For the last three years, the Tenor Guitar Gathering has attracted musicians and music lovers alike from all over for this 3-4 day event. Tenor guitar enthusiasts again will hold their 4th Annual Gathering in Astoria, Oregon May 30, 31, June 1, 2, 2013. With the noticeable increase of individuals who love to play the tenor guitar, this event may will be the largest convergence of tenor guitar players in the world ever! Over the last year, Mark Josephs, the founder of the Tenor Guitar Gathering, has worked with local businesses people and nationally known musicians and music afficianados to form the Tenor Guitar Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to bringing what Josephs calls, “this quirky musical endeavor….that brings people to the charming city of Astoria.”
The board is composed of the following people:
Mark Josephs, President – started the Tenor Guitar Registry in 1999 as a way for tenor guitarists to find others. In 2001 he helped launch www.TenorGuitar.com. In 2005 he taught one of the first workshops for tenor guitar at Boulevard Music in Culver City, California, and in June 2010 created the world’s first Tenor Guitar Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. Mark started the Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame and is now a member of both The Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame Advisory Board and President of The Tenor Guitar Foundation, an Oregon non-profit.
Mitchell De Jarnett, Secretary – plays four and five string tenor guitar and is a founding member of the board of directors at the Grand Central Art Center in Orange County, California. He is a designer and artist by trade and his repertoire includes some of the more neglected songs from the Great American Songbook and Tom Waits.
Dave Stevens, Treasurer – is the owner of River Zen Yoga in Astoria, Oregon. The space formerly held by the late Gordon Styler and housed The Astoria Guitar Company, home of the first Tenor Guitar Gathering in 2010, as well as the second in 2011. Having TG music again in the very space where it all started is very “Zen”, “Cosmic” and most fitting. The River Zen Yoga space, directly on the Columbia River, with a view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge and the state of Washington across the way, holds up to fifty people. Dave is not only generously making his space available, business permitting, to future gatherings, he is also an ardent supporter of what we all would like to see the Tenor Guitar Foundation accomplish.
Howard Blumenthal has been a friend of Mark Josephs’s since 1970 when they both attended the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. Mark taught Howard how to play the six string guitar and Howard taught Mark how to ride a motorcycle. Howard, a former Honda mechanic and Honda Bike Shop owner in upstate New York, transitioned himself and his brother over to the next new thing beyond motorcycles, computers. Howard ran his own non-profit “Heart of the Alleghenies Folk Music Association”, and is the organizer of contra dancing and old time fiddle events in the upstate New York area. He plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle and tenor guitar.
Josh Reynolds has attended, performed, and supported the Tenor Guitar Gathering from its inception. They would not have been nearly as successful without his participation. He is the son of Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio and our first inductee into the Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame. Keeping music and especially tenor guitar music alive is something that is important to him. He is both a direct link to the history of the tenor guitar as well as a proponent for it’s future, he lives by his fathers famous quote, “It’s all about the music”.
Ken Heikkila has been posting insightful opinions on the Tenor Guitar Registry for years. He teaches Reiki, Tai Chi, Qigong at his home in Washington state and volunteers Reiki treatment to staff, patients and visitors at the Mid-Columbia Medical Center as well as their Celilo Cancer Center in The Dalles, Oregon. Ken and his wife have attended all three gatherings and bring an honest perspective, as one who has been an attendee, on how to keep things real, organic, musical and fun.
Still hoping to attract local corporate sponsors and indivdiaul donations to the Tenor Guitar Foundation, Josephs notes that “”We have not been able to find any corporate sponsors to help
in a big way as of yet. So we have been asking a lot of people to help in a little way. This years annual gathering will only be successful if it gets the support of tenor guitarists from every corner of the country as well as from those who simply believe in the nobleness of its cause.”
Some of those who have attended the Tenor Guitar Gatherings in the past have a lot to say about why they are coming back to Astoria again this year:
Ken H. from Goldendale, Washington says: “As a tenor guitar player living in Goldendale, WA I wouldn’t miss our annual trip to Astoria. My wife loves it as much as I do & she plays no musical instruments. She does love good music. Tenor Guitar Gathering 1 was our first trip to Astoria since we moved to Washington from California seven years ago. We were accustomed to attend many of the music festivals in and around the San Francisco Bay area and missed that when we moved here. Sure there are small local events that we happily attend, but the top notch bands we had become accustomed to were few and far between here in the country. Without the festival (TGG) we would undoubtedly stop in to eat at one of the many fine restaurants on our way to or from the Oregon coast from time to time, but it is highly unlikely we would spend the 4 nights in an Astoria B&B that has become our annual habit.”
John Cassidy says, “Thank you again for inviting my wife and myself back to another tenor guitar gathering here in June 2013. We were to the June 2011 gathering and had a tremendous time. First off, the town of Astoria, Or. is a jewel, a historical site and is just delightful. The music was a treat and went on well beyond the scheduled events. It was was amazing to see some of the worlds greatest tenor guitar players gathered and to witness the award inducting into the” Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame” , Nick Reynolds of Kingston Trio fame. His son Joshwas there to accept the award and I even got to sit in on several sessions with him and the group. Singing ” The MTA” in the public trolley with the attendees was priceless. This year promises to take things to a new level and my wife and I will not miss this joyful event.See you in [May]June.”
Mark Josephs promises an impressive line up of performers this year, including
Lowell “Banana” Levinger, Josh Reynolds (son of Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trip) with his new trio The Lion Sons, Alula, Carl Allen, Myshkin, Spider Murphy, Tom Molyneaux, EZ Marc Poschman, Professor Douglas Fraser, The Renegade String Band, The Quiet American, and John Lawlor!
Tenor guitar luthiers will also be displaying the most beautiful instruments ever created.
To learn more about the Tenor Guitar Gathering IV visit the Tenor Guitar Foundation Website.