The 22nd edition of International Guitar Night returns to four Montana towns Feb. 24-27 with stops in Helena, Bozeman, Billings and Big Sky.
After taking a hiatus in 2021 (much like the rest of the world), IGN is back with a brand-new lineup, featuring acoustic rock sensation Luca Stricagnoli (Italy), progressive classical guitarist Thu Le (Vietnam), slack-key master Jim Kimo West (Hawaii) and Latin swing pioneer Lulo Reinhardt (Germany).
“International Guitar Night is an annual event that never disappoints,” writes John Ludin of Bozeman’s Ellen Theatre. “In fact, each year seems to be better than the previous and patrons always ask, ‘When are they coming back?’ Four amazingly gifted guitarists on one stage make it more than a concert – this is a buffet of beautiful music.”
Lulo Reinhardt, the grand-nephew of the legendary Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, has carried on the family tradition while incorporating new Latin rhythms, a style he calls Latin swing. Known for his strong percussive playing and lightning solos, Reinhardt is the most revered member of IGN, having appeared with four previous lineups in addition to hosting this year’s edition.
With a huge online following (over 200 million views of his music videos), and with bookings in every corner of the globe, Luca Stricagnoli has been hailed as a phenomenon and a guitar prodigy. He has brought his unique style of re-arranging rock classics for acoustic guitar, played on self-invented instruments like the Reversed Triple Neck Guitar and the Reversed Slide Neck, to over 20 countries with crowds of up to 12,000 people. The Italian-born phenom has even grabbed the attention of famous bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Walk Off The Earth. This will be his third time touring as a member of International Guitar Night.
Thu Le is an international, award-winning classical guitarist and certified guitar teacher. She began playing at age 4 under the guidance of her father and was the youngest-ever student admitted to the prestigious National Conservatory of Music in Hanoi. Le has graced stages around the world, performing as a soloist and hosting a series of successful master classes throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as regular performances in her home country of Vietnam. In addition to her solo work, she collaborates and performs with orchestras, in string quartets, and in duets with violinists and flutists. This will be her IGN debut.
Inspired by the beautiful Hawaiian landscapes of Hana and Maui and the sounds of the islands, Jim “Kimo” West was drawn to Hawaii’s iconic guitar style, “ki ho’alu” or slack-key guitar. He has gone on to become one of the world’s foremost slack-key players, garnering millions of streams on Spotify and Pandora. West is a 2021 Grammy winner for his CD More Guitar Stories and a 2019 Grammy nominee for his album Moku Maluhia. He is also a three-time Na Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) nominee and a winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic tradition alive. His work as long-time guitarist for internationally renowned funnyman, Weird Al Yankovic, garnered West four Grammys and a Billboard #1 CD debut for 2015’s Mandatory Fun. West’s latest solo release is “Ka Honua Maluhia” (2021). This marks his second time joining the International Guitar Night tour.
International Guitar Night Tour
Helena: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at The Myrna Loy. Call 406-443-0287 or order tickets online.
Bozeman: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at The Ellen Theatre; call 406-585-5885 or order online.
Billings: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Alberta Bair Theater; call 406-256-6052 or order online.
Big Sky: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center; order tickets here.