DATES FOR TGG7:
MAY 25-29, 2016
MORE JAMMING !!!
more info on this year's Tenor Guitar Gathering,
including the booking and payment page, click HERE.
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;
Brand Musical Instruments,
Saga Musical Instruments.
Collings Instruments, and
attendees and performers said about TGG6:
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!'.
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
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
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
gathering. I was impressed with the other
teachers/presenters, and felt appreciated by
those in attendance and would love to return.
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!
Bill (Northern California)
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!
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.
much for "willing" TGG into existence;
all the hard work to make it happen
every year; and for bringing me into the
Swyney, Performer (Los Angeles)
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!
attendees and performers said about TGG6 (cont.)
wonderful! It was a warm joyful family
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.
looking forward to TGG7!!!
Carol Newman, KMUN
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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