14Beppe Gambetta is said to play “American roots music with a European passion. From his unique background as an Italian musician in love with both American roots music as well as the music of his native country, Beppe has traveled the world and even crossed the ‘Iron Curtain’ to dazzle and charm music enthusiasts everywhere.”
After 11 CDs, DVDs, teaching books and collaborations with many other top-flight musicians, Gambetta is increasingly known as one of the true live master innovators of the acoustic guitar.”
Catching up with Gambetta, the NEWS wanted to know what makes this versatile musician tick and what brings him to Boulevard Music on Saturday, Feb. 10.
1) When did you start playing and writing music, and when did you start taking it seriously (playing live, recording, etc)?
I started playing guitar when I was 11 (now I’m 62!). When I was 25 I wrote my first Flatpicking guitar manual in Italian, then at 30 years old I started touring professionally. Since then I recorded 13 albums, wrote 5 books, produced 3 DVDs, toured all 50 States of the United States, all European States, plus Australia, Mexico and Argentina.
2) Who are your main influences?
Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Norman Blake, David Grisman (during my life I’m proud to say that I performed with all of them!)
3) Describe your style
I play the Flatpicking style on acoustic guitar (a style developed from the masters of the American roots music) and I studied the music and the repertoire of the different European folk guitar schools. My personal style brings American and European Roots to speak together with one voice and I try to blend energetic grooves with passionate melodies, giving new life to sources from different times, periods and places. In addition, the original music I
compose gives contemporary influences to traditional roots music.
4) Where are you based? What do you think of the local scene?
Since 8 years, I’m based in Stockton, New Jersey, a small village with a vibrant artistic life. And I continue to have a place in Genova Italy, the town of the most famous Italian singer-songwriters
5) Best gig to date? And worst?
The best memory is a concert I played in Czechoslovakia, just before the revolution in 1989. There were 22,000 young screaming people ready for the big change.
The worst gig can happen everywhere, to me generally once a year, it is when you find out that the audience lost interest for the beauty of acoustic music, it can happen everywhere, fortunately not very often.
6) Do you have any albums / singles available?
I’m currently touring in support of my latest CD “Short Stories” just released by the Canadian label Borealis Records (borealisrecords.com). The CD is giving me good satisfaction, particularly on the independent FolkDJ charts (I was No. 4 album in November 2017). I’m attaching a Press Release.
7) Have you played Boulevard Music before? How did that connection happen? How did it go?
I think I played already 7 times at Boulevard Music, always a great joy to be back and re-connect with my friend Gary Mandell! BM it is part of the music venues that International artists visit during their tours on the West Coast.