The Ellensburg’s Learn from the Masters Musical Outreach (LMMO) guitar extravaganza ends with a free concert on Sept. 28 with a night of finger-style guitar featuring Billy McLaughlin, Adam Cord, and Macyn Taylor live in concert at the Morgan Performing Arts Center.
“Ellensburg is a special place,” McLaughlin said. “I had a chance to play the (420 Building) last year and people were hanging over the balcony. It was a great room and great community support.
“I see our show on (that) Saturday night as a continuum of American guitar. I love playing intimate settings like this. It will be ‘Guitar Joyful,’ and a way to showcase a way of playing that’s been around for generations.”
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette said watching McLaughlin is like “... Listening to two of the greatest acoustic guitarists you’ve ever heard,” in its review. The Chicago Sun Times said, “… It’s amazing that such an extensive sound comes from one instrument.” The Ellensburg audience will have a chance to hear the international performer in the intimate surroundings of the Morgan Performing Arts Center.
“I’ve played all over the world, but what I most enjoy is the connection with the people. So to play in an intimate setting puts me right in the center of it,” said McLaughlin, whose first release, “Fingerdance,” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard charts.
McLaughlin’s style of placing both hands on the fret board, creating a harp-like effect on the acoustic guitar. The unusual approach has paved the way to extensive national touring and awards since the 1980s. The internationally-recognized virtuoso and will be joined by Youngstown Symphony Orchestra guitarist Adam Cord and Macyn Taylor, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of guitar studies.
“Adam’s an incredible talent and was with me when we played Ellensburg downtown last year. I really think people are going to enjoy hearing what Macyn can do,” McLaughlin said. “This is going to be a remarkable weekend with John (Stropes, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School’s director of guitar studies) bringing in the Music of Leo Kottke Guitar workshop.
“I mean, 30 people signed up in the first week. It’s going to be a guitar event for the Pacific Northwest with players coming in from all over the country. Then to actually have the legendary Leo Kottke play on Friday while the workshop is going on, then wrap it up with our performance (at Morgan Performing Arts Center). It’s going to be guitar joyful and something pretty special.”