|Mark Josephs, founder of the Tenor Guitar Gathering|
If you’ve never heard of a tenor guitar you’re about to meet a special member of the stringed instrument family, a member with a small but fiercely loyal fan base. Tenors are nothing new; they’ve been around for about a century. Like tenor banjos—widely used in traditional 1920s and ‘30s jazz—tenor guitars have only four strings, instead of the usual six. They are tuned in fifths, using the notes C-G-D-A. But if you think that means they’re two strings short of being a real guitar, or only two-thirds as musical, think again. Listen to John Lawlor as he shows how great a tenor guitar can sound.
Josephs said, "Gordo's brother, Bill Styler, a guitar builder, has caught the bug and has built some of the most unique tenor guitars in the world, due to hearing about TGG1 and attending TGG2. Bill will be at TGG4 and is a very strong supporter of the annual event." Here's video of Josephs playing Bill Styler's unique double-neck electric tenor guitar, the first in the world.
|EZ Marc Poschman with his National|
|The Lion Sons - Mike Marvin, Josh Reynolds, Tim Gorelangton - keeping the spirit of Nick Reynolds, The Kingston Trio and the tenor guitar alive and well!|
The Tenor Guitar Gathering isn’t even five years old yet, but it has quickly grown from the low-key event Josephs first created to the point of needing more structure. In 2012, he formed the Tenor Guitar Foundation, a non-profit organization with a six member board of directors and the slogan “Fostering Musicianship Four Strings at a Time.” Josephs is president. They also started a Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame.
Now, for your enjoyment, I've included more videos demonstrating why tenor guitars deserve a special gathering to honor them.
And here are interesting posts about tenor guitar from Michael Steinman's "Jazz Lives" blog, loaded with videos.
HANNA, PHIL, AND STEFAN: “TENOR MADNESS” (Feb. 2010) Hanna Richardson's generous donation to the Tenor Guitar Foundation helped make TGG4 possible.
THE SWEET POISE OF "TENOR MADNESS" (Jan. 12, 2010)
TENOR MADNESS (Nov. 9, 2009)
TENOR GUITAR GATHERING ON FACEBOOK
GOOD LIFE NORTHWEST ON FACEBOOK
Candace Brown - Writer and Musician