Arts and Entertainment

Two renowned musicians to dazzle Island crowds

Alex De Grassi. - Courtesy photo
Alex De Grassi.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Music aficionados will have a tough choice this weekend, with two acclaimed guitar players coming to town for concerts on the same night.

The competing shows will show off the considerable chops of Grammy-Award nominated player Alex De Grassi and multi-instrumentalist David Lindley.

Luckily, the two virtuoso musicians have very different repertoires and approaches, and the concerts will take place in two very different settings, so Islanders can make their plans accordingly.

David Lindley

Vashon Island Rotary Club will present Lindley in a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Vashon High School theater.

Tickets to the show, $25 and $60, are on sale at at www.brownpapertickets.com, Books by the Way and Vashon Bookshop.

The higher ticket price includes preferred seating and admittance to an after-concert party at Quartermaster Inn.

Lindley, who performed for many years as a featured accompanist to Jackson Browne and the leader of his band, Rayo-X, has an impressively eclectic musical resumé.

A champion of world music, Lindley has developed a repertoire that blends American folk, blues and bluegrass traditions with divergent influences from African, Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy and Turkish music.

Lindley performs with stringed instruments, including Hawaiian lap steel guitars, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud and Irish bouzouki.

He is also known for colorful stage attire and lively onstage banter during his shows.

The concert will raise money for two Rotary projects.

The first, a partnership with Vashon Senior Center, will facilitate much-needed improvements to the center.

The other project will help fund Vashon Rotary’s participation in a project to improve 13 villages in and around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Alex De Grassi

Vashon Allied Arts will present De Grassi in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Blue Heron Art Center.

Tickets to the show, $18 and $20, are available at brownpapertickets.com, Blue Heron, Books by the Way, Vashon Bookshop and the Heron’s Nest and by phone at 463-5131.

Janice Mallman, associate director of Vashon Allied Arts, described De Grassi as “an amazing classical guitarist” and said ticket sales had been brisk, with some people planning to make the trek from Seattle to see De Grassi play in an intimate venue.

“For us to have him here is a major coup,” Mallman said.

De Grassi’s substantial discography includes more than a dozen recordings released by Windham Hill, RCA Novus, Tropo Records, 33rd Street and others.

Within the past few years, De Grassi penned a solo guitar score for New York Guitar Festival’s silent film festival at Flushing Town Hall. He’s also written a concerto for steel-string guitar, string quartet and chamber orchestra, commissioned by String Letter Publishing as part of its 20th anniversary celebration.

De Grassi’s most recent release, “Now and Then: Folk Songs for the 21st Century,” offers contemporary arrangements of 11 treasured tunes from the American standards canon.

Critics have raved about the album.

“De Grassi takes ‘Oh, Susanna’ places she’s never been before,” said Michael Paoletta in Billboard Magazine.

Another music critic, Robert Thompson, called De Grassi’s work on the CD “a dazzling dish of guitar,” with “stunning fretboard work.”

A connoisseur of the guitar itself, De Grassi plays a Lowden F-35C Maple with a European spruce top and a Traugott R-model with Brazilian rosewood and a German spruce top, both instruments built to his precise specifications and both, in his opinion, representing state-of-the-art design for finger-style guitar.

De Grassi tours extensively in Europe, Japan and throughout North America.

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