Founded in 1995 by Brian Gore, the touring International Guitar Night (IGN) remains the world’s premier touring guitar festival. Despite over 20 years of touring, IGN has remained fresh with new guitar luminaries from around the world added each year. But this year’s cast of performers may be one of the most diverse and exciting yet.
“It's really special because it's quite a unique project and these guitarists are very different in style,” explained UAA’s own, Bosnian-born guitarist Armin Abdihodzic. “Each one of them plays a different instrument and uses different techniques to create different repertoire. So, when you put all that together you can create a mash-up of different styles and inspire something new that we haven't heard before.”
Headliner Luca Stricagnoli is slated to host this year’s tour. The 28-year-old Italian is known as a global phenomenon after his 2017 Gorillaz cover of ‘Feel Good Inc.’ went viral. In the cover video, Stricagnoli strums while simultaneously creating percussive beats on a massive three-headed guitar which he had custom-made by Serracini Guitars. But a three-headed guitar was only a stepping stone for Stricagnoli. In his shows, he is known to play up to five guitars with modified capos in a singular piece.
Although seeing Stricagnoli perform live is worth the price of admission, IGN has the added bonus of performances by three additional renowned guitarists—Antoine Boyer, Samuel ‘Samuelito’ Rouesnel and Cenk Erdogan.
Boyer, who was named the 2012 “Guitarist of the Year” by Guitarist Magazine, is fabled as drinking from the most authentic sources of gypsy jazz to craft his sound. A disciple of Mandino Reinhardt and Francis Moerman, Boyer has shared the stage with renowned musicians Philip Catherine and Angelo Debarre.
Boyer’s frequent duet partner and fellow European Guitar Award winner, Samuelito, comes from the flamenco tradition which he discovered at the young age of 7. By 16, Samuelito was playing concerts on France’s biggest stages. Despite his staggering successes, Samuelito remains an active pedagogue offering master classes like the one scheduled for UAA’s guitar students later this week.
Like Samuelito, Erdogan is also dedicated to sharing his talents with students and is considered a leading fretless guitar educator. As a performer, Erdogan is known for his wide range of musical styles including Turkish pop, classical and improvisation. In just the last three years, Erdogan has conducted orchestra music for the queen of Turkish pop, Sezen Aksu, performed alongside a 35-piece orchestra and collaborated with Swedish drummer Mehmet Ikiz.
“I honestly don’t know who I am more excited to see perform because each guitarist is so different. I think I am really looking forward to seeing the collaborations when they perform as a quartet,” said an enthusiastic Abdihodzic.