Museums to Host Valley Guitar Showcase

On Sunday, March 10 at 1 pm, the Springfield Museums will present a special afternoon of music titled “The Valley Guitar Showcase.” The event, which is being presented in cooperation with JAM 4 Springfield, is part of a series of programs related to the Museums’ current exhibit, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World. The March 10 event will take place in the Davis Auditorium of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and is sponsored by Catuogno Court Reporting and StenTel Transcription, Western New England University, The New England Farm Workers Council, Flores Development, and Mercy Medical Center. The event is free with Museum admission.

Organizer Peter Newland, of Springfield’s original rock band FAT, has assembled some of the finest guitarists from the Pioneer Valley to provide the audience with a tour through a variety of guitar styles and techniques. The line-up includes Jim Armenti, Joe Boyle, Ray Chaput, Bobby Ferrier, Phillip de Fremery, David Goodrich, Jose Gonzalez, Ray Mason, and members of FAT, featuring Peter Newland, Jim Kaminski, Mark Pappas, and Chet Pasek.

Performing as soloists and combos, the musicians will demonstrate a guitar styles including classical, jazz, latin, folk, blues and rock guitar styles. Next, Will Cumpiano, a locally-based master luthier, will discuss his craft and his work in raising awareness about the cuatro, a four-stringed guitar that is the national instrument of Puerto Rico. To further emphasize the cross-cultural nature of the event, Jose Gonzalez and Criollo Classico will follow with a set of Latin music featuring the cuatro, followed by a Latin/rock fusion version of the classic FAT tune “Black Sunday.”

The event will culminate in a set by members of FAT, led by Newland, followed by a final jam by all of the performers under the collective name, “The Valley Guitar Army.” In keeping with JAM 4 Springfield’s mission to support area artists, photographs of Jimi Hendrix taken by local photographer Nona Hatay will also be on display.

For those visitors who wish to view the GUITAR exhibit, there is a special exhibition fee of $3 for all visitors ages 3 and up in addition to museum admission. GUITAR is sponsored by United Bank, with additional support from Cooley Shrair P.C., Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, and Falcetti Music. Media sponsors of GUITAR are WGBY and WRSI.