by Elizabeth Anderson
BIGFORK — Top artists will perform at the 5th Annual Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival at the family owned dude-ranch, Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, on Aug. 24 through 31.
Featured blues star, Ana Popovic, will perform this year and join Artists-In-Residence, AIRs, exclusive ranks to help teach afternoon clinics as part of the workshop.
This year’s AIR guests include classical guitarist David Leisner, Dweezil Zappa, Lee Ritenour, jazz singer and guitarist Emily Elbert, Mike and Leni Stern, John Oates of Hall and Oates, and Americana artist Shelby Lynne. Guests will also perform festival evening concerts and stay in the lodge over the summer’s week-long workshop.
“One of the special things this year, in addition to the people being featured, is that a lot of artists will be sitting in on other nights,” David Feffer said, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Chairman and founder of the event five years ago.
He said the event is about people playing together, playing great music and having fun, and that this years collaborative efforts will provide young people with
“the kinds of things you just don’t get a chance to see,”he said.
“There are going to be a lot of surprises throughout the week,”
Several of the shows are going to open with national scholarship winners, Solomon Hicks, 19, and Willie Moore III, 17, selected by National Jazz Museum in Harlem. They are among the top young guitarists in the county.
During intermissions, a student pit-band will be led by Dennis McCumber.
John Bogan, 18, the winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition, the top classical guitar competition in the world, and Josh Achiron, 16, was nominated to perform by Lee Ritenour.
“One of core goals is to help support development of the next generation of leading guitar players,” Feffer said. “There will be special collaborations that the artists are very excited about doing,”
There will be a live auction for a 40th Anniversary Benedetto limited edition guitar, and a one of a kind Stratocaster guitar with Frank Zappa’s image on it, approved by the family. There will also be a silent auction, and both auctions go to support the scholarship program and keep the ticket prices at the low cost of $35.
For more information or tickets call 855-855-5900 or visit cocguitarfoundation.org. Tickets can also be purchased at Electric Avenue Gifts, Nancy O’s Interiors or Donna Shanahan’s Interior Design all located in Bigfork.