Presenters & Performers

Paul Asbell – Concert and Master Class
In his 55 year professional career, Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Sonny Stitt, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. He founded the jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro, which released several award-winning recordings and performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Roskilde, in Copenhagen. Paul’s three solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and “From Adamant To Atchafalaya”, received rave reviews in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, Downbeat, and Blues Revue for their fresh takes on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country tunes, and original pieces from the “American roots” tradition. A jazz CD featuring his original compositions, entitled “Burmese Panther” was released in 2019 to similar acclaim. Concert appearances include Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, MerleFest, Lunenburg Folk Festival, and many other venues. Paul has held teaching positions at Dartmouth, Skidmore, and other colleges. He presently teaches at Middlebury College and University of Vermont.

Walt Bibinger – Concert Showcase
The International Association of Jazz Record Collectors describes jazz guitarist Walt Bibinger’s playing as “ … rooted in the traditions of Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith, and Joe Pass, but with a sound and style all his own … “ He began playing the guitar at age 4, performing professionally at age 12 and began his teaching career at age 16. Walt’s primary musical influence and mentor was the late Grammy Award winning guitarist Harry Leahey. Walt studied intensely with Leahey from 1975 until the guitarist’s passing in 1990, and attended The Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In addition to performing solo, duo, and leading his own trio, Walt is in demand as a sideman and has appeared live with Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Bob Dorough, Jimmy McGriff, and Phil Woods, among many others. Walt is also busy with freelance studio/session work, having performed on numerous CD’s by artists of all musical genres. Walt is being presented by Tyler and Dale Unger of American Archtop Guitars. |

Ty Danco – Master Class
Ty Danco of the Archtop Foundation has facilitated the presentation of The Blue Guitar Collection at the Artisan Guitar Show. These wonderful instruments were the vision of noted collector Scott Chinery who died in 2000. Ty is a retired fintech entrepreneur and angel investor, and former U.S. Olympian.

Tim Farrell – Concert
Tim Farrell is an internationally known musician, composer, recording artist, performer and educator. He is one of only four artists to be honored as one of the 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists who have also won Best Instrumental in the International Acoustic Music Awards. Tim’s fingerstyle playing and beautiful original compositions display an elegant simplicity that celebrates the purity of the acoustic guitar. Tim is a rare kind of musician, with the ability to both entertain an audience and inspire future generations of players. “Tim Farrell brings a melodic sensibility to his compositions that makes him stand apart from most of the fingerstyle crowd.” Echoes Radio. Tim’s music is enjoyed worldwide in concert, on radio, TV, films, streaming services, CDs, video, inflight audio, and more … Tim is being presented by Paul Woolson of Woolson Soundcraft and Steve Kinnaird of Stephen Kinnaird Guitars. | |

Joan and Rob Gallo – Master Class
Joan Gallo and Rob Gallo are executives at Heritage Insurance Services. Heritage is located in historic Feasterville, Pennsylvania in Bucks County. They have been insuring fine musical instruments worldwide since 1991, protecting more than 12,000 clients in the United States and Canada. They offer comprehensive coverage to players, collectors, makers, repair shops, and dealers of professional-quality new and vintage musical instruments. Heritage also provides insurance to cover accessories and musically related equipment such as amplifiers, audio and video equipment, electrical gear, cases, books, sheet music, memorabilia, and collectables.

Mark Hanson – Concert
Grammy Award winning fingerstyle guitarist Mark Hanson received his accolade in 2005 for his contributions to the Henry Mancini – Pink Guitar album. An engaging performer, he has concertized around the world and shared the stage with many guitar greats, including Jerry Garcia and Tommy Emmanuel. Mark played for President Obama in San Francisco in 2009. Mark has the rare ability to coax a piano-like richness out of an acoustic guitar — whether it be through a heartfelt ballad, a fingerstyle barnburner or a blues slide tune on a resonator guitar. Hs solo composition “Sweet Rotunda” played for years on NPR and several syndicated programs, including Martha Stewart Living. His “Drake’s Passage” played on American Idol. YouTube favorites of Mark’s include his haunting rendition of “Water Is Wide”, the walking-bass “In the Mood” and the exuberant, multi-faceted “When the Saints Go Marching In.” As an author, Mark has written nearly 30 titles on playing guitar, including the best-selling Art of Contemporary Travis Picking. His Art of Solo Fingerpicking book/recording was included in the book 50 Greatest Guitar Books. He frequently performs with his wife, award-winning vocalist Greta Pedersen. Mark is being presented by Stephen Showalter of Showalter Guitars. |

Peter Henriksen – Master Class
Henriksen Amplifiers designs and manufactures high quality musical instrument amplifiers in Denver, Colorado. Henriksen caters to professional and aspiring players who care about their sound and want performance-ready equipment. The company was founded in 2005 by Peter’s father, Bud Henriksen. Bud struggled to find an amplifier that had the sound he was looking for, and so began working on a product to meet the needs of jazz guitar players who wanted high-quality sound in a portable, reliable package. Peter has driven continued product innovation and built Henriksen into an international company known and respected for setting new standards not just for jazz guitar, but also acoustic guitars, ukuleles, violins, mandolins, and other stringed instruments.

Steve Herberman – Concert and Master Class
Steve Herberman is a graduate of Berklee College of Music majoring in Jazz guitar performance. He made the switch to seven-string guitar in 1993. Steve has recorded numerous CD’s as both leader and sideman and is a respected jazz educator. Steve has over 60 video lessons published on Mike’s Masterclasses and has toured across the US and Europe playing and teaching. He is featured in the book The Great Jazz Guitarists by Scott Yanow and placed as a current top guitarist in the 2022 readers poll in All About Jazz. Steve Herberman’s original composition What We Do won first place in the jazz category of the 2018 USA Songwriting Competition. Steve is presented by Bill Comins of Comins Guitars.

Gavin Horning – Concert
Gavin Horning is a musician, composer, and educator. Some of Gavin’s musical highlights have included being hired by esteemed artists such as, Warren Wolf, Tim Green, Sean Jones, Steve Rudolph, Joe Negri, Joshua Davis, and others. At the age of 20, Gavin was hired to perform in a concert lead by former Earth Wind & Fire saxophonist, Ronnie Laws. Gavin was awarded a full tuition scholarship at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where he was a teaching assistant under jazz department chair, Sean Jones. Gavin studied with Matthew Stevens, Warren Wolf, Mark Koch, and educator Andrew Johnson. Gavin is an Adjunct Professor of music at Messiah University. In his spare time Gavin enjoys cooking, exercising, training jiu-jitsu, and a good hang. Gavin is being presented by Roger Sadowsky of Sadowsky Guitars. |

Jeff Jewitt – Master Class
Jeff has over 35 years in the musical industry as both a builder and colorants supplier to the industry. With a strong background in Science and Studio Arts, Jeff Jewitt started building guitars in the late 1980’s. As a guitar player for over 40 years, Jeff has a keen eye and an understanding of the nuances a player wants in a guitar. Jeff is a well-known as a finishing expert and has authored 6 books, 5 videos and 6 on-line courses. He consults on a regular basis to guitar companies, both large and small. Jeff is the President of J.B. Jewitt Co., Inc, which incorporates two businesses, Homestead Finishing Products, which manufactures colorants for the music and other industries, and Jewitt Guitars, which manufactures premium acoustic guitars. |

Steve Lacey – Concert Showcase
Steve Lacey is a finger-style jazz guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and teacher based in Gloucester, MA. Steve’s main focus has been creating artistic solo guitar arrangements as you can hear in his debut album To The Ocean. His repertoire comes from jazz, folk and popular music as well his own compositions. This wide range of repertoire is tied together through his unique approach to the guitar. His finger-style techniques create a variety of pianistic, harp-like and contrapuntal effects. Steve is being presented by Ken Parker of Ken Parker Archtops. |

Tom Lagana – Concert and Master Class
Tom Lagana has consistently garnered respect for his creativity, musical integrity, and devotion to his craft. His performances have ranged from jazz concerts with Joel Frahm, George Garzone, Red Rodney, and many others to formal appearances with the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Wolf Trap Orchestras. Tom has performed on national tours for Mean Girls in the Tina Turner show, The Godfather Live with the Baltimore Symphony at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and the Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill musical at National Theater in Washington, DC. Tom has also won strong praise for his recordings from both Jazz Times and Downbeat magazines. He has taught at Towson University and is currently on the faculty at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Howard University in Washington D.C. His recordings as a leader include Patuxent, Schematic and the most recent Vol.1. Tom is being presented by Tim Bram of Tim Bram Guitars. |

Sean McGowan – Concert and Master Class
Sean McGowan is a fingerstyle jazz guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. Sean is an avid arts educator and teaches at the University of Colorado. He is also a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians, teaching a holistic approach to the instrument in workshops throughout the country. Sean is the author of several method books, as well as jazz guitar courses on Sean is hosted by Peter Henriksen of Henriksen Amplifiers and Bourgeois Guitars. | |

Joe McMurray – Concert and Master Class
Joe McMurray is a professional musician and music educator currently based out of NYC. He is passionate about fingerstyle guitar, but he has experience in the realms of blues, rock, and jazz. He received his BSE in Civil Engineering from Duke University in 2010, worked in Washington, DC, and became so involved in the local music scene that he decided to quit his job. Joe formally studied jazz guitar at George Mason University and has since taught thousands of music lessons and played over 450 shows in DC, Virginia, Honolulu, and most recently NYC. He has released two fingerstyle guitar albums: Riding the Wave (2022) and Acoustic Oasis (2021), and he is preparing the release of his book on how to arrange for fingerstyle guitar. Joe is being presented by Bil Micthell of Guitar Parlor. |

Kevin Neidig – Concert and Master Class
A native from Mechanicsburg, PA, Kevin Neidig is an award winning Americana singer/songwriter/composer multi-instrumentalist whose sound mixes elements of Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice and other like artists. He likes to call his style, “Folkgrass for the Critical Thinker.” His latest album Writing with Fire can be found on his website as well as the latest EP “The Farm Sessions Vol 1.” He is recording Vol 2. now and hopes to release soon. Kevin also teaches a wide range of instruments online through Zoom, has published music books on Amazon and has an online guitar course on Soundslice called “Riff Monkey.” Kevin is being presented by Tim and Mary McKnight of McKnight Guitars. |

Kinloch Nelson – Concert and Master Class
Kinloch Nelson’s 50-year career has run the gamut from Classical guitar recitals and Folk concerts to club, festival, and recording dates playing Country, Jazz, Rock, Rockabilly, R&B, Blues, New Age, Celtic and American Primitive. His catalogue of original compositions is extensive. He has contributed music and video to Acoustic Guitar Magazine, had positive CD reviews in Rolling Stone, Mojo Magazine, and Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, interviewed in Fretboard Journal, featured in concert on PBS radio and TV, and performed around the US
and the UK. Teaching credits include Hochstein Music School in Rochester NY, and Maryland Center For The Arts. Kinloch is being presented by Krzysztof Trześniowski of Blue Arch Guitars. |

Perry Smith – Master Class
NYC guitarist Perry Smith combines the tradition of Jazz with broad influences from contemporary music to create his signature style. Originally from San Francisco, Smith is now based in Brooklyn where he performs as a bandleader and a sideman for local and touring artists. Smith’s extensive performance resume includes notable stages such as: Birdland, Blue Note, Smalls, Dizzy’s, Montreal Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, Jazz Alley, Blues Alley and Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival.

Matt Thomas – Concert Showcase
Matt Thomas brings technical wizardry as well as a vibrant and poetic music making experience to the stage. He is one of the most distinctive fingerstyle guitarists performing today. In 2019, he won 1st place at the International Fingerstyle Collective Competition. In 2017, he won 3rd place at the Walnut Valley International Fingerstyle Competition in Winfield Kansas. He also won 1st place in both contemporary thumbpicking and open style at the Home of the Legends International Thumbpicking Competition. He was inducted into the Thumbpickers Hall-of-Fame. Thomas is very well known for his Harp Guitar compositions and playing. Matt is being presented by Jeff Jewitt of Jewitt Guitars. |