Inaugural Orchard Guitar Festival brings legends to BGSU

BOWLING GREEN, O.— Three internationally acclaimed jazz guitarists will headline the inaugural year of the Orchard Guitar Festival at Bowling Green State University. Guitarists Peter Bernstein, Howard Alden and Romero Lubamdo will be performing in concert and presenting workshops on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Thomas and Martha Orchard, both alumni of BGSU, generously fund the festival. Thomas Orchard is a board member at the BGSU Foundation and worked with both the College of Musical Arts and University Advancement to create it.

Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. During that time he has participated in numerous recordings and performances with musicians from all generations. As a leader, Bernstein has released nine albums and a DVD. As a sideman, he has appeared in groups led by Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson, George Coleman, Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fathead Newman, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Diana Krall, Lee Konitz, Jimmy Cobb and many more.

Current projects include his album “Monk,” with Doug Weiss and Bill Stewart, a recently released solo record, “Solo Guitar – Live at Smalls,” and the highly acclaimed organ trio with organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart.

It seems that the only thing regarding Alden on which the critics have debate is whether the remarkable jazz guitarist is one of the best or simply the best. Born in Newport Beach, Calif., in 1958, Alden began playing at 10 years old, inspired by recordings of Armstrong, Basie and Goodman, as well as those by guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Van Eps. Upon moving to New York City in 1982, Alden's skills, both as soloist and accompanist, were quickly recognized and sought out for appearances and recordings.

Alden was voted "Best Emerging Talent-Guitar" in the inaugural JazzTimes critics' poll in 1990, and "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" in the 1996, 1995, 1993 and 1992 Downbeat critics' poll.

In 1985, Lubambo came to the U.S., and brought with him a new sound in Brazilian jazz guitar. His 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, Lubambo 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 of a variety of styles.

Lubambo has performed and recorded with many outstanding artists, including Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Herbie Mann, and Wynton Marsalis. He has also established himself as a composer and performer on his own critically acclaimed recording projects as well as on those of Trio Da Paz, a Brazilian jazz trio Lubambo formed with Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca.

The day begins at 2:30 p.m. with registration in the lobby of Wolfe Center for the Arts. The workshops kick off with Bernstein at 3 p.m., followed by Lubambo at 4 p.m. and Alden at 5 p.m. All sessions will be held in the Conrad Room in Wolfe Center. The workshops are free.

The evening ends with a concert featuring all three artists at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre. Tickets for the concert are available at the Wolfe Center ticket office or online. The concert is free for BGSU College of Musical Arts students. Other student tickets are $3 and general admission is $7 if purchased by Oct. 2 online, or at the box office. All tickets are $10 if purchased the day of the concert.