Orchard Guitar Festival
The Orchard Guitar Festival was established in 2015 and is made possible through a generous gift by Thomas (’75) and Martha Orchard (’73). A long-time supporter of arts, culture and “all things with six strings”, Thomas is an amateur guitarist and enthusiast. The Festival celebrates the guitar by featuring world-class guitarists as well as education, performance, and community-building opportunities for BGSU students and audiences throughout the region.
The 2021 Orchard Guitar Festival will be held September 17-18.
“One of the best guitar players I’ve ever heard is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso. This guy is doing something amazingly difficult to do on the guitar with stunning musicality and beauty. What’s interesting about Pasquale is that he doesn’t sound anything like any other guitarist to date. He has somehow translated the pianistic language of his hero Bud Powell onto the guitar in a way that virtually no one has ever addressed in such a complete and effective way. He is easily the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years”
– Pat Metheny
One of the most strikingly unique artists of his generation, Pasquale Grasso has undoubtedly changed the way the world views jazz guitar. Born in Ariano Irpino, Pasquale began playing guitar at a very young age. By the summer of 1997, his parents, who recognized the depth of their young son’s talent, sought out the instruction of jazz innovator, Agostino Di Giorgio. A former pupil of Chuck Wayne, Di Giorgio immediately took interest in Pasquale, whose prodigious aptitude for the instrument flourished as the young guitarist quickly became his closest pupil. From that point, it wouldn’t be long before news of this talent spread.
Barry Harris, the world-renowned jazz educator and bebop piano master, became an extraordinary influence when Pasquale attended his jazz workshop in Switzerland during the summer of 1998. Harris, contemporary of Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley, took Pasquale and his brother, Luigi, under his wing. Over the span of the next 5 years, the Grasso brothers became pillars of Harris’ international workshops and were quickly promoted from mere attendees to instructors for the other students. Pasquale was named Harris’ guitar teaching assistant and for the last ten years he has conducted workshops in Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Holland, and Slovenia.
In 2008, Pasquale pursued classical guitar studies in the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti. During his time at the conservatory, Grasso developed a new approach to the guitar, combining classical tradition with Chuck Wayne’s modern technique.
In 2012, he moved to New York City and quickly made a name for himself in the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Grasso became part of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet, performing in clubs, music festivals, and recording in the studio regularly. Later that year, Pasquale was named a Jazz Ambassador with the US Embassy, going on to tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, among others.
Despite his young age, Grasso has performed with many leading musicians of the international jazz scene such as: Barry Harris, Charles Davis, Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Williams, Ray Drummond, Murray Wall, Steve Grossman, Tardo Hammer, Jimmy Wormworth, John Mosca, Sacha Perry, Ari Roland, Luigi Grasso, Chris Byars, Zaid Nasser, Bucky Pizzarelli, China Moses, Harry Allen Quartet, Grant Stewart, Stepko Gut, Nicolas Dary, Dado Moroni, Agostino di Giorgio, Michel Pastre Big Band, Gianni Basso Big Band, Joe Cohn, Oscar Zenari, and Luca Pisani.
Pasquale’s guitar was expertly crafted for him by long time friend and luthier, Bryant Trenier. Trenier Guitars is located in Suffern, New York.
Pasquale is currently Sony Masterwork artist and he is teaching at SUNY Purchase College of Music.
Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation. Since 2011, Haque has returned to his first loves, jazz guitar and classical guitar. He has been busy performing and recording with his trio featuring legendary B3 virtuoso Tony Monaco, his own trio and jazz quartet, as well as his larger world music group the Flat Earth Ensemble.
Recent releases include the critically acclaimed Out of Nowhere featuring drummer Billy Hart and bassist George Mraz, The Flat Earth Ensemble's latest release Trance Hypothesis, and The Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque release Furry Slippers that reached the top 10 in Jazz Radio Airplay.
In addition, Fareed has performed at the Chicago, Detroit, and Java Jazz festivals and was featured as part of the Made in Chicago Series performing with his numerous groups at Millenium Park's Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago. He also performed and arranged numerous classical programs as 2013 artist-in-residence for The Chicago Latin Music Festival, was featured on WBEZ, as well as WFMT's Fiesta! radio programs, and has recorded his arrangement of Piazzolla's 5 Tango Sensations, El Alevin by Eduardo Angulo Leo Brouwer's Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet with the critically acclaimed Kaia String Quartet. Haque continues to tour and record extensively along with documenting his unique teaching methods in a series of best selling interactive video courses through TrueFire.
Born in 1963 to a Pakistani father and Chilean mother, Fareed’s extensive travels and especially long stays in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan, and Chile exposed Haque to different kinds of music from a very early age. While this natural eclecticism has become a hallmark of Haque’s music, it was repeated visits to Von Freeman’s Chicago jam sessions that gave Haque a grounding in the Chicago blues and jazz traditions. The 1981 recipient of North Texas State University’s Jazz Guitar Scholarship, Haque spent a year studying with renowned jazz guitarist and pedagogue Jack Peterson. Fareed’s growing interest in the classical guitar led him to transfer to Northwestern University, where he completed his studies in classical guitar under David Buch, John Holmquist, and Anne Waller.
Soon after his transfer to NU, Haque came to the attention of multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy and joined his latin-fusion group Chevere. Thru Levy, Haque was introduced to Paquito D’Rivera and began a long and fruitful relationship with the Cuban NEA Jazz Master. Numerous world tours and recordings including Manhattan Burn, Celebration, Havana Cafe, Tico Tico, Live at the MCG were to follow. Especially notable is the classic and award winning Reunion featuring Haque along with Arturo Sandoval, Danilo Perez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mark Walker, and David Fink.
Thru D’Rivera, Haque was brought to the attention of Sting, who had just begun his record label Pangaea. Sting invited Haque to join the label and he released 2 critically acclaimed recordings, Voices Rising and Manresa. Haque toured briefly with Sting, including notable appearances at The Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as NBC’s Michelob Presents Sunday Night with David Sanborn, but his own career demands led Haque in other directions.
Haque has been featured on WTTW’s ArtBeat and Chicago Tonight, Ben Sidran’s New Visions, Michelob Presents Sunday Night with David Sanborn on NBC, his own Lonesome Pines special for PBS, and on BET cable jazz channel. Fareed has twice been selected as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition in Downbeat Magazine. In 1989, Haque also joined the faculty at Northern Illinois University as professor of jazz and classical guitar. He continues to teach at NIU to this day.
After a short stint at Warner Bros. recording Majestad (unreleased and featuring John Patitucci, Michael Landau, Russel Ferrante, Grazinha, Lenny Castro, and Carlos Vega!), Bruce Lundvall signed Haque to the legendary Bluenote Records. While at Bluenote, Haque recorded three albums as a leader: Sacred Addiction, Opaque, and Déjà vu. Haque toured and recorded extensively with other artists, including tours and 3 CDs with Javon Jackson: A Look within, For One Who Knows, and Good People. In addition, sideman credits include tours and recordings with Joe Henderson, Herbie Mann, Bob James, Richie Cole, Joey Calderazzo, Kahil El Zabar and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, and numerous Bluenote recordings for producer/arranger Bob Belden alongside Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Paul Motian, and many others. Numerous classical recitals, as well as appearances with the Vermeer Quartet and many symphonies across the US and abroad, added to an incredible diversity of performances during this period.
Thru Belden, Haque was invited to join forces with Joe Zawinul as part of his Zawinul Syndicate. The group proved to be one of Joe’s best and most eclectic. Included were percussionist and vocalist Arto Tuncboyacian, drummer Paco Sery, bassist Mathew Garrison, along with Haque on Guitar and Electric Guitar. A year of extensive touring brought Haque closer to his Jazz/Rock roots.
After 10 years of over 2000 dates with Garaj Mahal, Haque’s interest in electronic music and the Moog Guitar spurred him to leave Garaj Mahal and form Fareed Haque’s MathGames, featuring bassist Alex Austin and drummer Greg Fundis. Notable events during this time include Haque performing and assistant directing the first Jazz Festival en la Patagonia in Frutillar, Chile under his mentor and friend Paquito D’Rivera, and appearances with his own groups at Java Jazz, The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Twents Guitar Festival, The Indy Jazz Fest, Coleman Hawkins Jazz Fest, Jazz in June, The Lafayette and South Bend Jazz Festivals, Sophia Jazz Fest, Bulgaria and many others around the world. Haque also performed at both the Aranjuez and Villa-Lobos guitar concertos (in one concert!) with The Chicago Philharmonic, under the baton of Lucia Matos at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Ms. Laura Lydy serves as the Director of Guitar/String Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her areas of specialization include teaching applied guitar, pedagogy, and guitar ensemble. She holds a M.M. in Guitar Performance from the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana. While attending Indiana University, Ms. Lydy studied with renowned classical guitar virtuoso Ernesto Bitetti and early music scholar Thomas Binkley. In addition to her studies, she co-founded and directed Indiana University’s Young Guitarists Program.
Laura Lydy is an active performer and has appeared in venues across the United States and Europe. She has been featured as both a soloist and as a member of the saxophone/guitar duet Duo Brioso with colleague Farrell Vernon. Their recordings can be heard on Arizona University Recordings and the Centaur label.
Kevin Turner honed his jazz guitar skills in Columbus, Ohio under the tutelage of the legendary jazz organist Hank Marr. While in high school, Kevin was hired by Hank to play in his jazz organ trio and is featured on Hank’s album It’s About Time. Early in his career, Kevin toured with the late Ray Charles and can be heard on Ray’s album The Spirit of Christmas. Coincidentally, Kevin can also be heard on the Destiny’s Child album 8 Day of Christmas. Among other artists, Kevin has toured with Dr. John and Kirk Whalum and is featured on Kirk’s Gospel According To Jazz Chapter IV, Romance Language, and Humanité projects. He’s performed with various artists including Oleta Adams, Diane Schuur, Lalah Hathaway and many others. Kevin’s own recordings include Jazz Set, Grace, and his Stellar-nominated project Him. Further, he’s published several educational books, including Beginning Guitar: A Semester Study, The Rhythm Section Quick Guide, and Jazz Guitar Boot Camp. Kevin is the Jazz Guitar Instructor and teaches classes in jazz and music education at The Ohio State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies (Ohio State University) and a master’s of Music Education (University of Illinois).
Orchard Guitar Festival Schedule of Events
Past Guitar Festival Guests
Mike Stern is regarded as one of the true guitar greats of his generation. A player of remarkable facility whose searing lines are informed mainly by bebop and the blues while also carrying a rock-tinged intensity, Stern made his mark with Miles Davis in the early ‘80s before launching his solo career in 1985. Since then he has released 17 recordings as a leader, six of which were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards. His latest, Trip, is his first since recovering from a serious accident in the summer of 2016 that left him with two broken arms and nerve damage in his right hand that prevented him from even holding a pick. But Stern is back on top of his game, playing with typical authority and prodigious chops on this all-star outing, which features such longstanding colleagues as trumpeters Randy Brecker and Wallace Roney, saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bill Evans (a bandmate of Mike’s in Miles Davis’ ‘comeback band’ of 1981), bassists Victor Wooten and Tom Kennedy and drummers Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers and Lenny White.
One of the greatest guitarists in jazz, Martino had suffered a severe brain aneurysm and underwent surgery after being told that his condition could be terminal. After his operations he could remember almost nothing. He barely recognized his parents. and had no memory of his guitar or his career. He remembers feeling as if he had been “dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed, ... naked.”
In the following months. Martino made a remarkable recovery. Through intensive study of his own historic recordings, and with the help of computer technology, Pat managed to reverse his memory loss and return to form on his instrument. His past recordings eventually became “an old friend, a spiritual experience which remained beautiful and honest.” This recovery fits in perfectly with Pat’s illustrious personal history. Since playing his first notes while still in his pre-teenage years, Martino has been recognized as one of the most exciting and virtuosic guitarists in jazz. With a distinctive, fat sound and gut-wrenching performances, he represents the best not just in jazz, but in music. He embodies thoughtful energy and soul.
Born Pat Azzara in Philadelphia in 1944, Pat was first exposed to jazz through his father, Carmen “Mickey” Azzara, who sang in local clubs and briefly studied guitar with Eddie Lang. He took Pat to all the city’s hot-spots to hear and meet Wes Montgomery and other musical giants. “I have always admired my father and have wanted to impress him. As a result, it forced me to get serious with my creative powers.”
He began playing guitar when he was twelve years old. and left school in tenth grade to devote himself to music. During Visits to his music teacher Dennis Sandole, Pat often ran into another gifted student, John Coltrane, who would treat the youngster to hot chocolate as they talked about music.
Besides first-hand encounters with `Trane and Montgomery, whose album Grooveyard had “an enormous influence” on Martino, he also cites Johnny Smith, a Stan Getz associate, as an early inspiration. “He seemed to me, as a child. to understand everything about music,” Pat recalls.
Martino became actively involved with the early rock scene in Philadelphia, alongside stars like Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Darin. His first road gig was with jazz organist Charles Earland, a high school friend. His reputation soon spread among other jazz players, and he was recruited by bandleader Lloyd Price to play hits such as Stagger Lee on-stage with musicians like Slide Hampton and Red Holloway.
Martino moved to Harlem to immerse himself in the “soul jazz” played by Willis “Gatortail” Jackson and others. He previously had “heard all of the so called “white” jazz. “I’d never heard that part of our culture,” he remembers, until the Montgomery Brothers. The organ trio concept had a profound influence on Martino’s rhythmic and harmonic approach. and he remained in that idiom as a sideman, gigging with Jack McDuff and Don Patterson. An icon before his eighteenth birthday, Pat was signed as a leader for Prestige Records when he was twenty. His seminal albums from this period include classics like Strings!, Desperado, El Hombre and Baiyina (The Clear Evidence), one of jazz’s first successful ventures into psychedelia.
John Scofield’s guitar work has influenced jazz since the late 70’s and is going strong today. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B.
Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982–1985, Scofield toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.
Since that time he has prominently led his own groups in the international Jazz scene, recorded over 30 albums as a leader (many already classics) including
collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden,
Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Government Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and Phil Lesh. He’s played and
recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe
Henderson, Dave Holland, Terumasa Hino among many jazz legends. Throughout his career Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind.
Touring the world approximately 200 days per year with his own groups, he is an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University, a husband, and father of two.
Born in Newport Beach, California, in 1958, Howard Alden began playing at age ten, inspired by recordings of Armstrong, Basie and Goodman, as well as those by guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Van Eps. He has been working in New York City since 1982 and is recognized as one of the leading jazz guitarists in the city. Alden has been a Concord Jazz recording artist since the late '80s where his prolific recorded output as leader, co-leader, and versatile sideman, has captured an artist of consistently astonishing virtuosity and originality.
Romero Lubambo’s guitar playing unites the styles and rhythms of his native Brazilian musical heritage with his fluency in the American jazz tradition to form a distinctive new sound. After arriving in New York City in 1985, Romero quickly established himself as a "first call" session and touring guitarist who was in demand not only for his authentic Brazilian sound, but also for his command with a variety of styles. Lubambo is considered by critics to be "the best practitioner of his craft in the world today... the guitarist's facility, creativity and energy are in a class all their own."
New York native Peter Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York City and abroad since 1989. He has participated in over 80 recordings and numerous festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations. As a leader, Peter has released nine albums and a DVD, Live at Smoke. In September, Bernstein released a solo guitar record, Solo Guitar –Live at Smalls(Smalls Live), an intimate recording that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the front row at Small’s jazz club in New York City.