Guitar phenom Beppe Gambetta returns to Lopez Island

  • Fri Jan 26th, 2018 9:50am
  • Life

By Gretchen Wing

If you need some light at the end of January’s dark tunnel, focus on Jan. 27. That’s when jaw-dropping guitarist Beppe Gambetta returns for a concert at Lopez Grange. To carry on Grange tradition, there will be a potluck at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. with Lance Brittain and Friends. Gambetta takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The following day, Sunday, Jan. 28, Gambetta offers a master guitar workshop at the Music Box near Fisherman Bay.

An artistic ambassador, Gambetta believes music can both entertain and strengthen human relations — which you will discover after gasping at his lightning licks, then laughing at his jokes. Gambetta is a guitarist, vocalist, researcher and composer born in Genova, Italy, and a master of both American-style acoustic guitar flatpicking and traditional Italian and Sardinian guitar. Blending energetic grooves with passionate melodies, Gambetta breathes new life to tunes from around the globe, and his original works add contemporary flavor to traditional roots music.

As a teenager in Italy, Gambetta became fascinated by the music of the American acoustic guitar masters of the 1960s and 70s. His passion led to a prolific career, with performances throughout Europe, Australia, and North and South America, including all 50 U.S. states.

Gambetta is inspired by great artists who actively worked to make the world better, including two he was fortunate to spend time before they died: Pete Seeger and European singer-songwriter icon Fabrizio De Andrè. He is also grateful to have performed with some of his heroes from the folk scene, including: David Grisman, Gene Parsons, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Tony Rice and Darrell Scott.

Lopez has met Gambetta twice before; he finds special inspiration here. “Following Pete Seeger, I think that hope for a better future world comes from little communities that are able to express beautiful ways to co-exist,” he says. “I think Lopez Island is one of these magic places: a wonderful community with nice human relations where the art is a really important way to stay together and be inspired.”

Gambetta’s latest CD, “Short Stories” — his 13th — is inspired more than ever by his life on the road. Dividing his time now between North America and Europe, Gambetta explores landscapes, people and stories from both sides of the ocean. The beauty and range of “Short Stories” comes from the melding of Gambettae’s diverse musical passions, including: original compositions; songs in four different languages; catchy melodies adapted for flatpicking guitar, and an exciting live performance from Gambetta’s annual international music production, “The Acoustic Nights.” Learn more at beppegambetta.com.

Tickets for the Grange concert are available at the door on a sliding scale: $15 suggested; $10 for youth or hardship; $20 encouraged (to support the Grange). Tickets may also be reserved from Lance Brittain at (360)468-3474.

Attendance at Sunday’s guitar workshop is limited to 20. Call Lance to sign up, or email mandolance@yahoo.com. The price is $25. For directions to the Music Box, please call Danny Gilbreath at (360)468-4070 or email dannydesiderata@aol.com.