The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, July 11, 2019, Image 4

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Visual arts, literature,
theater, music & more
Annual Tenor Guitar Gathering celebrates 10 years in Astoria
t the 10th annual Tenor Guitar
Gathering in Astoria, taking
place July 12 and 13, music
lovers can indulge their interest
and appreciation for this resurging
instrument through a variety of
workshops, concerts and open jam
sessions with personable musi-
cians from across the country.
“That’s the key, to get this
emotional link with every-
body,” said Harriott Balmer, a
board member for the Tenor Gui-
tar Foundation, who became a
self-described “groupie” at retire-
ment. “All these artists have a his-
tory with this group.”
On Friday and Saturday, pro-
fessional musicians such as Al
Hirsch, Buddy Woodward, Erich
Sylvester, Jean Mann, John Law-
lor, Kenneth Heikkila and Paul
Robinson will lead workshops
covering tenor guitar, ukulele,
home concert tips, music theory
and specific playing styles.
The gathering is moving from
Pier 39 to the Performing Arts
Center, which provides the ideal
environment for the event with
the stage upstairs and individ-
ual classroom spaces downstairs,
Balmer said.
Concerts featuring the vari-
ous artists and instructors will take
place from 6 to 10 p.m. both Fri-
day and Saturday. They are open
to the public.
Individuals can also attend the
jam sessions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
each day. They are welcome to
bring not only guitars, but also
banjos, mandolins, harmonicas
and other instruments.
One of the highlights of the
event is the musical trolley ride,
which helps kick off the gather-
Josh Reynolds
Tenor Guitar Gathering members at a jam session next to the Astoria Riverfront Trolley.
If You Go
What: 10th annual Tenor Guitar
When: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
and Saturday, July 12 and 13
Where: Clatsop Community
College Performing Arts Center
Details: To register for a work-
shop email hbalmer@comcast.
net or visit tenorguitargather- Concert tickets are $35.
Josh Reynolds
Mark Josephs, the founder of
the Tenor Guitar Foundation and
Gathering, died in 2016, but the
organization and event have
continued on. The 10th Annual
Tenor Guitar Gathering takes place
Friday and Saturday.
ing Friday morning on the Asto-
ria Trolley. Participants will
meet at the Bridgewater Bistro at
11:45 a.m. for a trolley ride that
includes singing and guitar-play-
ing. The short trip will be fol-
lowed with a buffet lunch at the
bistro, accompanied with a perfor-
mance by Lawlor, who captures a
unique and complex style of jazz
on the tenor guitar, along with
other guest artists.
Tribute to Mark Josephs
The foundation and gathering
were originally founded by Mark
Josephs, who died in 2016.
In his younger years, Josephs
was a professional musician who
toured with several different
swing groups, but later decided to
pull back from touring and devote
time to his own compositions, his
wife, Karen Sexton-Josephs, said.
“He was just passionate about
all kinds of music,” she said. “He
fell in love with the tenor guitar
and he just thought, ‘Boy, this is a
musical instrument so few people
know about now.’”
The tenor guitar – a slightly
smaller, four-string relative of the
steel-string acoustic guitar or elec-
tric guitar – was originally devel-
oped to help four-string banjo
players easily cross over into gui-
tar-playing without having to learn
the six-string guitar. The instru-
ment has since evolved to include
alternate types of tuning.
Josephs started the inaugu-
ral Tenor Guitar Gathering with
the help of Gordon “Gordo” Sty-
ler at the Astoria Guitar Company,
which used to be on the Astoria
Sexton-Josephs said both her
late husband and Styler “were
great conversationalists” who
shared a love for music and deep
knowledge of its history.
Josephs would take his uku-
lele with him when visiting med-
ical patients, putting them at ease
by playing for them, Sexton-Jo-
sephs said. He also spent all year
scouring the Internet for new tal-
ent that he could incorporate into
the gathering.
Each year, the organizers com-
bine traditions Josephs’ started
with alternating workshop instruc-
tors and topics in addition to add-
ing new elements, Sexton-Josephs
Josephs’ death caused rip-
ple effects throughout the
“We lost our foundation,”
Balmer said.
Carrying on in founder’s
But the event has carried on in
his memory.
The gathering is taking place
over two days instead of four this
year as the board works to stabi-
lize the organization and make the
event financially viable.
The performers are also paying
their way and staying at people’s
homes, taking only a cut of the
workshop fees.
According to Balmer, their
devotion to the event’s success
can be traced back to the ways
in which Josephs impacted their
lives and careers.
“I think because of Mark’s
energy and passion for it, people
really wanted to honor him, and
they enjoy the event,” Sexton-Jo-
sephs agreed. CW