The only person to ever win the world’s top competitions in both fingerstyle and classical guitar is coming to Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Langley.
Michael Chapdelaine, winner of the National Fingerpicking Championship at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas and the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition, headlines the 20th annual Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival on Feb. 25.
“The festival is really about showcasing what is possible and inspiring others to pursue their dreams and realize their own potential,” said Don Hlus, KPU music instructor.
“The performances will inspire young guitarists, give KPU music students a chance to work with internationally acclaimed artists, and provide our community the opportunity to hear world-class musicians, such as Michael Chapdelaine, in their own backyard.”
Chapdelaine earned the distinction of winning the National Fingerpicking Championship, traditionally dominated by steel string players, while playing on a nylon string classical guitar. He played a broad spectrum of musical genres ranging from traditional South American dance music to his own fingerstyle compositions.
His original works, which he has only recently introduced to the public, bring together a broad variety of musical styles from classical to country to blues.
“I grew up playing pop music in Navy clubs,” said Chapdelaine.
“I needed to find a way to mix the groove and fun of that music with the discipline and expressive beauty of classical music. Music is fun; if it’s not fun, why bother?”
The 20th anniversary concert of the FVAGF will also feature steel-string fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Kris Schulz, and world music guitarist Itamar Erez.
The FVAGF takes place at the KPU Langley Auditorium at 20901 Langley Bypass on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the general public are $25 and $20 for students and seniors if purchased in advance online at brownpapertickets.com.