This summer, the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival is going above and beyond in the Faculty lineup for the workshop classes. Now in its seventh season, the Crown has always offered a one-of-a-kind learning experience with phenomenal faculty, master classes by Artists-in-Residence, and special surprise drop-ins by guest artists. This year there are more classes directly taught by the stars themselves than ever! The Workshop offerings have been consolidated to 9 high-impact classes, each assisted or co-taught by the same world-class artists that will grace the Festival main stage during the week of August 28th through September 3rd, 2016.
The festival takes place on the grounds of the rustic 4-star horse ranch, Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, transforming the resort town of Bigfork, Montana into an epicenter for guitar. The town remains a hidden treasure, comparable to Lake Tahoe in the 1950’s, “almost” undiscovered as it graces the north shore of the largest freshwater lake in the western United States, Flathead Lake. The Crown Guitar Workshop offers participants and their companions a truly Montanan experience, being situated less than 45 minutes from the west entrance of the spectacular Glacier National Park, and providing hiking trips, cooking classes, art classes, and horse trail rides on the beautiful Averill Family horses.
New to the extensive genre options at Crown are two dynamic classes: Acoustic Americana and Gypsy Jazz, Django Style. The Acoustic Americana class is designed to celebrate the resurgence of folk music popularity while teaching participants advanced guitar technique, rhythm, singer/songwriting, and composition skills. The class is led by Grammy Artist Chris Eldridge from the acclaimed Punch Brothers band and Doug Smith, one of the premier fingerpicking and acoustic teachers on the planet. Also joining the team will be Nashville recording legend Brent Mason and Josh Turner, a Youtube sensation and Crown’s 2016 Emerging Artist-in-Residence. This class offers its students a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; 6 days of highly individualized workshop time at a four star Montana resort with a 3 to 1 ratio of students to artist, and the chance to expand one’s musical network to include some of the countries leading acoustic guitarists.
Included in Acoustic Americana is a one-day intensive class with the guitar duo Chris Eldridge and jazz prodigy Julian Lage, who will be presenting a modern blend of bluegrass, folk, and jazz improvisation. These two remarkable artists as a duo perform music that draws upon American folk roots, while playing with the freedoms of improvisation and contemporary composition. Their melting-pot blend of styles is as American as it gets and their presentation will demonstrate the genre’s adaptability and potential.
The Gypsy Jazz class was added due to popular request after a participant-organized jam sprung up at the 2015 Workshop. Participants in this class will learn Gypsy Jazz standards under the progressive fusion style of Gonzalo Bergara, an Argentinian-born virtuoso and composer. 19-year-old guitarist Max O’Rourke will join Bergara’s workshop and both will be performing as Artists-in-Residence at the (Monday night) Festival show.
The Crown Guitar Workshop will also be offering Excel with the Masters, a by-audition-only advanced electric rock and blues class led by Grammy Artist Dweezil Zappa, rocker Shane Theriot, and published educator Jared Meeker. Limited to 12 students, the course will teach participants to think like a producer, orchestrate original ensemble compositions, and enhance their live stage presentation. These 12 participants will work through the week towards a final Festival performance for an audience of 1000, side-by-side on stage with Dweezil Zappa, Shane Theriot, and other major Artists. There are still a few spots left in this rockstar class and they are going quickly.
Workshops with major artists as faculty are not limited only to advanced players! The Singer Songwriter class is designed for all experience levels from beginner to advanced and will help develop a deeper understanding of good writing and song creation. Only available to students in this course is a one-day intensive Songwriter Performance workshop with Grammy Artist Jim Messina! Throughout the week published songwriter Greg Horne and country singer Liz Longley will teach the daily workshop, with visits from Jim Messina and members of his band.
This spring, the Crown Guitar Workshop extended eligibility to apply for the Full-Ride Crown Scholarships to include Missoula County. The deadline to apply for is May 31st and applications can be downloaded at www.crownguitarfest.org/scholarships. Eligibility is open to Students, Teachers, and Performers from Flathead, Lake, Sanders, Ravalli, and Missoula counties. For a complete list of all the guitar workshop classes offered this summer, along with their accompanied guest Artists-in-Residence, visit: www.crownguitarfest.org/workshop. Call 855-855-5900 ext. 3 to register and save your place in the 2016 Crown Guitar Workshop.