Guitar WizardsGAMBIER, Ohio (October 3, 2003) The inauguration of President S. Georgia Nugent will feature a concert celebrating the rich and diverse musical cultures represented by master guitarists Martha Masters, Eddie Pennington, and the duo of Abdoulaye Diabaté and Bouba Sacko.
Rosse Hall will be the setting on Friday, October 24, at 8:00 p.m. when the eclectic sounds of the classical, folk, and pop musicians bring to life the inaugural theme, "To Seek a Newer World," taken from Alfred Lord Tennyson's 1842 poem Ulysses.
Masters, a classical guitarist, is a member of the guitar faculty at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Southern California, Masters has been described as "one of the brightest new stars of her generation." Among her many awards are first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America International Solo Competition and the Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition in Spain. Her concert tours have taken her across the United States, Europe, and Central and South America. Masters's repertoire includes Spanish guitar as well as classical.
Pennington is a "thumbpicker" known for his homespun performances that combine country wit and wisdom with the musical style made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Pennington grew up in a region that spawned a host of outstanding guitarists, including Travis as well as Ike Everly (father of the Everly Brothers), who enjoyed national popularity in the 1950s. In 2001 he received a National Heritage Fellowship, recognizing him as an American living treasure for carrying on this significant musical tradition.
The African duo of Diabaté and Sacko will offer a sound mixing classical and popular elements. In the mid-1970s, Diabaté moved to Abidjan, Africa, then the center of the West African recording industry. He has lived in New York City since 1992, collaborating with a variety of West African, jazz, and pop musicians. He is also an outstanding singer in the tradition of African storytellers, or griots. Sacko began his career as a percussionist. When he first took up the guitar, the concept of a griot guitarist did not exist. His name is now synonymous with the chamber-music-like sounds of the griot style.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, was organized by Kenyon's Special Assistant to the President Howard Sacks. "By representing a variety of art forms in this concert, we hope that audience members will appreciate the diversity of musical disciplines, just as the entire inaugural weekend encourages a spirit of exploration and learning that embraces Kenyon and all of central Ohio," says Sacks.