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Community Weblog - [ MFGS Upcoming Concerts + A Great Weekend of Music! ]

MFGS Upcoming Concerts + A Great Weekend of Music!


Dear Friends of MFGS

MFGS hopes that you were able to enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!  We have a great lineup for 2020 but before we get into that there is some great music coming up soon that we'd like you to know about. 

We had several venues and performers notify us about performances this weekend and although they may not all be contemporary acoustic guitar they are great opportunities to see remarkable local and regional musicians perform.


THURSDAY JANUARY 16TH - The Ark in Ann Arbor

Aaron Jonah Lewis Album Release Party
Mozart of the Banjo – the Joe Morley Project - 7:30 pm

The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor - 734-761-1818

Aaron Johan Lewis Website  -


Aaron Jonah Lewis is a champion fiddler who is based in Detroit.  Aaron has been elbow-deep in traditional American fiddle and banjo music since his first lessons at  the age of five with Kentucky native Robert Oppelt. Lewis has taken blue  ribbons at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV, and at  the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA, the oldest and largest  fiddlers convention in the country. He is also noted for his mastery of  multiple banjo styles.  He spends most of his time teaching, touring as a  solo performer, with the Corn Potato String Band, Lovestruck Balladeers, and other projects.

As a banjoist, Lewis explores some interesting veins in the roots of  Old Time, Bluegrass, Ragtime and Jazz music through his newest  recording, “Mozart of the Banjo: The Joe Morley Project.” This project  is devoted to the music of the great English prodigy and virtuoso  composer Joe Morley (1867-1937), who wrote a significant body of great  banjo pieces in a technique that people today call “classic  fingerstyle.”

Aaron also plays and teaches banjo,  mandolin, and guitar in Detroit.


FRIDAY  January 17TH - Trinity House Theatre in Livonia Presents

Audio Birds featuring Sean Blackman, Larry Fratangelo and James Simonson

Audio Birds brings together three of Detroit’s top musicians for a musical exploration of world music, Jazz, funk and soul.

Here is a taste of Sean Blackman on guitar

Sean Blackman (guitarist)
Sean is an established composer, producer, performer and educator of collaborative cross-cultural world music. With over thirty years of study and projects, his mandate is to create platforms for diversity and inclusion and cross-cultural pollination in the arts. He has produced nine albums of original music, launched and directed music festivals, events and concert series. Sean was recently honored in 2016 with the Spirit of Detroit Award by the City Council of Detroit, and in 2017 with The Worlds Got Talent Award for cultural leadership, as well as eight Detroit Music Awards.

Larry Fratangelo (percussionist)
Larry has recorded and toured with some of the top recording artists in the world today. His name appears on Gold, Platinum and Grammy award-winning albums. Larry has performed at the White House and for the British House of Parliament. He has performed with the Boston Pops, at the Grammy Awards, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on the David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live. A graduate of Michigan State University, Larry is currently producing several World Music projects under his record label, BAP Records.

James Simonson (bassist)
James is the Musical Director for Verve Artist Bettye LaVette, is an Ernie Ball/Ampeg Artist, he performs with global giants from Andrea Bocelli to the Detroit Symphony and many others in all genres of music. His versatility, talent and professionalism along with his ambition for greatness has brought him to be a direct descendant of Detroits well known electric bass heritage


SATURDAY JANUARY 18TH @ MAMA'S COFFEEHOUSE @ 7:30pm - doors at 7pm

Opening for 'The'  James Keelaghan at MAMA's

is Detroit Areas own fingerstyle guitarist extraordinaire

Alberto Whitmer

Alberto is a Detroit area guitarist who is currently attending the Fingerstyle Guitar Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison run by John Stropes!!

Alberto has performed locally and had opened for Stefano Barone's performance at Bayberry Music in Ferndale.  Here is Alberto performing a Michael Hedges piece  at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion

Alberto is at a level of performing where he could have his own show but just in case you come to see Alberto perform you also get to see James Keeleghan!!

MAMA's Coffeehouse is located 38651 Woodward Ave
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


This will be a remarkable night of Fingerstyle Guitar

Sunday March 8th @ Trinity House Theatre

Tickets are $25 and now available online

This is a Sunday show that starts at 7pm...doors at 6:30

Trinity House Theatre is located at 38840 Six Mile Rd in Livonia

 Phone(734) 464-6302



Tickets on sale soon for



One of the most influential and innovative guitarists of the past quarter century, Preston Reed invented integrated percussive guitar playing in the late 1980's, revolutionising the way the acoustic guitar is played and inspiring generations of musicians around the world ever since. Employing multi-voiced grooves, polyrhythmic percussion and story-telling compositions, Reed's visionary approach fully exploits the breathtaking orchestral potential of the acoustic guitar.



Friday May 15th & Saturday May 16th

Tony McManus & Julia Toaspern

Hailed by John Renbourn as ‘the best Celtic guitarist in the world’ Tony McManus  has been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine.

Julia Toaspern is a multi-talented musician from Berlin. She has released two albums of original songs and performed in both classical and singer-songwriter modes on both sides of the Atlantic



20 February 14 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Daniel Champange

 @ 20 Front Street    Front Street in Lake Orion


Our Friends at Classical Guitar Society of Michigan

Upcoming Local Classical Guitar Events and Related Concerts (You can also check our calendar at: 

Raphael Feuillatre Master Class and Concert

in February By Helene Rottenberg 
I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about an upcoming Master Class and Concert with French classical guitarist,

Raphael Feuillatre

(2018 Guitar Foundation of  America

International Competition winner).   
Both the class and the concert will be held at

Madonna University in Kresge Hall (36600 Schoolcraft Rd., Livonia,

The Master Class will be on Saturday,

February 22nd at 1:00pm.

The class will be $50 for performers and $20 for auditors.  If you are interested in performing in the class, please contact me via phone or email (contact info below). 

The concert will be Sunday, February 23rd at 3:00 pm.---$20 general admission and $15 
  CGSM monthly meetings of the 2019-20 season 

Sundays at the Plymouth Public Library 2pm, Ensemble Reading Session 3pm, Open Play      January 19, 2020    February 16    March 15    April 26    May 17 – Members Concert and get-together



September 10-14, 2020
The Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival takes place from
 September 10-14, 2020
at Camp Mitchell located on the bluffs of
Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton, Arkansas.


January/February 2020 -

This month: Elliot Cole/Jordan Dodson (contemporary classical), Joel Saunders (fingerstyle), Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers (folk), Hiroya Tsukamoto (fingerstyle), and Cory Seznec (spirituals).

Also be sure to check out the brief reviews of Adrien Brogna & André Klénès (classical), Mike Moss (jazz), Daniel Lippel (experimental), Russ Daniels (fingerstyle) and Debra Cowan (folk) at "Short Takes."

 "Like" us on Facebook. We now also have artist links to Spotify, so you can stream the music right away.

WE ARE GIVING AWAY copies of two CDs (see below) reviewed in this issue of Minor 7th, so be sure to register to win!


Don't Forget our friends @

Trinity House in Livonia -

20 Front Street in Lake Orion -

The Robin Theatre in Lansing -

The Listening Room in Grand Rapids -

Candyrat Records  


Bayberry Music in Ferndale @ 
great instruments and repairs!

Elderly Instruments in Lansing @

Strings by Mail (up north somewhere!)

or find MFGS on Facebook       

Please share these concerts with friends!

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization  promoting  the art of Contemporary Acoustic Guitar through workshops and performances since 2001  

              JB Davies, Rick Haden, Mark Hawks, Jeb McIntyre, Ron Stavale 

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