crossroads music

International Guitar Night to come to Philadelphia’s Crossroads Music

On Sunday, March 6 at 7:30 pm, International Guitar Night returns to Crossroads Music in West Philadelphia. This year, the lineup features gypsy-jazz and flamenco from Lulo Reinhardt, the British experimental player Mike Dawes, the versatile German guitarist Andre Krengel, and California’s Brian Gore, IGN’s founder. The program will take place at at 801 South 48th Street, in Philadelphia and the artists will also offer a master class at 3:30. Tickets ($10-30), audio samples, and more information are available online at

International Guitar Night, North America’s premier mobile guitar festival, has featured the best performing guitar composers from around the world since 1995. Each tour, IGN founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries to join him for special evenings of solos, duets and quartets that highlight the virtuosity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar. Since the beginning, audiences have cherished the friendly informal ambiance of the performances. Participants have relished the chance IGN affords to express reverence for one another, and to collaborate rather than compete with one another.

Lulo Reinhardt, the gifted nephew of gypsy-jazz legend Django Reinhardt, began studying guitar with his father Bawo, also a famous musician, at the age of five. At twelve, he played in the Mike Reinhardt Sextet and later co-founded a group called “Django Reinhardt and the Heartbreakers” in tribute to his uncle. In 1991, he founded “I Gitanos” with his father and his cousin Dege and has also played with Toto and Marta Glenn and played at the music festival “Rock gegen Hass”(Rock against Hate) and at a concert in aid of the north African Sahouri in the city of Tinduf, Algeria. While rooted in his family’s traditions, his work as a composer and guitarist has also taken him to southern Spain in search of flamenco roots and to South America, exploring various musical styles of Latin Jazz.

For Andre Krengel, who was born in a small village outside Bonn, Germany, playing guitar is a journey; and music is a language that connects us to people without words. A versatile and virtuosic guitar player with a unique style, he began as a classial musician, but soon became inspired by other artists as well, especially the jazzy blues-rock of Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits. Later, he discovered a passion for acoustic guitar and jazz music, which he studied at the conservatory of Arnhem in the Netherlands. Subsequent journeys took him to France and Spain, where he worked with gypsy-jazz and flamenco musicians, and to Miami, where he was inspired and influenced by the local Latin and Cuban music scene. Since returning to Germany, he has been a frequent collaborator with Lulo Reinhardt and has worked on a variety of projects in many genres.

Mike Dawes is hailed as one of the world’s finest young fingerstyle guitarists and performers. His dazzling yet subtle playing, layered multi-part compositions, and technical virtuosity – as well as his youthful energy, charisma and humor – have brought him acclaim as both a soloist and band member. He has recorded with and accompanied multiple Grammy-wining artists, appeared on film soundtracks and adverts, and achieved viral YouTube hits with views in the millions. Mike currently tours as Justin Hayward’s lead guitar player and has made studio recordings with artists as diverse as Gotye and Newton Faulkner.

San Francisco “guitar poet” and IGN organizer Brian Gore is gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting and influential performers of “the next generation” in finger style guitar. A musical romantic, his lyrical, understated compositions draw inspiration from myth and modern literature, integrating classical and percussive techniques that display what the Los Angeles Times calls “a characterful bounce and spaciousness all his own.”


Senegal’s Frères Guissé to perform at Crossroads Music in Philadelphia on April 6

On Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm, Crossroads Music presents the Frères Guissé, three brothers from northern Senegal known for their close hamony singing, melodic acoustic guitars and gentle percussion. The brothers will present a 7:30 concert and free 6:00 children’s program at 801 South 48th Street, Philadelphia. Tickets ($10-30), audio samples, and more information are available online at Recorded information is also available at 215-729-1028.

Djiby, Cheik and Aliou Guissé originate from Fouta Tooro, a northern region of Senegal that is also the birthplace of the singer and guitarist Baaba Maal. Based on different rhythms of the Toucouleur people (such as the Yela, whose weak first and stressed third beat said to be the ultimate ancestor of reggae) the Guissé brothers music is universal, for all ages and races.

This music is beautiful, sensitive, and well rooted in the traditions of West Africa. Djiby’s and Cheikh’s poetic lyrics, close harmony singing, and melodic acoustic guitars are joined by Aliou’s gentle percussion and harmonica notes drifting in the wind. This trio of musical brothers comes from the Fouta region of northern Senegal. They sing in several Senegalese languages, especially Pular (Peulh), their mother tongue, which is spoken in numerous countries in the Sahel region of West Africa.

The three brothers began performing in the early 1980s, when they were still at school and Djiby joined the group Jiw Bagne (Seed of Refusal) as a singer. This group, consisting mostly of high school students, stood out for its highly-committed lyrics against the existing power structure.

Two years later, these students became the group Jamm (Peace). Cheikh joined as a back-up singer and Aliou a percussionist. They began playing in clubs, deepened their musical learning, experimented with various styles, and became part of several other groups. In 1991, Diby and Cheikh decided to launch their own group, which Alioune joined two years later and by the late 90s they had become one of Dakar’s most popular groups. They began touring and recording internationally in the early 2000s and have now performed in Africa, Europe, and America.