SUNY Oswego Guitar Symposium to offer concerts, workshops

Jeff LinskySUNY Oswego will launch its restyled biennial Guitar Symposium, with workshops and concerts by top players, on Nov. 8 and 9.

The Guitar Symposium will incorporate classical finger style, funk, fusion and traditional, Brazilian and gypsy jazz into its workshops, master classes and performances. Artists doubling as instructors will include Jeff Linsky, Oz Noy, Peter Bernstein and Frank Vignola. The symposium will feature a concert by the Brasil Guitar Duo.

The symposium will differ from previous versions of the festival. While the format remains the same—an intimate and personal series of master classes and performances—this year’s event will feature a broader selection of genres. The forerunning Jazz Guitar and More festivals focused more on the jazz and less on the “more” aspect.

Called “the finest finger-style guitarist you will ever see or hear” by the Los Angeles Times, Linsky (pictured) exhibited a passion for music at a young age. By his late teens, he was touring professionally as a sideman with groups such as the Grass Roots and the Standells. His music is classical and Latin merged with traditional jazz finger-picking. Linsky’s performance will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, and his master class will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.

Noy began his career at the age of 13 in his native Israel playing jazz, blues, pop and rock music. By age 16, he was playing with lead Israeli performers, and by 24 he was one of the most established studio guitarists in the country. After coming to New York in 1996, Noy impacted the local music scene with a unique fusion of pop, rock, blues, funk and jazz in his compositions. The Oz Noy Trio will play at 4 p.m. Nov. 8, followed by an informal clinic by Noy.

In two decades, Bernstein has participated in over 60 recordings and played countless festivals, concerts and club performances. He was discovered by alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, who asked him to record with him. He has also performed with stars ranging from legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb to jazz pianist Diana Krall and taught at a number of institutions. The Peter Bernstein Quartet will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, with Bernstein’s master class the next day at 3 p.m.

The Brasil Guitar Duo, whose work spans a wide range of classical guitar, will perform at 11 a.m. Nov. 9.

Vignola grew up admiring guitar players after picking up his first guitar at age 5. After studying at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island, he enjoyed sideman jobs in the ‘80s with artists including Madonna and Ringo Starr. Vignola’s style is a signature blend of genres ranging from jazz to bluegrass. He will hold a master class at 1 p.m. Nov. 9. The Frank Vignola Quartet will conclude the symposium with a performance at 4 p.m.

Guitar Symposium attendees can save money by registering before Oct. 24 at $95 for adults, $75 for students and $20 for SUNY Oswego students ($115, $95 and $40, respectively, after Oct. 24). Concert-only passes are also available.

For evening and weekend events at SUNY Oswego, visitors may park in any campus lot free of charge.

Tickets can be purchased at Tyler box office by calling 312-2141 or e-mailing For more information, visit

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(Posted: Sep 24, 2008)