Great Guitarists in Norton Center History

If you liked these guitar heroes, you’re going to love Stanley Jordan!

For nearly 40 years the Norton Center has been host to some of the world’s great guitarists.  From classical to country and Latin to blues – our audiences have enjoyed the acoustic, symphonic, and rock and roll sounds of those who have mastered this noble and ancient instrument.

  • In 1976 and 1988 the Norton Center hosted classical guitarist Christopher Parkening, whose lifetime mastery of the instrument is now recognized through the Parkening International Guitar Competition, which awards a $50,000 cash prize to a young guitar student each year.
  • Baroque guitarist Julian Bream made a stop at the Norton Center in 1992.  Considered to be one of the premier guitar and lute virtuoso’s of the 20th Century, Bream founded the Julian Bream Consort, an ensemble of instrument wizards who greatly revitalizing interest in the music of the Elizabethan era during the 1960s.
  • Sharon Isbin, the only female classical guitarist to win a Grammy®, toured the Center in 1998.  A frequent guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and A Prairie Home Companion, Isbin has produced a catalogue of more than 25 recordings and appeared as a soloist with over 160 different orchestras around the world.
  • In 1996 and also in 2002, the Norton Center welcomed the Latin rhythms of Grammy® nominee Manuel Barrueco, who began playing the guitar at age eight in Cuba, immigrated to the US with his family in 1967 as a political refugee and has dedicated his career to bringing the guitar to premier music halls of the world.
  • Howard Alden, a renowned seven-string jazz guitarist, performed at the Norton Center in 2004 with an all-star line-up of other jazz musicians commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival.  The following year Alden added his acoustic guitar voice to violinist Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing on his national concert tour.
  • 2009 welcomed an entire orchestra of guitars, the Orquestra de Guitar de Barcelona, twenty-five of Spain’s most gifted guitarists led by Sergi Vincente.
  • The last few years have brought many guitarists of a purely southern variety with performances by Charlie Daniels (2005), Travis Tritt (2006), Lyle Lovett (2009), and Willie Nelson (2010) for country music fans young and old.
  • The current season kicked off with blues guitarist Robert Cray (2011), a 5-time Grammy® winner who has performed alongside BB King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Water, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and more!

This month, the Norton Center hosts Stanley Jordan whose two-handed tapping technique, bold reinventions of classical masterpieces and soulful exploration of pop-rock hits have made him a new legend in the guitar world.

After seeing him perform with his trio at the Montreal Jazz festival, Los Angeles Times critic Leonard Father wrote:  “Genius is a word too often tossed around in musical circles, but it has been rightfully applied to Stanley Jordan.” Songs from Jordan’s recent album, State of Nature, along with other favorites will be performed in Club Weisiger on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM.  Completing the trio are bassist Paul Keller and percussionist Kenwood Danard.  A limited number of tickets are still available, all seats $30.  Order online here.

Check out the Stanley Jordan Trio performing Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl”:


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