Jerry Douglas and Sonny Landreth head the lineup of master guitarists for the Eighth Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival

Taylor Smith News

Jerry Douglas and Sonny Landreth head the lineup of master guitarists for the Eighth Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival, Aug. 27- Sept. 2, 2017

   (Bigfork, Mont.) It’s big, it’s bold and it’s the eighth year for the Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival that will take over the village of Bigfork, Montana from August 27 through Sept. 2, 2017. It’s all about guitar and it is held in one of the most beautiful settings in the world at Flathead Lake Lodge, a luxury dude ranch situated along Flathead Lake in Northwest Montana.

Headlining the 2017 roster of Crown Artists in Residence (AIR) will be two incomparable guitarists, multi-Grammy winner Jerry Douglas, the foremost master of the Dobro resonator guitar, and returning electric slide guitar master Sonny Landreth, known for his innovative techniques on the instrument. They will collaborate in a new workshop class called “Slide-alicious”  one of eight guitar genre classes taught during the workshop week.

New artists teaching this year include the eclectic and amazing, multi-instrumentalist, David Lindley and classical guitar master and 2016 Grammy winner, Jason Vieaux.  Returning for a second time will be Nashville recording artist and blues master, Brent Mason, along with Grammy winner Mike Stern – known for his progressive jazz and blues and his wife Leni Stern, known for her stylizations of jazz with West African and world music. Also coming back for her third time will be the extraordinary guitarist and singer-songwriter, Emily Elbert.

Guitar Slinger

Taylor Smith News

Whether you shred, strum, slide or pluck, it’s time to submit your skills for the chance to win cash, scholarships and guitars at Guitar Slinger: The Ultimate Guitar Showdown, presented by Upstream Music Fest + Summit.

Four amateur guitar virtuosos ages 13 and up will be chosen to compete in front of a crowd and a panel of celebrity judges including Ayron Jones of Ayron Jones and The Way, at MoPOP’s Sky Church.

Slingers can submit to compete in four categories; Acoustic, Jazz, Blues/Slide, and Rock/Metal. Prizes include a slot to play on the mainstage at Upstream Music Fest in May 2017, a scholarship to Crown Guitar Workshop and $2,250 in prize money! The competition will be followed by a rocking show headlined by a surprise Northwest band. Submissions will close February 1, 2017.

Sixteen Guitar Slinger Performances, four slingers in each category. Slingers will be judged on musicianship, technique, improvisation and style.

Acoustic If you’re playing on an acoustic guitar, you should submit here. Styles range from the fingerstyle techniques of Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel to the rich complexity of Michael Hedges. Jazz From old school jazz legends to modern If you’re playing on an acoustic guitar, you should submit here. Styles range from the fingerstyle techniques of Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel to the rich complexity of Michael Hedges.

Jazz From old school jazz legends to modern fusion, if you take inspiration from Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, Joe Pass, Bill Frisell or Snarky Puppy you should submit here.

Blues/Slide Down and dirty blues, the kind you perfect in a smoke-filled back alley bar. You’re a little bit Joe Bonamassa and a little bit B.B. King, with a side of Bonnie Raitt. Definitely submit here.

Rock/Metal You came to rock, and we salute you. You love whammy bars, screaming bends and Marshall stack feedback. You honed chops listening to Steve Vai, Orianthi, Jimmy Page and Slash. Go to 11, then submit here.

Grand Prize One (1) Grand Prize slinger will win a fellowship to attend in the Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival, a Gibson guitar and will play on stage at Upstream Music Fest + Summit in May 2017!

Runners Up Three (3) runners up will each receive a swag bag compliments of KEXP and MoPOP and a cash prize of $750. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Must be a legal U.S. resident; age 13+. Ends 2/1/17 at 11:59:59pm PT.

To be selected as a finalist, must be available to perform in Seattle, WA on 3/18/17. 1 grand prize winner will get a fellowship for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival 2017, a Gibson guitar, and the opportunity to show off their skills by playing at the Upstream Music Fest + Summit in May 2017 (Total ARV: $11,500). Three runner-up winners will each receive an upstream branded swag bag (ARV: $200) and $750 cash prize.  

Find out complete list of rules over at

Early Sponsor & Donor Holiday Bonus!

Taylor Smith News

Happy News! Limited time special offer.

We have increased our donor and sponsor ticket support for each of the concerts in 2017 and for the first time ever we are offering a very special year end bonus that includes even more opportunities to bring guests, friends and associates to Crown through your generous support!

Extra Tickets! When donated in full by December 31st.

Click here for details!

Clicking on the button will open up a 5 page PDF document you can view or download that explains the extra Crown Pass concert ticket packages included with this special Holiday Bonus, along with all the other great benefits! The first page shows the special limited time bonus Crown Pass concert ticket packages, and the following 4 pages show all of the other standard benefits.

Your generous donation provides educational scholarships for deserving guitar students and teachers. It also provides operational support for the world class workshop and festival, bringing significant cultural and economic benefit to the Flathead Valley while keeping ticket prices affordable.

Crown Guitar Tents




Special 2017 Workshop Offers!

Taylor Smith News

Great News!

The Board approved extending the prepayment registration savings for the workshop through the end of December 2016.  What this means is if you are an Alumni or a Crown Friend, you are eligible for a 2017 workshop registration of only $2500 if paid in full by 12/31/2016. Nice!

This is an amazing $700 savings (more than 20%) from our normal registration fee of $3200.

More Good News!

The “invite a friend” program is in full swing again.  The first friend that registers gets you a $100 credit and the second one gets you an additional $200 credit.  If there are more than two friends you plan to register, contact us to discuss our large group savings.

A workshop registration is the perfect Holiday gift for a spouse or friend who wants to have the musical experience of a lifetime.
Email Diane Kautzman <>, or give us a call at 855-855-5900 to take advantage of these limited programs!

Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival

Fellowship Spotlight! EMP Museum sponsors Cameron Lavi-Jones

Taylor Smith Fellowship Spotlight, News

The EMP Museum has chosen 18-year old multi-instrumentalist and performing artist, Cameron Lavi-Jones as the 2016 EMP Crown Fellowship Recipient.  He will be participating in the “Excel with the Masters” class studying under Dweezil Zappa, Shane Theriot, and Jared Meeker, alongside many of Crown’s 2016 Scholarship and Fellowship students.  Cameron looks forward to immersing himself in the performance-based class and will also be performing in the week leading up to the 2016 Crown Workshop.  On Thursday, August 25th he will speak at the Flathead Valley Community College Crown Fellowship Seminar and perform that evening onstage for ThursdayFest in downtown Kalispell.  He will also be featured on Saturday August 27th at the Crown Guitar Summer Celebration Finale hosted at Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Bigfork, MT.  Cameron will also perform during the Crown Festival week (August 28-September 4).

Meet Cameron Lavi-Jones

Cameron Miles Lavi-Jones has been playing and composing music and lyrics since he was literally three years old. Lavi-Jones has been going strong ever since. Igniting his passion for music, Lavi-Jones started with piano but quickly moved on to guitar, then bass, then drums, and eventually learning cello through his school’s orchestra program. Lavi-Jones is the ring leader of his own Seattle Alternative Rock, band Gypsy Temple. Lavi-Jones writes much of the music and lyrics for the group and often collaborates with his fellow core members to create the all original material for the band. A diverse teen, Lavi-Jones is also makes use of other talents to aid the arts. He is proficient in Pro-Tools, Final Cut, and different web-design platforms having learned through experiences his in the studio. Armed with artistic talent, an eye for business and the support of Very Juicy Entertainment, Dreaming In Color Entertainment, and The Experience Music Project (EMP) he has large ambitions and the drive to match it. Lavi-Jones’ creativity in writing, recording and performing his live original music with a showmanship well beyond his years makes him unstoppable.


Youtube Links:

To create a Scholarship or Fellowship Opportunity for a young talented artist, contact Diane Kautzman at 855-855-5900 or

Fellowship Spotlight! Announcing Xu Kun Liu as the GFA Fellowship

Taylor Smith Fellowship Spotlight, News

We have a winner!  The Crown Guitar Foundation and Guitar Foundation of America is proud to say that 14-year old “Alan” Xu Kun Liu will be the 2016 recipient of the GFA Fellowship to attend the Crown Workshop.  Alan will study with Italian chamber musicians, Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela of SoloDuo.  Dr. Lynn McGrath, who manages SoloDuo, teaches at Oklahoma City University, and is the Director of the GFA International Youth Competition will also be co-teaching the Crown Workshop class, “Classical Guitar: A World of Expression”.  Alan was awarded 2nd place at the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition this past June and was therefore nominated for the Crown Fellowship.  He has most happily accepted this award and we all can look forward to hearing some phenomenal classical guitar this year at the Festival!

Meet “Alan” Xu Kun Liu

Born in Xi’An (China) in December of 2001, Alan (Xu Kun) Liu has been studying the guitar as well as piano since he was five.  At the age of 14, he has already amassed an impressive list of top prizes in music competitions on both instruments.  Among his recent awards are the Grand Award winner of 2016 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival; 2016 GFA international guitar competition Youth-Senior division 2nd prize in Denver, CO; 2015 NorthWest guitar competition Adult division winner in Seattle, WA; 2015 Parkening international Young Guitarist Competition 2nd prize at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA; First place in the 2014 GFA International Youth Competition (Junior Division) in Los Angeles; and the first place in 2014 Guitare Montreal International Youth Competition; third place in 2014 Michele Pittaluga International Youth Guitar Competition in Alessandria, Italy”; among a growing number of awards in regional, national, and international events.  Beyond that, he has also won multiple gold medals as a pianist.

He has performed in some important events and concerts in Canada, USA, and China.  He was a featured artist in the 2015 Montreal International Guitar Festival and performed in the opening concert.  He was also a guest artist, performing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in the Orpheum with more than 2400 people in the audience.  He also shared the stage with some top guitarists, including Roland Dyens.

Recently, he has been named one of the “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30” by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

To create a Fellowship or Scholarship Opportunity for a talented young artist you know, please contact Diane Kautzman at or call 855-855-5900.

2016 Scholarship Spotlight! Andrew Scotchie

Taylor Smith Events

Meet Andrew Scotchie: a dynamic young artist from Asheville, North Carolina whose passion for music is truly larger-than-life.  At only 23 years old, he is the director/producer of his own music festival, Asheville BARNaroo, which is partnered with the Asheville Music School and books bands from all genres and from all over the country.  With his band, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats, he tours and records year-round and is gaining national attention and praise.

The Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation is very excited to announce that Andrew Scotchie will be attending the 2016 Workshop on full scholarship to study with Dweezil Zappa and Jared Meeker in the “Excel with the Masters” workshop!  He is thrilled and looking forward to spending a week in Montana soaking in the knowledge and experiences presented in the workshop classes, masterclasses by the likes of Jim Messina, Chris Eldridge, and Julian Lage, and taking elective classes.

Learn More about Andrew!

Andrew Scotchie was born and raised in the music mecca of Asheville NC. At age 10 Scotchie was taking guitar lessons and his father Tom was consistently exposing him to live rock n roll bands such as the Rolling Stones, Mothers Finest and Tom Petty. By age 12, Scotchie was forming his own bands and performing at community functions and talent shows. Music quickly became his passion, his way to connect with people and quite frankly: an obsession. On Scotchies 15th birthday, his father Tom tragically passed away and from that day forward Scotchie took his love for music performance and made it his full time career & spiritual outlet.
Now at age 23, Scotchie is revered for his dynamic musicianship, warm personality, steady contributions to the arts & advocacy of Asheville’s music community, and his larger than life stage presence. He continues to lead his rock/blues & funk band “Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats” on a near year-round touring schedule and is the founder & artist director of the music festival “Asheville BARNaroo” which is an annual music/camping festival that benefits the Asheville Music School program. Scotchie is in love with music for all that it can gift to an individual’s soul and all that it can create for the greater community.

Andrew Scotchie is proud to represent Asheville NC at Crown Guitar Fest and is determined to further craft his guitar skills/songwriting process through this experience.

“Delivered as if on a platter made of rust and steel, Scotchie’s music borrows from the grit of the Rolling Stones. He and The River Rats bind it with elements of old school soul and Lightnin’ Hopkins blues into a rhythm that rocks with purity.”
Tom Netherland – Bristol TN Herald

Check out some of Andrew’s Music:  “Troubled Town”, “Love in a Rush”, “Love like Fire”

Read up on all of Andrew’s projects and endeavors here:


Andrew is attending Crown on a generous scholarship by private donors.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Scholarship or Fellowship student for the 2016 Workshop, contact Diane Kautzman at 855-855-5900 or email

Announcing the 2016 James Stroud Fellowship Recipient: Jeremy Avalos

Taylor Smith Fellowship Spotlight, News

We are pleased to announce Jeremy Avalos as a winner of the James Stroud All-Ohio Guitar Competition and the 2016 James Stroud Fellowship recipient to the Crown Guitar Workshop held this summer from August 28th through September 4th.  Jeremy will be participating in the course, “Classical Guitar: A World of Expression” led by Italian chamber group, SoloDuo: Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela.  A highly talented classical performer, Jeremy will be attending Florida State University this fall on full scholarship to pursue his Doctorate of Musical Arts.

Meet Jeremy Avalos

Classical guitarist Jeremy Ávalos was born in Miami, Florida. He began playing bass guitar at age 11. In March of 2015 he was a finalist in the annual James Stroud All-Ohio Guitar Competition held at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In the summer of that same year he was a finalist in the annual Southern Guitar Festival and Competition held in Columbia, South Carolina. Most recently he was the second prize winner in the 2016 James Stroud Guitar Competition and the first prize winner for classical guitar in the 2016 Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition held at the University of Akron. He was the second prize winner in the subsequent Tuesday Musical Scholarship Winners Concert. His playing has been described as “wonderfully musical” and “trance inducing (Brendan Caldwell, Associate Professor of Conducting and Director of Wind Ensembles at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory).”

He received a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Theory and Creative Writing from the Florida State University where he graduated summa cum laude. While there he studied classical guitar under renowned pedagogue Bruce Holzman. He received a Master’s of Music in String Performance from the University of Akron where his teachers included Stephen Aron and James Marron. This fall he will begin DMA studies at the Florida State University.

Video of Jeremy live in performance:  CLICK HERE

Visit his website to learn more about Jeremy:

To create a Fellowship opportunity for a deserving musician locally, nationally, and internationally please contact Diane Kautzman to learn more!  855-855-5900 or email

Announcing the 2016 Yamaha Fellowship winner: Brooks Robertson!

Taylor Smith Fellowship Spotlight, News

With generous support from the Yamaha Foundation, the Crown Guitar Workshop is pleased to present Brooks Robertson as the 2016 Yamaha Fellowship winner.  An incredible finger-picking guitarist, he will be attending the Crown Workshop to study and perform on the Festival Stage with Doug Smith and Chris Eldridge through the Acoustic Americana workshop.  Brooks currently studies at Berklee College of Music on a full tuition scholarship via Lee Ritenour’s 2014 Six String Theory Competition.  His prowess on the guitar neck and finger-picking agility allows him to masterfully perform a range of styles from the American canon, to reflective Jazz, and Latin-infused rhythmic guitar.  As a Fellowship winner, Brooks will also be performing around the Flathead Valley during the week leading up to the 2016 Workshop.  We can’t wait!  Learn more about Brooks as an artist, teacher, composer, and performer on his website:

Brooks Robertson Biography (from his website)

Brooks was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1989. Seeing Buster B. Jones perform at a festival near his home town became a life-changing experience for the kid from the sticks. Just eleven years old, he was immediately inclined to pick up the guitar. Soon, the world renowned fingerstyle virtuoso and instructor dedicated his spare time to introducing his new fan into the secrets of the fretboard, and after six months of lessons the natural talent performed his first show with his mentor.

When Buster B. Jones took him under his wings, Brooks began playing high-profile gigs such as the Nokie Edwards Festival, the NAMM Show in Anaheim, the Montreal Jazz Festival or the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield among others. By the time he was a teenager he had become the youngest endorsee of Godin Guitars and traveled to several states and foreign countries to perform. Brooks went on to play on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio classic “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2004, where he won first place in a talent competition for 12 to 20 year old participants.

In recent years, while still appearing regularly at prestigious events like the Sixth Annual Chet Atkins Tribute Concert and Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention in Nashville, Brooks focused on perfecting his craft, soaking up new tunes and styles and techniques as well as blending them into his own groovy and soulful original music. He entered the “Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition“, which drew participants from more than 40 countries all over the world. Brooks was invited to perform in the finals at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles in March 2010. A star-studded jury, including Steve Lukather and Lee Ritenour, eventually chose him as winner of the country category and second place winner overall.

Although he is deeply rooted in the powerful tradition of the genre, founded by the likes of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh and Buster B. Jones, Brooks also draws inspiration from the elegant mastery of the legendary Chet Atkins and other phenomenal players. His own compositions and arrangements have even been compared to fingerstyle jazz champions Lenny Breau and Earl Klugh. Now, as energy and maturity come together, this young man is ready to step out of his mentors’ shadows and electrify the world with the sheer acoustic beauty his fingers create, when touching a set of strings.


Fretboard Journal, “Mountains of Illinois”

Adalt-Sudio Germany, “Live @ Five”

Adalt-Sudio Germany, “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Chet Atkins Tribute Concert with Tommy Emmanuel, “Borsalino”


If you are interested in becoming a donor or sponsor to Scholarship and Fellowship musicians like Brooks, please contact Diane Kautzman at, or call 855-855-5900.