Antoniy Kakamakov was born in 1985 in a family of professional violinists. He began studying the guitar at the age of ten with Milena Valtcheva, in his native country of Bulgaria. At the age of 13, Antoniy had already won three International Guitar Competitions. In 1997 he won first prize in the junior division of the International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition in Sinaia, Romania. The following year he won two first prizes in the junior divisions of the international guitar competitions in Kraiova, Romania and Assenovgrad, Bulgaria.
… a brilliant young musician who plays the guitar beautifully. He has a true understanding of different music styles and delivers them with great enthusiasm and expression — Sergio Assad
In 1999, he was awarded full scholarship to study guitar at the prestigious all arts boarding school Idyllwild Arts Academy, where his teachers were Terry Graves and Michael Kudirka. After finishing his high-school education, Antoniy was awarded a scholarship to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music – one of the major guitar departments in the country. He received his Bachelor’s degree from SFCM in 2007, under the tutelage of David Tanenbaum, and continued his studies there as a Master’s candidate under famed guitarist/composer Sergio Assad.
Celtic stell string guitar
Steve Baughman is known for his melodic fingerstyle guitar, drawing upon Celtic, Appalachian, and various ethnic and folks traditions. Preferring to make tears fall rather than jaws drop, Steve’s dynamic playing ranges from gently expressive to pyrotechnic. Steve is a pioneer of the unique clawhammer guitar technique, playing old time fiddle tunes on guitar with an infectious groove and rhythm. In addition he is also a fine vocalist, composer, and a dynamite clawhammer banjo player.
… deft, thoughtful, quietly adventurous, deeply lyrical and playful — Radio National, Australia
Steve has several cd’s to his credit as well as five books with Mel Bay Publications. He appears with Pierre Bensusan, Martin Simpson, and Pat Kirtley on the Rounder Records album Rambel to Cashel. Steve is a regular teacher at guitar camps across the country, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Swannanoa Gathering, and the California Coast Music Camp.
Original jazz and jazz-inspired solo pieces
Mason Razavi is a jazz and classical guitarist/composer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a solo guitarist Mason performs his unique brand of original music alongside jazz standards. A rare devotee of fingerstyle jazz guitar, Mason also leads groups having ranged from duos to quintets and beyond, performing standards and new music.
… a distinctive voice as a guitarist who blends the nuance and beauty of the classical guitar style with contemporary jazz — Genz Benz
His debut CD/DVD People, Places, and Monsters features original music for the solo classical guitar including the Monster Suite, a five-movement narrative suite which was set to original animation. The Monster suite stands alone in the classical guitar world musically and thematically, and with the addition of the visual element it is the only work of its kind. Other album highlights include Lenny’s Waltz, a jazz waltz opus dedicated to, and in the style of, the late fingerstyle jazz icon Lenny Breau.
An avid composer, Mason has also written music for big band, 10-piece jazz band, orchestra, and chamber groups. Mason holds a M.A. in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University, and is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he studied jazz composition and majored in Contemporary Writing and Production
11-string classical guitar
Since making his Carnegie Hall debut at age 19, classical guitarist Jon Mendle is rapidly building a career as a performer, teacher, arranger, and composer. He has since gone on tour with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and release his first album of solo guitar music, entitled “L’Infidele,” on In A Circle Records.
He began studying the guitar at the age of 12, and recently finished his graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory under the tutelage of renowned guitarist Sergio Assad, earning a Master of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance.
… a beautiful talent and a sensitive musician. It is a joy to play with him! — Yo-Yo Ma
His primary instrument is an 11-string Archguitar built in 2007 by Alan Perlman of San Francisco. The Archguitar is a hybrid of the Renaissance and Baroque lutes, 19th century guitar, and modern guitar, making it ideal for a large cross section of early music, as well as certain modern and impressionist works.
Jon’s solo repertoire includes works from periods ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, with an emphasis on lesser-known baroque lute works. He has contributed to his instrument’s repertoire by arranging works by composers such as Kapsberger, Zamboni, and Falckenhagen, who are virtually unknown outside of the lute world, as well as more familiar works by Bach, Weiss, Ravel, Debussy, and Hovhaness.