As JAMinc President Tim Timberlake finished introducing Peppino D’Agostino, the nearly sold out crowd could hear his guitar but could not see him. Peppino began by entering Studio A from the back and played while he slowly made his way to the front, stopping several times to play up close and personal to members of the audience – even sitting in an empty chair while playing. Peppino brought amazing guitar technique and humor to his show.
For most of his two sets he just played his guitar but did sing a few songs in his native Italian tongue. At one point he asked the crowd to join in by singing or humming as he played songs by the Beatles, Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles. There truly was a magical vibe in the studio.
Pepinno put on a lesson of sorts by explaining and using several different tunings which the guitar players present appreciated. He also demonstrated the versatility of the guitar by playing the opening riff of Smoke on the Water just using his left hand plucking and hammering strings on the fretboard.
He talked about the power and universality of music and towards the end of his second set asked all to close their eyes and feel his music while creating a movie of corresponding imagery in their mind. It was a most serene way to end an enchanting evening that had begun with a rich potluck buffet in the studio’s lobby.
As the evening wrapped up it was obvious, based on the animated discussions with Peppino and brisk CD sales, he had made a strong connection with the folks in attendance. All-in-all a perfect way to end JAMinc’s 2019 concert season.
Photos by Charlie Reilly and Tim Timberlake
Before performing at Studio A, Peppino D’Agostino performed at Mary Munford Elementary School and Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School. Read about his visits »
About Peppino D’Agostino
A young Sicilian artist left Italy over 30 years ago, with the dream of “playing with the greatest guitarists.” Peppino has achieved his dream and he’s now firmly planted in the “who’s who” of the guitar world.
Peppino D’Agostino emerged on the acoustic guitar scene in the early 80s as a leading member of the second wave of the great fingerstylists that helped redefine the instrument in the 90s. His remarkable technique, penchant for open tunings, and percussive effects are the basis of his unique compositional style which has been inspiring musicians and audiences alike for decades. Add to that his natural warmth, playfulness, and broad musical tastes and you have the recipe for what he calls “minestrone music.” His virtuosity and his emotional charge have also had a significant influence on the younger generation of fingerstyle guitarists.
D’Agostino continues to evolve and grow in ways that would have been hard to predict when he first showcased his melodic yet emotionally intense style on the recordings Acoustic Spirit, Close to the Heart, and Every Step of the Way which was named one of the top three acoustic guitar albums of all time by Acoustic Guitar magazine readers.
D’Agostino has performed in more than 30 countries, at prestigious international festivals and has played in some of the world’s most important theaters. He has shared the stage with Tommy Emmanuel, Leo Kottke, Laurindo Almeida, Sergio Assad, Larry Carlton, and Eric Johnson, to name a few. His solo recordings include high quality labels such as Favored Nations, Mesa / Bluemoon, and Acoustic Music Records. Recognized as “the guitarist’s guitarist” by Acoustic Guitar magazine and described as “a giant of the acoustic guitar” by the San Diego Reader, D’Agostino was voted Best Acoustic Guitarist by readers of Guitar Player magazine.
Recently Peppino had his very first sold out tour in China and a soundtrack composed for the world renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.In addition to performing, D’Agostino also makes time to teach. He enjoys meeting with individual students as well as providing group instruction and vacation learning packages like the Acoustic Guitar Cruises, Creative Vacances in La Moreau, France, or teaching with legendary guitarist Martin Taylor. The leading online instruction company Truefire has released a series of videos in which D’Agostino explains his influential guitar techniques and approach to composition. Peppino, when not performing or teaching, also has fun writing musical licks for new versions of games such as Sims – a product of Electronic Arts, or Dragons of Atlantis for Kabam.
Peppino likes to compare his musical approach to the culinary art of his native Italy: “If you want to prepare a good, succulent dish you have to know how to mix the various ingredients and, most important, have knowledge of the right amounts. Similarly, in musical composition you must be able to properly combine melody, harmony, rhythm and percussive effects with discretion and elegance.”
People never know what to expect at his concerts. Peppino’s repertoire is always changing, adapting to the rapport he establishes with his audience. His live performances, a combination of beautiful, complex, up tempo original instrumentals, memorable arrangements and engaging songs are beautifully addictive.
Read more about Peppino D’Agostino »