by Lauren Somers
Organized by Philadelphia’s “first lady of guitar,” Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit―an exciting evening of diverse musical performances by guitar virtuosos and multi-talented supporting artists―comes to Montgomery County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Tickets cost $30 for general admission and $15 for children under age 12. Visit mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for tickets and information.
“This is the fifth year for the Summit, and I am proud to say it is thriving and moving in a positive direction,” says Sudler, a jazz guitarist, composer, singer, poet, band leader, producer and teacher who founded the event in 2009. “The direction I envisioned offers guitarists and music lovers a way to find benefit and joy in the wealth of this diverse instrument.”
This year’s event will feature:
Sheryl Bailey’s trio, with Bailey on lead guitar, Ron Oswanski on the Hammond organ and Ian Froman on drums. Named a 2013 “Rising Star” by the Downbeat Critics, she has toured and recorded with bass virtuoso Richard Bona, David Krakauer’s Ancestral Groove, pop diva Irene Cara and many others. An associate professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music, she has taught at The Collective School of Music in New York City and several prominent guitar and jazz workshops and helped develop Guitar Sherpa, an interactive virtual jazz academy.
Sherry Butler (sherrywilsonbutler.com), a North Philadelphia-bred jazz singer and songwriter who performed internationally before starting college. She has provided backing vocals for such musical legends as Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle and gives back to the community by teaching voice lessons through the nonprofit organization Musicopia and at the Philadelphia Clef Club and Perkins Performance Arts Center in Morristown, N.J.
Tosin Abasi, a self-taught eight-string guitar virtuoso who studied jazz and classical guitar at the Atlanta Institute of Music. Known for exploring such techniques as hybrid picking, sweeping, taping and slapping, Abasi founded the Washington, D.C.-based instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. Following his performance at the Summit he will be available for a brief question-and-answer session.
Hiroya Tsukamoto, a guitarist and songwriter originally from Japan, on acoustic guitar and vocals performing original Japanese songs with Satoshi Takeishi on percussion. Tsukamoto began playing banjo at age 13 and received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music to study in the United States. Since then he has performed with his group locally and internationally and released five albums.
Mulebone, an American blues-based duo featuring roots singer-guitarist Hugh Pool on guitar, bootboard, harmonica, percussion, vox and vocals, and John Ragusa on flute, cornet, fife, pennywhistle, conch shell, vox and Jew’s harp. The two have performed at New York City’s The Bottom Line, seen their album of traditional songs reach the American Roots Top 100 charts, and been featured along with Sweet Honey in the Rock, Maria Muldaur and David Grisman on the award-winning Ellipsis Arts compilation album, “American Lullaby.”
Philadelphia Guitar Summit founder Sudler (monnettesudlermusic.com) has been described by Guitar Player magazine as demonstrating “…a keen sensibility and a lot of perfectly executed guitar techniques.” A graduate of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music, she has performed with such legends as Odean Pope, Hugh Masekela, Doug Carn and the late Grover Washington Jr. and is profiled in Scott Yanow’s recently released book, “The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide.”
Full bios for this year’s participating artists, who will be available for CD sales and autographs during intermission and following their final performance, can be found at philadelphiaguitarsummit.com. Follow “Destination Arts” at Montgomery County Community College on Facebook at facebook.com/DestinationArts for information about performing and fine arts events.