Touring concert brings guitar music to the world – and Kirkland

Ask Brian Gore how he became the leader of a touring guitar festival, and he’ll tell you what sounds like the setup for a joke.

  • Monday, February 2, 2009 11:51pm
  • Life
Argentinean guitarist Cecilia Zabala will perform as part of the lineup for the touring concert at KPC on Feb. 6. COURTESY PHOTO

Argentinean guitarist Cecilia Zabala will perform as part of the lineup for the touring concert at KPC on Feb. 6. COURTESY PHOTO

Finger-style guitarist Brian Gore brings acoustic line-up to Kirkland Performance Center Feb. 6

Ask Brian Gore how he became the leader of a touring guitar festival, and he’ll tell you what sounds like the setup for a joke.

“I stumbled into a bar in North Beach,” he said during a recent phone interview.

Actually, he corrected himself, it was a little Spanish eatery called La Bodega in San Francisco. That was where Gore met the fellow guitarist with whom he produced his first local guitar concert series.

After that series, Gore said, “I still had the (performing) bug.” He started playing guitar concerts at a little underground venue in Berkeley, drawing sizable crowds. The success gave him hope that he could turn his passion for acoustic guitar music into a bigger, better show.

“I thought, ‘What would it be like if we tried to get it into a theater?’” he said. Thus International Guitar Night was born.

The show

Billed as a “mobile guitar festival,” International Guitar Night is a touring concert featuring exceptional finger-style guitarists from a wide range of genres, all of whom compose their own original works.

The show comes to Kirkland with a performance 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at Kirkland Performance Center.

“The emphasis of the show is on acoustic guitar in all its variants,” Gore said. “We try to have players who are just really, really good musicians.”

The artists

The show, which debuted in 1995, changes its lineup of musicians for each new tour.

The current tour features four artists: Pierre Bensusan, Benjamin Verdery, Cecilia Zabala and Gore himself.

World music guitarist Bensusan has toured with Gore twice before, and he was one of the people to suggest Verdery, a classical guitar performer/composer with a flair for the unusual (he once performed a composition with a basketball, Gore noted). In the case of Argentinean guitarist Zabala, Gore didn’t know her either by reputation, or through word-of-mouth. Gore found her through MySpace.

“I had been looking for many years to find someone from Argentina,” Gore said. After hearing Zabala’s music on the Internet, he decided she was exactly the musician he sought. “(Zabala) was the first one I asked to be on this tour,” he said.

The music

During each concert, the guitarists perform solo pieces in the first set, followed by collaborative works in the second, showing off both the diversity and harmony that can be achieved with different guitar styles.

“We’ve got some great collaborations,” Gore said. “And there’s a piece that was composed specifically for this tour.”

For Gore, it’s been quite a journey from playing small gigs in San Francisco to touring the United States, Canada, and even Europe (twice) with top guitarists from around the world. The best part of it all, he says, is being able to expose new listeners to the beauty of acoustic guitar music.

“Guitar is a very, very positive thing for people to be exposed to,” he said. “We love being able to come to the towns and bring guitar music to these places.”

Tickets are $15-$32; see www.kpcenter.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle. Courtesy photo
Car review: Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle

By Larry Lark, contributor Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle continues… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Toyota’s venerable Corolla received a bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

By Larry Lark, contributor Volkswagen’s full-size Atlas SUV received a bold refresh… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a call to action when a… Continue reading

Eleanor Knight, 14, and her younger brother, Ivan, then, 9, horse around while waiting to surf a wave on the Class III Wenatchee River. Courtesy photo.
Kayaking kid conquers raging rapids

“Between Two Swims” captures family’s brave adventures on film.

Classic Eats Restaurant owner Tony Hayes distributing gift certificates to Highline School District staff. Hayes is one of many King County residents that have been giving back during this time of need in 2020. Courtesy photo/Tony Hayes.
Local fundraisers take on new meaning during pandemic

With these hardships have come stories of the power of community crowdfunding in our own backyards.