International Guitar Night celebrates 20th U.S. tour

Four of the world’s foremost acoustic guitarists crisscross Montana Feb. 10-16

On Stage

Back by popular demand, International Guitar Night once again crisscrosses Montana in February, showcasing four of the best and most innovative acoustic guitarists in the world.

Brian Gore founded International Guitar Night in 1995 as a forum for the world’s finest guitarists/composers to play their latest original songs and share musical ideas and talent with their peers. In 2020, IGN celebrates 20 years of U.S. touring with its most eclectic line-up yet, including guest host Mike Dawes, a two-hand contemporary guitarist from England; Cenk Erdogan, a maestro on the fretless guitar from Turkey; Olli Soikkeli, an electrifying jazz virtuoso from Finland; and Jim Kimo West, a Hawaiian slack-key master.

These guitar luminaries promise a special evening of solos, duets and dynamic quartets that highlight the dexterity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar.

Mike Dawes: This accomplished English guitar player is known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument, deploying unique extended and micro-techniques. He is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers.

This year's roster includes includes guest host Mike Dawes, Cenk Erdogan, Olli Soikkeli, and Jim Kimo West.
This year’s roster includes includes guest host Mike Dawes, Cenk Erdogan, Olli Soikkeli, and Jim Kimo West.

Cenk Erdogan: This Istanbul-born artist works as a producer, composer and arranger for television and gives concerts as a solo guitarist and with the Cenk Erdogan Trio. He specializes in teaching and performing the Turkish style of fretless guitar playing.

Olli Soikkeli: A native of Finland now based in New York City, Soikkeli started playing guitar at age 12 and became inspired by the Gypsy jazz style of Django Reinhardt. Despite his young age he’s already played with stars such as Bucky Pizzarelli and Tommy Emmanuel.

The Wall Street Journal describes him as “a riveting Finnish guitarist who combines astonishing dexterity and speed with pure soul in a way that places him among the worthiest current day successors to the legacy of the great Django.”

Jim Kimo West: Best known as long-time guitarist for musical comedy artist “Weird Al” Yankovic, West is regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack-key” guitar artists. He’s a 2019 Grammy nominee, a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards and four-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee. He also won two LA Treasures Awards for his efforts to keep this important acoustic guitar tradition alive.

For his work with “Weird Al,” he has earned four Grammy Awards and a Billboard no. 1 CD debut for 2015’s Mandatory Fun.

Catch the IGN Tour

Bozeman: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at The Ellen Theatre

Whitefish: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the O’Shaughnessy Center

Helena: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at The Myrna Loy

Billings: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Petro Hall, MSU Billings
, presented by the Alberta Bair

Big Sky: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 
at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center