Tenor Guitar Foundation
  Hall of Fame
  Gordon Styler Memorial



 DATES FOR TGG7: MAY 25-29, 2016

For more info on this year's Tenor Guitar Gathering, including the booking and payment page, click HERE.

Here's What Happened at TGG6

The 6th Annual tenor Guitar Gathering this past May 28-31, 2015 was an amazing success on all levels. The Tenor Guitar Foundation Board of Directors would like to thank the people of Astoria who always help pull this 'magical mystery tour' off each year and make it more and more exciting. We also want to thank our sponsor's who have helped make this tenor guitar dream a reality; Kala Brand Musical Instruments, Ibanez Guitars, Saga Musical Instruments. D'Addario Strings, Collings Instruments, and G7th Capos. 

Here's what attendees and performers said about TGG6:

Hey Mark
Thanks again for having me! It was even more fun this year because I had more time to get involved with everything that was happening. I was able to pick John Lawlor's brain a little more, what an amazing player, and there's a lot there to pick!!! Great family starting to form there, seems to me.

The 'vibe' is very positive and folks who come are obviously not just tenor guitar fans but MUSIC fans. The variety of music that can be played on what we call a tenor guitar is stunning. The mutual respect that players at the 'gathering' have for each other is of genuine awe: bystanders listening in to players' conversations may misinterpret the dialog as modesty, but even the virtuoso players present recognize that so many styles exist that one can never really master any instrument.

The gathering is conspicuously absent of a competitive aspect, and the rule that trumps all seems to be: 'have fun!'. 

Tim May, Performer (Nashville)

This was our first time attending a Tenor Guitar Gathering.  We had a great dinner on the Historic 39th Street pier at the Rogue Public Ale House, and an even greater experience during TGG6. The playing was amazing and the music was full of energy, humor and life. 

The venue had a fantastic view of the Columbia  along with a beautiful sunset which added an extra element to the music.  We really enjoyed the evening and plan to attend next year.

 Mark & Mary (Portland)

Thanks Mark, for asking me to participate this year! Not quite knowing what to expect, I didn't engage with the event as much as I could have, but I will for sure when when I return next year. Next year, I'd be interested in taking some of the other workshops, participating in the the Friday night show, what you call "Backstage Pass" at the RiverSea Gallery, which was very beautiful, and the trolley ride too. I really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute what I could to the event. Those at the Balkan music 101 workshop were engaged and seemed to be satisfied with the presentation. Pat Mac Swyney is one of my favorite musicians and I thought we made a positive impact on the gatheringI was impressed with the other teachers/presenters, and felt appreciated by those in attendance and would love to return. 

Steve Ramsey, performer (Seattle)


We had a great time at TGG6. It was my first time attending. The workshops I attended were all worthwhile, particularly Tim May's and Gerry Carthy's. All of the guest artists were worth listening to, particularly your harmonica playing.

I would like to see more jamming opportunities. I really enjoy simply playing a lot, and I met a number of people jamming who felt the same way. Perhaps you could set up a room for a continuous jam. There was an impromptu jam set up at Ratz & Co gallery that was great and the owner, Dave McMacken,  said he really liked it and would do it again. I notice there are lots of galleries around Astoria, so setting up jams all over town would be another idea. Howard did a good job keeping it flowing. EZ Marc and Erich Sylvester also joined in the jamming which was great. That makes it more rewarding for the attendees and helps them get to know the artists. Having the event in Astoria was great. Lots of places to go and things to see, as well as a lot of good restaurants and good hotels. It was well worth the drive from Northern California, and I am planning to come back next year!

Best Regards
Bill (Northern California)


It was a real treat to be included in this year’s Tenor gathering. I really enjoyed meeting you, the music and camaraderie was great, thank you very much! I hope that you will continue with the event and will consider having me back to perform in the future. My Uncle Stan Jones, who wrote the song GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY on his Martin tenor guitar,  would have thoroughly enjoyed your event. He was a gregarious hale fellow well met, and would most likely been the last one to leave, singing a cowboy tune as he drifted off. I’m very happy and proud that you chose to add him to your Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame; a fine and worthy choice! Take care, keep on pickin’, and we’ll hopefully see you down the trail!

Keeter Stuart, performer 


Thank you for all of your efforts to organize the 6th annual tenor guitar gathering. It was another incredible event. I'm proud to say that I was at the world's first tenor guitar gathering in 2010, and have watched it grow slowly, more wonderful from year to year.

Mike (Washington)

Great "Tenorpalooza" Mark! Thanks so much for "willing" TGG into existence; all the hard work to make it happen every year; and for bringing me into the madness :)

Pat Mac Swyney, Performer (Los Angeles)

I have been to five out of the six "Gatherings", and each one seems to get better than the last, although they have all had their own separate charm. It's a treat interacting with such talented and interesting people each year, and I look forward to returning for TGG7 next year!

Ben (Arizona)

Here's what attendees and performers said about TGG6 (cont.)

TGG6 was wonderful! It was a warm joyful family reunion.  

It was an honor to be with so many fine musicians.  As an audience member it was a delight to see and hear musicians move in and out of each others sets, joining their talents and styles, greatly appreciating and learning from one another.  The beauty and diversity is very impressive.  And the laughter and joy was everywhere.

I'm already looking forward to TGG7!!!

Carol Newman, KMUN radio host

I have attended all but one of the six Gatherings in Astoria. TGG6 was by far the most exciting! I go in the hopes of picking up some information, technique, or method I can use to fine-tune my tenor guitar playing.  When I've gone to music stores or Internet sites -- hoping to find someone who knew anything about the tenor guitar -- I got little help.  I even spoke to a professional guitar teacher . . . he called my tenor a Uke!  The Gatherings in Astoria is the only place my tenor gets some respect!

At TGG I can approach professional musicians and entertainers who play tenors.  I get a boatload of instruction and tips which gives me loads of material to work on until the next Gathering.  Bye the way, I play in a church band . . . Sunday's set after TGG . . . our praise and worship leader made very favorable comments about my tenor playing recently . . . priceless!


Just got back to New York/Brooklyn from Astoria after a red eye on Saturday night. Another amazing days of Tenor Guitars, ukuleles, and other 4 string instruments. Thanks to Mark Josephs and the many others who helped him create this labor of love in Astoria and spreading the Tenor to the rest of the world! It sure ain't for the $.  Mark is a saint.  Saint Tenor.


Josh Reynolds (NYC)

Every year is better than the last. Mark did another amazing job, with the help of tenor guitar enthusiasts inside and outside of town. This year the talent built up day by day and as Howard said in his introduction, the final Sunday night concert was as good as anything one might expect to see at Carnegie Hall or any of the other big city venues in the country. I highly recommend you all be on the lookout for the studio album of mandolin duets coming soon from Brian Oberlin and Evan Marshall, certainly two of the best in the world, if not the best. All the workshops that I attended (all the CGDA and ukelele workshops as well as a couple in GDAE [now I need another tenor!] were extremely informative and I am hoping to be able to incorporate something from each of them into my own playing style. I wish now I had brought a mandolin to take Tim May's workshop as well, but I already felt somewhat overwhelmed by the workshops I did go to and six instruments seemed like more than enough. I also enjoyed seeing some of the same faces on the stage who get better every year. What a great thing Mark Josephs has done, kudos! Even my wife enjoyed it more this year and she mostly goes for the shopping.    Peace and good health,

Ken H (Washington)

"This was my first Tenor Guitar festival and I am so glad that I made the effort to attend.. The dock venue of the old Bumblebee cannery is epic and etched with history and character, just like the history of the tenor guitar. An added bonus is the helpful and open community that has gathered around our shared love of the tenor. This is a community that also offers real deal elders and mentors. Folks went out of their way to welcome and include me in events, music and conversations. I learned quite a bit musically and have a much greater cultural context for this wonderful instrument that I was fortunate enough to come upon unexpectedly. All this and I was only able to attend the first day of "Chicago tuning" fun! I will definitely be back next year for more days with added inspiration to hone my personal repertoire. My experience at the festival left me feeling inspired to realize some of my musical dreams through this special instrument. How cool to learn that guidance from the committed tenor guitar community is just an enthusiastic smile away." Thanks to Mark and all of the society members who made this year's event a reality.

Michael (Portland)

This year's Tenor Guitar Gathering was the best yet. Proof of that, to the outside observer, is the joy of being there that I see in the performances and faces of the performers and their audiences (sometimes one and the same). It's a unique event in that it doesn't make overt distinction between the amateur and the professional. Everyone has something of value to learn or impart. This was the first year I've gone into any of the workshops, and I got a chance to see that they are, if not the heart of the Gathering, they are at least the pulmonary artery or left ventricle. There were larger-than-life, articulate instructors like Pat Mac Swyney, Gerry Carthy, and E.Z Marc Poschman, engage their students in a winning manner, then there was the x-pollination / mix 'n match of the professionals that was awesome.

Tim May brought a lot of that informality to the Gathering with his particularly Nashville woodshed chops that he can conjure up at a moments notice, or back off and play Django like swing. He was at the heart of a lot of the Gathering's performance highlights, in my opinion, and not because he stole the show (which he probably could), but because he simply became a part of scenes he quietly orchestrated. Jean Mann gets better and better every year. She has developed into a self confident artist who really reaches the audience with her music. I hope more woman will both attend and perform next year. I have attended many a music "festival", and this "gathering" was one of the most organic and enjoyable!

Allen (San Francisco)

As biased as I am toward the Gatherings, don't count this as insincere.  As difficult as it is for me to get away from my homestead at the time of year, when we are ramping up for another grow season and doing essential repairs, I can't bring myself to stay away.  I've come to look forward to friends made at previous gatherings, share more about the variety of tenor instruments, and to expand my musical horizon.  This year was one of the most interesting gatherings of all. Not only was it fun, diverse, and entertaining, but I think I learned more at this gathering than all of the others, combined.  

Music history is a "root cause" of what drives much of what we hear today from contemporary performers.  Keeping traditions alive is a grand goal, and these gatherings do this in a delightfully intimate fashion.

Priest River, Idaho

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