in California. He plays guitars built by Australia’s Maton Guitar Company. In honor of the Art of Guitar Exhibit he will also demontrate the work of a selected local builder. Hallam Holland’s web site is Special surprise guests from Santa Cruz’s homegrown crop of guitar stars will also grace the stage. In addition to an entertaining evening of music, the Rio Theatre lobby will feature a number of attractions designed to highlight the Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival. “A huge milestone for the Guitar Exhibit was the creation of the first ‘vitrine,’ a special kind of display case that allows guitars to be viewed from all angles,” said Curtis. “We’ll have one set up in the lobby of The Rio on June 9, featuring an exquisite electric guitar with an Art Deco theme built by Gail Rich Award Winner Rick McKee. Additionally, patrons are invited to bring their used guitar strings for ‘The Second String Project.’ Second String collects complete sets of used guitar strings in their original packages and distributes them to musicians in countries where acquiring musical instruments and strings is difficult, if not impossible. There will also be an information table with details about the festival.” Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival is a sponsored project of The William James Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Information about the William James Association is at Complete details of the Festival, including a list of participating local builders,can be found at