Evolution of Strings Concert
with Electric-harp Guitar Group

William Eaton, Anthony Mazzella and Fitzhugh Jenkins



Come and hear guitarists William Eaton, Anthony Mazzella, and Fitzhugh Jenkins debut new instruments and a new sound.  This concert will feature the unveiling of three new 18-string electric harp guitars designed by William Eaton.  The guitarists play original music composed specifically for the newly designed instruments and also improvisations that are a reflection of the combined awareness of the musicians, the concert space, and the audience.  Concert listeners will be treated to a sonic journey that explores the ancient past and future of stringed instruments.  From the plucked entrainment of the one-string shaman’s bow, to the present and future of guitar synthesizer and computer modeled instruments, attendees should expect to be transported.  Saturday August 21, 2004, 7:30 to 9 pm in the Great Room.  Admission $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. Tickets available at Crystal Magic and Golden Word.

Electric-harp Guitar Group (EGG) is made up of William Eaton, Anthony Mazzella and Fitzhugh Jenkins performing on three Electric Harp Guitars. This unique group is exploding on to the Sedona scene with concerts scheduled throughout August and September.  Anthony Mazzella is recognized as one of the most innovative guitar players in the world, and was voted as "one of the top ten guitarists in the U.S." by Guitar One magazine. Fitzhugh Jenkins has become renowned for his versatility on acoustic, classical, and bass guitars and his performing and recording career has taken him around the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Hawaii. William Eaton is acknowledged as one of the world’s great designers and builders of unique stringed instruments that, according to one reviewer, "look like lost artifacts of a highly evolved alien culture."

The group will be performing all original music composed by all three members in an improvisational setting.  Each member of this group is an established guitarist, producer, recording artist, performer and composer with three Grammy nominations to their individual credits.  When put together they collaborate with a delicate sensitivity to what each other is playing that unifies the music in perfect harmony. They will also be recording a CD of this original music this summer. The music is unlike anything anyone has ever heard. Three, 18-string instruments simultaneously resonating in harmonic perfection while the notes are executed rhythmically in syncopation and counterpoint by the seasoned hands of three solo guitar virtuosos. This is truly original music without classification. Mix the elements of fingerstyle guitar, jazz, middle-eastern, classical, funk, rock and beyond with three Electric Harp Guitars and you have a new sound.  Do not miss the chance to see this group of guitar virtuosos right here in Sedona, for they will be going national.
 

About the Instruments

William Eaton has designed and built many multi-stringed instruments throughout the years that are master works of art capable of being on display in the Smithsonian, but this is the first time he has simultaneously produced three similar instruments with a group vision in mind.  He has designed a unique instrument with a six string zither (a small autoharp like/size instrument) on the body, six long scale strings that line up the top part of the extended guitar body which are considered the harp strings and a baritone scale six string guitar which makes his guitars 18-string instruments. All the strings are hooked up to magnetic pickups so the sound can be run directly through amplifiers. Harp guitars have been around for about one hundred years but, the shape and design of these guitars are completely unique to William's imagination and artistry. He used rare woods with natural colors of red, orange, black and yellow.

It is also the first time he has formed a team to help with the construction. Luthiers Robert Mazzullo, Kris Olsen, and Bart Applewhite, who are staff members of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, worked with Eaton to complete three of the first ‘quartet’ of instruments.  The fourth instrument is scheduled to be finished in September. While the design of each electric harp guitar is the same the use of different, rare hardwoods gives each instrument a distinct character. Vermillion (rust orange), Brazilian satinwood (yellow), purple heart (purple), flamed maple (blonde) and ebony give each instrument a brilliant natural color. The 18-string electric harp guitar has an extended guitar scale neck that is approximately two inches longer than a regular electric guitar. This longer scale gives the instrument a lower range and deeper tone values. A sinewy curve arches from the headstock to the end of the fret board and flows through the sculpted body to create harp bows by which to attach two extra sets of strings. Six strings are attached to the longer harp bow, and provide open plucked frequencies in the mid and bass ranges. Six strings are also attached to the lower body of the instrument; with their shorter string length resulting in higher pitched notes similar to the small Autoharp of the zither family. The instrument utilizes electro-magnetic and piezo pickups that allows the guitar and harp strings to be amplified.
 

 
William Eaton

William Eaton

William Eaton is a guitarist and guitar luthier who has invented several stringed instruments that not only have an amazing sound, but are works of visual art. Throughout the years Eaton has always had one instrument or another under construction at the Roberto-Venn School where he continues to teach and serve as the School's Director. He's created hybrid instruments like the Koto-harp Guitar, 26-String guitar and the 31 stringed, O'ele'n Strings and the Lyre-Harp Guitar. They all look like lost artifacts of a highly evolved alien culture. Eaton deploys his instruments in an exotic world chamber fusion that draws its rhythms from the middle east and Africa, its melodies from India and Appalachia and its atmosphere right out of the desert southwest where Eaton lives. While engaged in the Roberto-Venn work, he read omnivorously and investigated the spiritual and philosophical disciplines of many cultures. He spent days and nights outdoors, deep in the mountain areas outside Phoenix. He slept under the stars, living out of his car for two years. He contemplated the origins and dynamics of music. He wandered in the desert, and explored the ideas of "erasing personal history" and "stopping the world". He began playing pieces in a variety of solitary settings, on a cliff in the moonlight by a quiet pool in a shadowed canyon. This period of Eaton's life is a source for much of his subsequent work, and the subtle qualities of sound, light and air experienced in the desert can be felt behind his every note. He began to imagine and create the remarkably innovative instruments for which he is noted. He's recorded albums with Native flute icon R. Carlos Nakai and has several solo CDs on the Canyon label. Eaton's recording career began in earnest when Carry the Gift, a collaboration with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, was issued by Canyon Records in 1988. The Nakai/Eaton duo, a relationship which began in 1984, has proven to be an appealing combination. The two have played in concerts throughout the U.S. and have recorded six albums together including the duo offerings: Winter Dreams in 1990 and Ancestral Voices, a 1994 Grammy Awards Finalist for "Best Traditional Folk Album". Eaton has collaborated with other artists as well. On Tracks We Leave (1989), Eaton was joined by Udi Arouh, Arvel Bird, Claudia Tulip, Rich Rodgers and R. Carlos Nakai. Wisdom Tree (1992) features double bassist Edgar Meyer, and includes William Clipman, Robert Tree Cody, Arouh, Bird and Tulip. On the 1994 Canyon release Where Rivers Meet, Eaton joins with Tulip, Ames, Clipman, and Keith Johnson to form the William Eaton Ensemble.. This recording garnered a "critics choice" designation by Billboard Magazine, referring to the ensemble's music as "a world chamber sound that's evocative and melodic." Feather, Stone & Light, a musical trialogue among Eaton, Nakai, and Clipman released in March of 1995, was also noted as a Billboard Critic's Choice and quickly debuted and remained on Billboard's Top New Age Albums chart for 13 weeks. The William Eaton Ensemble's 1997 recording. Naked In Eureka, a musical "glimpse into the folly, mystery and illusion of reality" includes "The Fire Within," a collaboration with the Drepung Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery from Tibet and Canyon recording artist, Robert Tree Cody. The Nakai, Eaton, Clipman Trio's second recording. Red Wind, received a NAMMY Award (Native American Music Award) in 2000 for Best Instrumental Album of the year. On their most recent recording, "In A Distant Place," Eaton, Nakai and Clipman were joined by Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog. The CD received a 2001 Grammy nomination for Best New Age recording.  To learn more about the artist, visit his web site at  www.william-eaton.com
 

   
Anthony Mazzella
 

Anthony Mazzella

Anthony Mazzella is recognized internationally as one of the most innovative guitar masters on stage and on record today. BILLBOARD magazine describes him as "the new generation of guitar hero" and GUITAR ONE magazine voted him "one of the top ten guitarists in the country". Anthony has released four CD's, toured extensively nationally and internationally, contributed tracks on compilation CD's, made guest appearances on major artists releases, receives airplay on national radio and television, and has an independent film soundtrack to his credit. Anthony began his career as a private music teacher and concert guitarist in his hometown New York City. He quickly built up a strong following which landed him spots in most every live music club in Manhattan. He then landed a headlining spot at the BLUE NOTE NYC just one year after street performing in front of it and has since gone on to perform on stages all over the world. He has opened for many headlining artists such as; James Brown, Tower of Power, The Commodores etc. and continues to unite with friends and fans by extensive touring. His original music is composed with a fusion of world influences consisting of jazz, flamenco, rhythm & blues, rock, folk, classical, Celtic, middle-eastern, electric counterpoint and acoustic fingerstyle. Anthony also plays a one-of-a-kind Ten String Guitar that he designed and was built by his father. The guitar is a combined 4 string bass and 6 string guitar made of African zebrawood and ebony. On this unique instrument, Anthony displays his abilities in fingering bass lines and chords with his left hand while simultaneously playing melodies on the fretboard with his right. This is what is considered to be the highest level of technical guitar mastery. Mazzella began studying music on the violin at age five. He then proceeded to learn the rudiments of piano until falling in love with the guitar at age thirteen. Throughout his adolescence he studied with several private guitar teachers and progressed on to study classical guitar and music in college. Anthony attributes the greater part of his education to ear training. His musical influences are many, but none more profound than the music and techniques of the guitar masters such as; Michael Hedges, Tuck Andres, Pat Metheny, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, William Ackerman, Charlie Christian, Carlos Montoya, Andres Segovia and countless others. Anthony is also one of the few chosen understudies of world-renowned guitar master Stanley Jordan. Now Anthony continues his studies by exploring the music from cultures all over the world and collaborating with the musicians indigenous to those regions. Mazzella's debut CD 'THE BIRTH" (1997) is a collection of original solo electric fingerstyle compositions. He then recorded a jazz/rock fusion CD with a trio called "OUSIA" (2000). Anthony's third CD "BRIO" (2001) is a collaboration with instrumental music veteran Chris Spheeris and was awarded "Top Acoustic Instrumental Recording of the Year". Anthony's fourth CD, "UNITY" (2004) consists of all new original material. Recording engineer extraordinaire Russell Bond (Michael Hedges, William Ackerman, Alex DeGrassi, George Winston) recorded Anthony's main guitar tracks for this CD. To make the CD a bigger production, Anthony hired the talented engineering team of Michael Wallace and Baraka (Sting, No Doubt) to mix in the drums & percussion, bass, keys, mandolin, native American flute and cello. The outcome is a beautiful unity between acoustic fingerstyle guitar and elements of rock, Celtic, and flamenco music. Anthony is always performing to support all of his recording efforts and to, in his words, "give life to music and music to life."   To learn more about the artist, visit his web site at  www.anthonymazzella.com.
 

   
Fitzhugh Jenkins
 

Fitzhugh Jenkins

Fitzhugh Jenkins is renowned in Sedona as one of the most well-rounded guitarists. Growing up in Hawaii, Fitzhugh played guitar in Don Ho's band and also performed as a soloist. He then lived in Los Angeles for 10 years working as a studio musician. While in Los Angeles, Fitzhugh performed for the United States Olympic team at the 1984 summer games. He was then chosen to study in France under renowned fingerstyle guitarist Pierre Bensusan. Following his studies with Pierre, he toured and recorded extensively with the Shah of Iran's private court of musicians, dancers and singers from 1980 to 1988. He has performed on the Grammy nominated Narada CD entitled "Passion Music for Guitar" and played with Ann Owens on a country top 40 hit. Country music is in Fitzhugh's blood as his grandfather was responsible for starting the Grand 01 Opry and his mother is Grand 01 Opry legend Little Annie Pickard. Fitzugh has opened for renowned artists such as, Alex DeGrassi and Tuck and Patti. His main influences are that of Pat Metheny, Egberto Gismonti and Pierre Bensusan. In 1996 Fitzhugh recorded his swansong, a solo classical guitar CD of original music called "Journey Into Yavapai" (1996). This CD captures the essence of this brilliant musician with an elegance that puts him in a class of the classical guitar masters. He then recorded a CD called "Mango Man" ( ) which is about his experiences in Hawaii. This CD features local Sedona musicians Eddy Baratinni on drums and Troy Perkins on Bass guitar. Fitzhugh performs live regularly around Sedona with his band called Bedouin Cafe which consists of James Jenkins (his 16 year prodigal son) on saxophone. Eddy Baratinni on drums, and Zirque Bonner on Bass. This group also recorded a CD titled "Bedouin Cafe" (2003) that is available in Sedona. Fitzhugh also appears on countless Sedona musicians recordings including those of international recording/performing artist Ralph Illenberger. To watch Fitzugh play is to experience a true artist's embodiment as his music saturates the soul and sensitizes the being.

 

 For further information please contact
 
Sedona Creative Life Center
  928-282-9300

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