Guitar Town July 7-9 2009 Copper Mountain


2016 Lineup to be announced in the Spring of 2016!

2015 Performer Lineup

Saturday - Acoustic Day

Sunday - Electric Day



Eric Johnson

Eric JohnsonThe GRAMMY Award winner and six-time GRAMMY nominee known as the masterful studio craftsman behind his acclaimed million-plus-selling breakout album, Ah Via Musicom and its Top 10 hit, the GRAMMY Award-winning “Cliffs of Dover,” as well as hits such as “Trademark” and “Righteous,” has been honored by periodicals in the music space for decades. Eric Johnson is enshrined in Guitar Player magazine’s "Gallery of Greats," while Musician Magazine named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century. He continues to refine and expand his musical brilliance in his own electric and acoustic tours (playing both guitar and piano), and his recent live collaborations on both electric guitar with jazz player Mike Stern and slide master Sonny Landreth. Avidly collaborative, Johnson has recorded and/or performed with a long list of artists, including B.B. King, Chet Atkins, James Burton, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani (on the original G3 tour), and John McLaughlin.  Throughout his career he has consistently won and placed high in numerous readers and critic polls conducted by guitar publications, most recently in 2010 when he was named Guitarist of the Year by Guitar International.   Johnson has also won more Austin Music Awards (33) than anyone else.  He is a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame.

“I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow,” explains Johnson of his approach to the album. “I think that’s a direction that works better for any artist, and especially for me. I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also wanted to go for the energy and magic of the performances.”

Andy McKee

Andy McKee is among the world's finest acoustic guitarists and his 200 million+ YouTube views underscore his emergence as one of today's most unique and influential artists. To fans of virtuoso musicianship, it is McKee's attention to song structure and melodic content that elevates him above the rest. To fans of popular music, McKee entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique. In the past two years, Any has toured America, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, France, England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Russia - and recently garnered plum exposure playing with Prince at sold out arena shows in Australia as a featured soloist and special guest member of Prince's extraordinary live band.

J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band)J2B2

Bluegrass supergroup J2B2 delivers bluegrass like no one has quite ever heard it before, thanks in part to the quartet's fresh harmony vocals, which combine old-school bluegrass with elements of 60's and 70's West Coast folk rock.  The band's undeniable live shows have received stellar reviews and showcase a spot-on union of impeccable musicianship, incomparable songwriting, and seasoned showmanship. Traditional bluegrass standards fit seamlessly next to contemporary songs like the Herb Pedersen-penned classic "Wait A Minute" and the Jon Randall/Bill Anderson-penned CMA Song of the Year, "Whiskey Lullaby." This is the "high lonesome sound" of American roots music at its finest.  The International Bluegrass Music Association was written "(J2B2) indulged the crowd...there was warmth, and storytelling, and lots of laughter...with their expertise combined, you would think they had been playing in this configuration for years."  The debut album by J2B2, From The Crow's Nest, is set for release later this year.

John Jorgenson Quintet

John Jorgenson QuintetThe New York Times has called music virtuoso John Jorgenson "perhaps the best jazz guitarist alive." Known for his blistering guitar licks and mastery of a broad musical palette, Jorgenson has earned a reputation as a world-class musician and guitarist who has collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Luciano Pavarotti, and Bob Dylan. The GRAMMY Award-winning artist and in-demand studio musician is known for creating a unique musical experience that equally enthralls the most discerning and the casual music fan. His dynamic Quintet's authentic gypsy jazz-the string-driven swing created by Jean "Django" Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris-is recognized internationally. One of the elite gypsy jazz players in the world, Jorgenson portrayed Django Reinhardt in the Hollywood feature film Head In the Clouds.

All About Jazz has described the John Jorgenson Quintet's performance as "a mix of soulful romance and rollicking celebration, with Jorgenson's fingers a blur that created avalanches of notes and chords, his dazzling prowess often caused listeners to gasp at the speed and sound." The John Jorgenson Quintet is comprised of Jorgenson (acoustic guitar, bouzouki, clarinet, vocals), and noted master musicians Jason Anick (jazz violin), Simon Planting (bass), Jeff Radaich (acoustic guitar) and Rick Reed (percussion).  The Quintet's new record, Returning, will be released this year.

Trio Balkan Strings

Trio Balkan StringsTRIO BALKAN STRINGS (Zoran Starcevic & sons) performs its original guitar music, a fusion of Balkan music: Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean, Greek, Oriental, Jazz, Gypsy Swing, Classical music, asymmetrical rhythms and original guitar interpretation. The result, combining many cultures, is BALKAN SWING - JAZZ GUITAR - ETHNO - WORLD FUSION, virtuoso, rich and unconventional, fresh and spontaneous, brimming with energy. Authentic, attractive music with the finest taste, real presentation of guitar music in Balkan Jazz style, unique interpretation from three of them and the universal music language, without frontiers. 

A real music trip by Balkan carpet, so if you like Jazz, Swing, Ethno, Classical, or you simply like guitar music, it is your perfect choice. They invented 6 hands playing on 1 guitar and that is their trademark. They have performed in many Festivals (Jazz, Classical Guitar, World music) and concerts in: USA, Canada, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, Moldova, Slovakia, Chech Republic, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. They did master classes-clinics and concerts for classical and Jazz guitar students in Europe and in the USA.

Richard Smith

Richard SmithWhen Richard Smith picks up a guitar, it's a treat for the ears and the eyes. Audiences watch in amazement, while his fingers dance over fretboard and strings, and listen in delight, as melody and groove fill the room. It's a natural gift. Born in Beckenham, Kent in England, Smith is well-known for mixing it up - using various techniques and playing a wide range of musical styles. Blues, Joplin Rags, Bach, Chopin, flatpicking fiddle tunes, Sousa Marches, and fingerstyle jazz to straight Merle Travis picking tunes make up his evolving repertoire. Smith has played with Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Les Paul, John Jorgenson, Boots Randolph, Nato Lima and many others. Smith is a National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion and was inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame in 2009.

Rory HoffmanRory Hoffman

Rory Hoffman is a Nashville based guitarist, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist. Raised on a small ranch in North Dakota, Rory grew up recording and touring with the family Gospel band. He started teaching himself to play guitar and piano at age 3. By age 5 he was the drummer in the family band. He currently plays over a dozen stringed, keyboard and wind instruments.

Rory's personal musical career was jumpstarted in 1999 upon winning Grand Champion Instrumentalist at the Christian Artist Seminar in the Rockies. In 2001 he traveled to Nashville for the first time to record his Gospel instrumental CD, "Blind Faith". He then helped form Depot Music Productions, based in Mobridge South Dakota. There he self-produced his second album "fishin'", this time choosing country music as his theme. While with Depot Music, Rory produced several other studio projects for local and regional artists. in 2004 and 2005 he received Instrumentalist of the Year from the ICMA based in Nashville.

Scott Goldman

Scott GoldmanScott Goldman has been playing guitar for over thirty years. He found his inspiration at Leo Kottke concert in the early 1970's and never looked back. As life takes its twists and turns Scott got a day job but continued to pursue guitar playing in his spare time. The compositions on "Off Season" were written over the last three years. They range from moody and contemplative (A Sonar) to more aggressive pieces like "Traffic Stop." After sharing some of the tracks with friends, Scott was encouraged to put together this CD.

Sean McGowan

Sean McGowanSean is a fingerstyle jazz guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. His first recording River Coffeewon the Best Independent Release of the Year Award (2002) from Acoustic Guitar magazine and music from the recording has been published in Japan’s Acoustic Guitar magazine and Mel Bay’s Master Anthology of Fingerstyle Guitar, Vol. 3 (2005). His subsequent recordings Indigo (2008) and Sphere: the Music of Thelonious Monk(2011) offer compelling portraits of classic jazz standards performed on solo electric archtop guitar. Sphere was named one of Acoustic Guitar magazine’s “Essential Albums of 2011”, and Sean was recently featured on the cover of Fingerstyle 360 magazine (Summer 2012). His most recent recording Thanksgiving & Christmas Tidings (2014) is a collection of seasonal hymns and carols arranged for solo guitar.

Sean is an avid arts educator and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Music and the Guitar Program Director at the University of Colorado Denver. He earned a DMA in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and has conducted workshops at colleges throughout the country. Sean is a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians, and his workshops incorporate a holistic approach to playing. He is also a contributing editor and educational advisor for Acoustic Guitar magazine. He is the author of the String Letter book/DVD instructional projects Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials and Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar.


Steve Vai

Steve VaiWhile many artists fit easily into a single category, Steve Vai remains unclassifiable. He is a musical alchemist of the highest order. Throughout the years, Vai has awed fans of all genres with his exceptional guitar skills and musicianship. He boasts career sales of over 15 million records, three GRAMMY Award wins, and has toured the world as a solo artist, as a member of G3, and with Frank Zappa and bands such as Alcatrazz, The David Lee Roth Band, and Whitesnake.

As an accomplished audio producer, Vai has written, produced, and engineered all of his solo albums, released via Favored Nations, his own independent record label that has released over 70 albums by legendary musicians such as Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Lukather, Eric Johnson, Billy Sheehan, Larry Carlton and many more. For Vai, virtuosity and versatility are not mutually exclusive. He has created music for blockbuster films, bestselling video games, national sports franchises, and corporate brand initiatives. His career accomplishments have earned him honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Musicians Institute.

Vai's new 2-CD/2-DVD release on Sony Legacy, Stillness In Motion:  Vai Live In L.A. was released earlier this year to rave reviews.  Vai's second annual guitar camp -- Vai Academy:  All About The Guitar -- will take place prior to his performance at Guitar Town in Vail, CO from Aug. 2-6, 2015 (for more details, visit:

Robben Ford

Robben FordOne of the premier electric guitarists today, Robben Ford is particularly known for his blues playing as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time GRAMMY nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Clause Ogerman, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield and many others. Robben's impressive, acclaimed body of work continues to receive praise from critics and peers alike.

Larry Groce, Host of NPR's Mountain Stage, has said, "If you see a list of the greatest guitar players of the last 50 years that doesn't include Robben Ford on it, be suspicious." has noted that Robben's playing can be summed up in one word: "Sophistication. The term describes Ford's music on a number of levels. The eclectic musician regularly touches on blues, jazz, R&B, and rock, blending instrumental and lyrical ideas into a package so elegant, yet musically invigorating."

Ford's latest album called Into The Sun, released earlier this year, has received critical praise.  It includes guest appearances by fellow Guitar Town '15 performer Sonny Landreth, plus Warren Haynes, Tyler Bryant, Robert Randolph, Keb' Mo', and ZZ Ward.

Sonny Landreth

Sonny LandrethThe lean Mississippi native, who grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, has enjoyed a prolific career for decades, dating back to his solo debut album Blues Attack in 1981. Although that album fanned the flames of his reputation as an emerging force in roots music, Landreth kept a parallel career going as a celebrated sideman and session player. 

Over the years he performed and recorded with artists that include John Hiatt, British blues innovator John Mayall, and he toured as a member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band. He also collaborated with Eric Clapton, and has performed at all of Clapton's prestigious Crossroads Guitar Festivals since 2004. Along the way Landreth has continued to develop his vision and his musical voice, growing increasingly original and diverse, expanding from blues, zydeco, folk, country and jazz into increasingly category-blurring musical excursions like his new album on Mascot, Bound By the Blues, available this summer. Sonny offers, "Developing a style and an approach that is your own musically is not something to be taken for granted, I'm at a point in life where I want to make the most of every moment I can and that changes your perspective, your priorities and how you relate to everyone else. And at the end of the day, I think that's the essence of what I wanted to express with Bound By The Blues."

John Jorgenson Electric Band

John Jorenson Electric BandMaster guitarist John Jorgenson and his crack electric band easily move between rock, country, blues, and many other styles giving Jorgenson a solid platform to exhibit the virtuosity that earned him a GRAMMY Award in 2008, ACM Guitarist of the Year three consecutive times, inclusion in Guitarist Magazine's "100 Guitar Heroes" and "100 Most Influential Guitarists," and Guitar Player Magazine's "Album of the Year" with the Hellecasters.

Guitar fans can expect some amazing tones and dazzling fretwork on his signature Fender model guitars. The band follows Jorgenson at every stylistic and dynamic turn while always leaving plenty of room for exciting group improvisation.  A new electric album by Jorgenson called Gifts From The Flood will be released soon.

Chris Casello

Chris CaselloGuitarist Chris Casello is one the most dynamic and entertaining guitarist in the world of roots music today. Casello takes his influences from Les Paul and Chet Atkins to Chuck Berry and Link Wray, multitasking guitar, steel and vocals in a high energy swinging rockabilly blues explosion.

Originally from the Detroit area, Chris has worked with dozens of artists and toured the world, specializing in roots styles from swing, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and country.

Chris Casello has been honored as the #1 Honky-Tonk Hero 2011 by the Best Of Nashville Scene and has been listed among the Top 10 Best Dressed in Nashville by! Casello has been honored by Detroit Metro Times polls in the jazz, country and rock categories and was recently nominated in the Best Musician category for Austin’s International Ameripolitan Awards 2014. Chris is a second generation inductee into The Rockabilly Hall of Fame and is a Kentucky Colonel.

Stig Mathisen

Stig MathisenStig Mathisen is a guitarist and educator from Northern Norway, currently residing in Los Angeles. Stig has a Masters and a Doctoral degree in guitar performance from University of Southern California, where he graduated with numerous awards for outstanding achievements. He studied Classical guitar at Tromso University for over six years, and has worked extensively as a freelance guitarist and University lecturer in both Norway and in the US. An eclectic guitarist by nature, Stig is equally comfortable with rock, jazz and classical music, and has rubbed shoulders with numerous world-class musicians over the years. A passionate explorer and a relentless seeker of all knowledge pertaining to guitar, improvisation, composition, music history and music philosophy, he has been on a quest since his formative years to discover the inner mechanics and the deeper secrets of music.

Stig is currently the Chair of the Guitar Program (GIT) at Musicians Institute, in Hollywood, California, and he has written several of the books currently in use as core curriculum at the college.

Matt Schofield

Matt SchofieldThe Matt Schofield story is exploding internationally; the world is sitting up and taking note. Back from another well-received US tour, Schofield is expanding his borders. The LA Times stated, "In Schofield, the UK has produced the best blues guitarist from any country in decades. Head and shoulders above the herd." Vintage Guitar magazine said, "The best of his generation's European blues players. His feel for the music is incredible. His playing is so interesting that latching onto his records will reward any guitarist."

The new collection finds Schofield on stunning form, well able to justify both his fearsome reputation and also the sense of anticipation around this release. Alongside two choice covers from his musical heroes, the album's nine original tracks showcase his continued growth as an exciting songwriter within the genre, delivered with impassioned vocals to create a diverse and unique take on the blues. Far As I Can See is his fifth studio album. He has also released four live collections, and a guitar instructional DVD for publisher Hal Leonard. The recipient of major awards – British Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year 2010, 2011 & 2012 (making him the first guitarist in the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame), Mojo Magazine Blues Album of the Year 2011 and British Blues Awards Album of the Year 2010 – he imbues this album with stunning musicianship; but never at the expense of heart and soul.

Matt Schofield was rated in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time by Guitar & Bass Magazine alongside such icons as Eric Clapton and Peter Green. His prowess as a blues guitarist has seen him trade licks with iconic guitarists like Buddy Guy and Robben Ford; and brought him high praise in the 'Penguin Book of Blues Recordings' as one of only two living British artists to gain a maximum four-star rating.