Membership News

Grant Ruiz, Dennis Kambury, Dave Rogers: (4-08-04) Grant Ruiz will be returning to the Oregon Shakespeare Festivals Green Show performances this summer. He will be involved in one of the three shows while Dave Rogers will be representing the plucked string instrumentalists in the other two shows. Our newest member, Dennis Kambury will be the sound designer for all three shows.
Joseph Thompson: (2-28-03)
The recorded music for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2003 production of Romeo and Juliet was composed by OSF’s long time resident composer, Todd Barton and includes the guitar work of JCGS member, Joseph Thompson. The play, which is set in modern times, uses the lyrical passages on the guitar to highlight the romantic interplay between the two lovers in contrast to the louder more rhythmic and driving music heard throughout the rest of the play.This is the most recent of numerous collaborations between Barton and Thompson who’s friendship goes back over 30 years. The play opened on February 28th, 2003 and is set to run through the end of October.
 Dave Rogers: (2-23-03)
Callisto and Dorian recording artist David Rogers presents a classical guitar concert on Sunday, February 23rd at 3:00pm at the First Congregational Church, 717 Siskiyou Blvd. (Corner of Siskiyou and Morton) Ashland, OR 97520. Admission is $10.00 general, $5.00 young people under the age of 15. For more
information call 482-7948. David will be playing music from his latest CD on the Callisto label, 3 Guitars. He will also be playing original works and settings of spirituals that he plans to record in the Spring. Downloads of his music can be heard at
Steve Berman and Friends:
This is one of Ashland’s best kept secrets. Steve plays a multitude of instruments with a group of regional musicians. They play folk music and specialize in the music of Russia, Greece, and eastern Europe. They are at the Key of C in Ashland, 116 Lithia Way, Ashland (488-5012) every Sunday morning from 9am to around 11am or noon. Hint: Get there early! There isn’t a lot of room and they have a solid following. Warning: The coffeehouse has been known to ask coffee drinkers to leave to make room for musicians. ; ) Instruments can include: guitar, violin, accordian, dumbec (drum), flute, Peruvian guitar, mandolin, oud and balailika.
Dan Ferris (1-15-03)
Dan Ferris plays a mix of works from the classical guitar repertoire every Friday at Le Grand’s in Grants Pass, from around 6pm to around 8:30 or 9pm. The phone no. is 541-471-1554. Here are some of Dan’s comments about the gig: “Reservations are definitely recommended. If you tell Gaetano you’re a friend of mine, it will get you nowhere, but he’ll think I’m cool. Actually, if you want to sit so you can hear me, you might want to mention that. I’d love to see plenty of JCGS folks come by and have dinner. The food is excellent. They have a steak with a layer of pate on it that is delicious. There’s also some good scampi and steak bernaise.” Dan plays works by Bach, Albeniz, Barrios, Villa Lobos, Brouwer, and others. He also includes arrangements by Laurendo Almeida. Dan says, “I’m trying to add some new repertoire, too. So you might hear tidbits of other music that I’m working on. That’s what’s nice about being in the background. You can actually get paid for practicing. I use a pretty nice condenser mic with a Fender Acoustasonic 400, which does a pretty good job. I’m also trying out a mic that clips on and hangs in the sound hole.”
Grant Ruiz (1-15-03)
On Saturday, February 15, 2002, Grant Ruiz and flamenco dancers from Nuria’s Dance Academy in Mt. Shasta will perform at the show “Dance Variations” in Grants Pass. They will perform a flamenco dance form called “guajiras” based on a Cuban song, and Grant will accompany them on guitar. The performance will take place at the beautiful new 800-seat Performing Arts Center in Grants Pass, starting at 7pm. They expect a full house. For more information, click here. Grant performed with Nuria LLovet and her dancers during the summer of 2002 as part of his flamenco program “Raíces y Ramas” for the Noon Series at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is currently the accompanist for Ms. Llovet’s advanced class, as described in a November article about the academy.
Joseph Thompson and Les Stansell (1-15-03)
On Saturday, March 29 at 7:30pm, the JCGS will sponsor classical guitarist , Joseph Thompson and luthier, Les Stansell in a “Guitar Tasting” at Paschal Winery in Talent. Guest artists will include flamenco guitarist Grant Ruiz. The “Guitar Tasting” is an idea which evolved from an experience Joseph had listening to a winemaker describe the various tastes and aromas of various fine wines and the growing conditions which ultimately effect these characteristics. Joseph and Les have been working together with fine concert guitars in a similar way for over 25 years. The “Guitar Tasting” will be a lecture/concert highlighting the variety of factors which can influence the tonal quality of concert classical guitars. Les will have a number of his beautiful hand crafted guitars available for Joseph’s demonstrations. There is more information on the Events Page of this website.
Grant Ruiz (12-18-02)
Grant Ruiz
has been hired by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to play flamenco guitar in the 2003 production of “Lorca in a Green Dress” by Nilo Cruz. (This is the same playwright who wrote “Two Sisters and a Piano”, produced by the OSF in 2001.) This surreal play is about the death of Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish poet and playwright who was executed by Franco’s fascists at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. You can find more information about the play here. It will run from July 8 to November 2 in the New Theater. Rehearsals begin May 21. Grant will be working with Mr. Cruz, actors from the festival, and a professional flamenco dancer, La Conja from New York, while holding down his day job as a technical writer. Garcia Lorca, who was from the south of Spain, was very taken with the life and culture of the Spanish gypsies. He both influenced and was influenced by flamenco music and poetry.
Liz Vesecky (12-03-02)
JCGS guitarist and composer, Liz Vesecky recently completed work on her newest solo guitar composition, “The Premyslid Saga”. The work is a tone poem based on the 8th century prophecy of Princess Libussa who foresaw the founding of Prague and the Premyslid Dynasty of “Mittel Europa”. Liz has self-published “The Premyslid Saga” and its world premier performance, by guitarist Joseph Thompson, took place on December 3, 2002 at the JCGS monthly meeting at Paschal Winery.
Dave Rogers (12-03-02)
Dave Rogers was recently in Kansas City, where he played a house concert for members of the Kansas City Guitar Society. Dave will also be in Detroit, Michigan for a concert on Dec. 29th and has plans to do a concert in February at the First Congregational Church in Ashland.
Dave Rogers and Grant Ruiz (9-29-02)
Los Tiempos Pasados, the early music ensemble from Ashland’s sister city, Guanajuato, Mexico joined with Ashland’s very own Terra Nova Consort in a “spirited concert of early Spanish, Medieval, Sefardic and Renaissance music”. The program included performances by JCGS members, Dave Rogers (a founding member of Terra Nova Consort) on oud and vihuela and flamenco guitarist, Grant Ruiz (a guest artist on the program). The blending of talents from these two exceptional ensembles and select guest artists produced a rare and exqusite listening experience for the overflow crowd in attendance at Medford’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. A simple listing of the instruments played upon will give the reader a hint of the flavor of the performance. They included: bowed psaltry, rattle, bells, dulcimer, flamenco guitar, lute, mandora, darbuka, nakers, violas da gamba, rebec, vielle, recorders, Arabic oud, guitarria, shawm, tenor viol, vihuela, hurdy gurdy, violin, viola, and various voices. This concert was a rich tapestry viewed through a prism as I found myself taken back to distant times and to exotic lands where a blending of the musics of east and west was common place. Following along in the program only added to my disorientation as I lost track of where Medieval and Rennaisance left off and Sephardic and Arabic took over. I finally had to simply relax and allow the beauty of the music to wash over me, letting go of all preconcieved notions of what I was hearing. It is my hope that this joining of musicians from Guanajuato and Ashland will become a tradition which will continue to enrich both of our communities. For further information on the web about the history of collaborations betweenTerra Nova Consort and Los Tiempos Pasados, click here.
Joseph Thompson (9-23-02 and 10-7-02)
A concert entitled “Cante Jondo: The Duende of Deep Song” was performed at The Old Siskiyou Barn by soprano (and Oregon Shakespeare Festival acttress) Christine Williams. Performers accompanying Ms. Williams included classical guitarist and JCGS member, Joseph Thompson, cellist Lisa Truelove, pianists Jennifer Schloming and Jodi French and marimba players Rebecca Merusi and Ben Engen. The program included “If Music be the Food of Love” by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and “Lagrime Mie” by Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), arranged for soprano, guitar and cello by Mr. Thompson. To quote Christine Williams, “Barbara Strozzi was the most famous of the obscure early Baroque female Italian composers.” Ms. Williams also performed “Come Heavy Sleep” by John Dowland (1562-1626) and “Seven Popular Spanish Songs” by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) accompanied by Mr. Thompson on guitar. Also on the program were works by Ned Rorem, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Larry Delinger and Kurt Weill
Happy Birthday JCGS (9-05-02)
Exactly one year ago, on October 5th, 2001, Victor Salkowitz called the first meeting of the Jefferson Classical Guitar Society. Unfortunately, Victor has faded from the scene, but the JCGS continues on stronger than ever.
Dave Rogers (8-21-02)
Today (8-21-02) at noon in Carpenter Hall, Dave Rogers, along with fellow members of the early music group, Terra Nova Consort, performed a program of works from the Spanish Renaissance. The Terra Nova Consort is the core group of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show musicians, which includes: Dave Rogers, Sue Carney, Kay Hilton, Pat O’Scannell, and Nicholas Tennant. Though all of the members are multi-instrumentalists and most are vocalists, JCGS member, Dave Rogers is the lone master of the plucked stringed instruments and he specializes in early instruments. In this concert, his skills on the ancient vihuela were highlighted. The program moved easily, back and forth, between solo works performed by Rogers and vocal works accompanied by Rogers. Among the solo works were Fantasias No. 8, 11 and 22 by Luys Milan and the well known (to guitarists) “Fantasia, which imitates the harp of Ludovico” by Alonso Mudarra. Rogers approach to this piece is more ornamented and much more free than that of most modern guitarists. This interpretation combined with the sweet and bright sound of his vihuela were very refreshing to this listener. The show closed with the members of Terra Nova, joined on stage by two guest artists on viola da gamba and vihuela, performing a rich and luscious vocal work by Mudarra entitled “La Tricotea Samartin”.

The program for this concert was taken from Terra Nova’s most recent CD, “Baylado”, which was recorded for Dorian Records in Troy, New York. This recording, as well as a variety of solo recordings by Dave Rogers, is available for purchase at the Tudor Guild Gift Shop on the OSF campus, in downtown Ashland.

Grant Ruiz (8-10-02)
Last Wednesday, August 7th, playing to a standing room only crowd, Grant Ruiz completed the second of his flamenco guitar recitals “Raîces y Ramas­Roots and Branches, a one-hour tour of flamenco” as part of the noon concert series at the Oregon Shakepeare Festival. Joining him on stage were flamenco dancer, Nuria King with four members of her “Nuria King Dance Academy” from Mt. Shasta California. Also dancing was Shoshanna Rose, a Medford dance instructor who specializes in flamenco and middle-eastern dance. Grant had also coaxed Oregon Shakespeare Festival co-directors Pat O’Scannel and Sue Carney into singing in the final Sevillanas. Even though they weren’t experienced in the art of flamenco song, they are very capable vocalists in many and varied styles of singing and were more than up for the task.

Included in the program was Bulerîas, Alegrîas, Suguiriyas, Fandangos, Tangos, Soleares, and the grand finale, Sevillanas. After the conclusion of the show, the audience insisted that Grant and his dancers and singers return for an encore. Since the only vocal selection they had preparde was the Sevillanas, we got a chance to hear a reprise of it. Grant says that with the success of this show, the seeds of a flamenco community have been planted, so look for more flamenco shows in the future.

Grant Ruiz (7-17-02)
Flamenco guitarist Grant Ruiz, has been invited by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) to present two solo flamenco guitar recitals this summer. Grant hopes to have dancers join him for these programs. The concerts will take place on Saturday, August 3rd and Wednesday, August 7th in Carpenter Hall on the OSF campus in downtown Ashland. Both programs begin at noon.

In late September, Grant will be joining with Los Tiempos Pasados (LTP), an early music group from Ashland’s sister city, Guanajuato, Mexico, in a series of concerts and workshops. Please see below for Grant’s schedule of performances and workshops with LTP.

Mon 9/23 8pm SOU recital hall with LTP
Tue 9/24 – Fri 9/29 Green Shows with LTP
Sat 9/28 11am-2pm Workshops at SOU with LTP
Sun 9/29 1pm St. Mark’s, Medford, with LTP

Joseph Thompson (7-17-02)
“The Old Siskiyou Barn” will feature the vocal work of Oregon Shakespeare Festival actress and soprano, Christine Williams in a performance of works by Manuel de Falla, John Dowland, Henry Purcel, and Barbara Strozzi. Classical Guitarist and JCGS member, Joseph Thompson will accompany Ms. Williams. The program will take place the Monday evenings of September 23rd and October 7th.
David Rogers (7-12-02)
Callisto Records, in Bologna, Italy, has released David Rogers solo guitar recording, “3 Guitars”. It features music performed on instruments from three distinct historical periods, namely the vihuela from Renaissance Spain, the baroque guitar from the French Baroque era and the early classical guitar with music by the Spaniard (turned French) Fernando Sor. In addition, David includes works by Barrios and an original arrangement of an Afro-American spiritual. The CD also includes a multi-media booklet which includes all of the scores plus insights on the music, pictures, etc. It is readable on any Mac / PC computer running a standard internet browser.Visit the Members Recordings Page to learn more about this CD.
Jaxon Williams (7-12-02)
Jaxon Williams has just released his second CD, “Acorde Perdido” (Lost Chord). The reference in the title is to an original composition on the recording which involved a weeks long search for a chord in the piece which he could hear but could not find. Visit the Members Recordings Page to learn more about this CD.
Joseph Thompson (6-12-02)
On Saturday, July 6th, 2002, Joseph Thompson performed a solo classical guitar concert as part of the Pistol River Concert Association’s 20th anniversary celebration. The Pistol River Friendship Hall, on the beautiful south coast of Oregon, was filled to capacity with 140 music lovers. Among the attendees were JCGS members Liz Vesecki and Bruce Smith and their respective spouses who made the three and a half hour drive.

Les and Mary Stansell started the popular concert series in July of 1982, when they invited Joseph to perform their first concert. Joseph has been back for performances 6 times over the years and his return for the 20th anniversary concert added a nice symmetry to the evening.

The evening was billed as a wine and guitar tasting and featured an assortment of wines from Paschal Winery of Talent, Oregon as well as the fine hand-crafted classical guitars of JCGS member Les Stansell. Guitar-tasting is an idea which Joseph evolved recently when he was at the Paschal Tasting Room listening to the wine-maker discuss the qualities of the various wines. As the vintner compared the tastes, aromas, colors, and textures of the different wines Joseph realized that guitar players and luthiers tend to do the same thing when they are around a collection of fine instruments. Joseph and Les decided that the 20th anniversary celebration would be a good place to hold their first public guitar-tasting. The concept was very well recieved and there are plans afoot to take their show on the road. Joseph is working with Paschal Winery to hold the next guitar-tasting at their beautiful tasting room sometime this fall. The event will feature the guitars of Les Stansell and the solo guitar work of Joseph Thompson. Stay tuned for time and date.

Jaxon Williams
From March 13, 2002 edition of Sneak Preview:

Each year the Ashland Gallery Association, a non-profit group of art galleries and businesses dedicated to promoting the growth of visual arts in Ashland, promotes arts in the schools. One of the galleries, Art and Soul, has chosen to feature Jaxon Williams, age 14 who has been studying classical guitar since he was seven years old.

Jaxon is in the process of recording and producing his second CD. He is a student of Joseph Thompson and is an 8th grader at Ashland Middle School, where he is an honor student with a 4.0 gpa. Jaxon also participates in football, basketball, wrestling and track, and was the 7th grade district champion in the shot put last year.

In addition to music and sports, Jaxon loves to snow board. He is the son of Doug and Ronda Williams of Ashland, and he has been a faithful performer at Art and Soul Gallery for the monthly 1st Friday Art Walks. The Gallery is located at 247 E. Main St.

Stay tuned for the release of his new CD.

Grant Ruiz (4-26-02)
Ashland classical and flamenco guitarist, Grant Ruiz had stopped into Cripple Creek Music Store on East Main St. in Ashland to check out the new hand made flamenco guitars that store owner Garin Bakel had just added to his stock of intsruments. Grant soon became completely enthralled in his exploration of the tambrel possibilities of this new instrument, and the shop filled with the sonorities of his dazzling picados and rasgueados.

As fate would have it, Pat O’Scannel was also visiting Cripple Creek Music Store at that time. Pat, long time Ashland resident, penny whistle virtuoso extroardinare, and gifted multi-instrumentalist, is the Music Director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show Musicians. It turns out that flamenco guitar music is just what she was looking for in one of the upcoming Green Show performances and she hired Grant on the spot.

The Green Show musicians and dancers perform “on the bricks” just outside the Elizabethan Theatre in downtown Ashland. they produce three shows each season, one for each of the three Shakespeare productions and the shows run from June through early October. And they are free. Be sure to check out Grant this summer in his new role as Green Show Musician.

Joseph Thompson (4-26-02)
Ashland classical guitarist, Joseph Thompson, was in Portland on April 20 and 21st for a performance as part of the 2002 Northwest Handmade Instrument Exhibit at Marylhurst College. He performed on instruments built by Oregon luthier and JCGS member, Les Stansell. Les specializes in instruments which use native Oregon coast woods, including Myrtlewood for backs and sides and Port Orford cedar for the tops. He also builds with with traditional spruce and rosewood. The friendship and collaboration between Les and Joseph dates back almost a quarter of a century.

On July 6th, Joseph will travel to Pistol River, Oregon for a solo performance for the Pistol River Concert Association (PRCA). Pistol River, a small town on the beautiful south coast of Oregon between Brookings and Gold Beach, has been host to, on average, one concert per month for the last 20 years. The July concert will be in celebration of PRCA’s 20th anniversary. Joseph performed for the very first Pistol River concert in 1982 and has been back numerous times over the years.

Dave Rogers (4-26-02)
Dave Rogers, head of the guitar program at Southern Oregon University and long time member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show, recently returned from the final leg of his concert tour. The tour included performances for the JCGS in Ashland, the Portland Guitar Festival, University of Idaho at Moscow, and the Northwest Classical Guitar Festival, He returns home to Ashland to begin preparations for the Green Show performances for OSF’s 2002 season.

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