Andrew York - GRAMMY-winning Composer and Guitarist
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International Guitar Night 2015

Brian Gore, Diego Figueiredo, Maneli Jamal and Andrew York

24 cities in the U.S. and Canada, 25 concerts. International Guitar Night is run by my old friend Brian Gore, and he invited me on the 2015 Winter Tour, my fourth inclusion in IGN. Here we are on the third concert of the tour in Victoria B.C., after playing to a packed house.

We started on the West coast of Canada in January - this was a tour revolving around snowstorms. A view from the hotel in Vancouver at the start of the tour shows clear weather, the snow would wait for us in the east.

Brian Gore and I backstage - I've known Brian for twenty years and we have shared many gigs together, and many puns, good and bad. Brian is a very lyrical composer and musician, and has grown IGN from modest beginnings to a huge current success every year.

A typical afternoon on tour, waiting for stage setup, talking to sound engineers and lighting people, and doing our soundcheck. Next to Brian is Maneli Jamal, a fine young Persian steel string player and composer, and artist, living currenty in Toronto.

Coffee in Montreal - We worked our way across Canada to the east, and here is a coffee artist in Montreal who made me a cafe au lait (olÈ!) that looked like a cross between Bach and Beethoven. Not a bad combo. Not a bad coffee either.

For the first half of each concert we did four short solo sets so we could each do our thing. Then for the second half we played duets and quartets. This group had really great chemistry and charisma, and the photos show how much fun we had playing together.

We would close the concerts with "Storm Front", and edgy quartet composition of mine.

Diego Figueiredo is a wonderfully talented Brazilian guitarist. He had the audience in the palm of his hand every night, and it was a joy to improvise together with Diego. Maneli Jamal is an upcoming star and is writing some powerful music with a personal narrative that is compelling and meaningful.

Diego and I playing the classic "Take Five". A fun video with some wild playing. The camera's autofocus was losing its mind while filming, but still I'm glad to have a memory of the moments.

Driving in the van . . . packing became a participatory puzzle as we would interlock guitars and suitcases with absolutely no room left over. The long drives between cities would spark a punfest in the car, and everybody chimed in. Brian and I were indefatigable and would keep spinning puns mile after mile while Maneli and Diego slept, or pretended to. Photo on the right is a selfie from inside the van, hopefully not while driving.

Travel also included plane flights. Here is an early morning airport moment, a very typical day for a touring musician. Maneli and Diego got detained flying into the U.S. from Canada, but eventually made it through so we could continue the tour. We were in the northeast and repeated snowstorms had hammered the cities there, especially Boston, and it was DEEP snow. In fact, two or three times we drove to the next city with a snowstorm on our heels . . . but we were lucky and missed no concerts due to weather. Kind of a miracle, really.

Back stage in the green room, hanging out and jamming a bit. To the right, it wasn't always easy to get paid, so I decided to take a crack at it . . .

I love the marquee at the WYO theater in Wyoming, showing Glen Campbell coming in the next day. And sometime touring can turn you into a zombie.

My wife and manager Annie joined me halfway through the tour, and we squeezed her into the van with us and had a blast. We found the coolest bar in San Diego CA called Zymology 21, where they make all the drinks from their own fruit infusions and serve them in beakers of dry ice. There were mathematical equations all over the walls, which I took to be a good sine.

We played two nights at the Wolf Trap Barnes in Virginia, and my parents came to see us, which was wonderful. Here is my Mom with Brian and my Dad with Maneli. My parents taught me everything about music, my mother sings beautifully and my father is a guitar player.

Maneli and I liked to jam near office machines, I'm not sure why. And after one concert I had to check out the one-celled Hammond organism.

In Beloeil Canada, I was shocked to learn that the hotel had a wine cellar that was stocked with some of the most highly allocated and expensive wines in the world. The cellar master let us have a peek, and here I am holding a bottle of one of the best burgundies on the planet, a Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru from Cote de Nuits, Bourgogne. This bottle could cost up to $4000.00

As the tour finished up, with more than two dozen concerts behind us, we felt like a band.

Six weeks after the start of the tour, we give our last concert. Annie took this fine photo from backstage. A tour to remember, and I will miss these guys.


Tour with Alex De Grassi

Alex De Grassi is a friend and fine musician, and we have done several collaborations together. We did a four concert tour in 2015 with one date in California and three in Oregon.

First the drive up to northern California to rehearse for the tour at Alex's studio. Here we are practicing some new material.

The tour was part of the Gaia Project, sponsored by Ben DeBaldo. In keeping with the project name, Alex and I visitied the Redwoods to take a break from practicing, and walk among the sequoias.

Bill Coulter at UC Santa Cruz brought us over to play a warm-up concert, before the dates in Portland, Ashland, and Bend Oregon.

Alex would occasionally wig out backstage, which I enjoyed. During the drive on the way to Oregon, we went by Mt. Shasta, 14,179 feet high. This ancient volcano is so big it is spooky, and even in April the entire top half is still covered with snow. It dominates the entire valley like a behemoth, and is a reminder of geological volatility of the northwest.

Before showtime, doing a sound check and bit of prac in one of the beautiful old theaters.

Employing shades in the ferocious Oregon sun. Not really.

Ashland is a charming city, and the hotel was marvelous and elegant. The view from the hotel room shows the idyllic landscape around the town.

As always, great fun and great music when palying together with Alex. Looking forward to the next tour . . .


New York City, 92nd St. Y

New York City, always an exciting place to visit. The concert series was put on by my old friend Ben Verdery, and was titled "American Guitarist-Composers". Ben invited me, David Leisner, Fred Hand, and Gyan Riley to play a concert at the 92nd St. Y, one of the major venues in NYC. I played there several times with LAGQ, back in the day.

Here was the flyer photo for the concert, left to right, Fred Hand, me, Gyan Riley and David Leisner.

The four of us backstage with Ben, the brainmaster of the series.

I took this photo from the air three years earlier, as I flew into LaGuardia airport. It shows ground zero as it was then. It also shows the magnificence of the Manhattan skyline.

Before the show we gave a talk onstage and took questions from the audience, with Ben moderating. We spoke mainly about composing for the guitar. Here's a photo of the venue before the gig.

An honor and pleasure to play with these fine musicians, and compatriots in the world of composing and guitar.