The hot summer months of July started off with an educational slant with Richard teaching students from around the USA via Skype and at an impromptu private GillaCamp. Richard's students hail from as far away as New Zealand to around the corner from his hometown in Florida. With the technology of Skype, Richard is able to connect with students around the globe, keeping in touch with their progress as they learn new tunes, hone their techniques, and discover a few surprises or two.
Accepting the invitation to perform at Muriel Anderson's annual All Star Guitar Night in Nashville, Tennessee, Richard joined Tim May on stage. Tim and Richard (along with Gretchen Priest-May) travel each year in December to Rock Springs, Wyoming for Richard's "Meet the Artist: Music in the Schools" program. Other stops in July included the St. Louis, Missouri area for House Concert, a guitar clinic at Fazio's, one of the nation's finest shops and a concert at the Focal Point, a favorite venue in town. The rest of August was filled with a GillaCamp Guitar Workshop and concert in Indiana, a tour of the Gold Tone Factory in Titusville, Florida, time out for a couple of Tampa Bay Ray's games, and then off to Wyoming for another round of concerts and workshops with Tim May.
September is always a busy month, and this year was no exception. From Bern, Switzerland to Cotswold, England to Clonakilty, Ireland, http://www.clonguitarfest.com/ the entire month was a whirl of festivals, concerts, and workshops. New this year was the Guitar Retreats in the quaint area of Cotswold. Organized by Stuart Marshall, this retreat will no doubt become an annual event for Richard as a guest instructor. www.guitar-retreats.co.uk
During the month of April, Richard met up with some old and new acquaintances as he toured Midwestern United States. Yvonne Desrosiers of Talisman Art
Studio and Productions talismanpro.com put together a second year concert/GillaCamp workshop package at
the historic Old Republic in New Carlisle, Indiana.
Other stops included concerts and workshops in Chicago and Grayslake, Illinois and then to North Caroline where Richard returned to Black Mountain and
Asheville, two of the country's hotspots for acoustic music. It was in Black Mountain where Richard once had the pleasure of having award winning Woodstock
film director Michael Wadleigh in his audience. According to Richard, "At the end of the evening he requested that I write a piece for what was intended to
be a sequel to the documentary. His intention at the time was to film it in Black Mountain, NC with the working title, "The Village at the End of the
Universe". The club I performed in was the now defunct McDibbs, a wonderful little room. I was so flattered to have this challenge I named the piece before
I wrote a note. On my drive back home in Florida I noticed a billboard: Mrs. Firecracker's Place. My instant thought while thinking of Arlo Guthrie's famed
hit was 'Wow, who would want to go to Alice's Restaurant' when you can go to Mrs. Firecracker's Place?' Unfortunately, the film never happened. The tune
Taking a break in Florida before heading to Australia and Tasmania, and then to New Zealand, Richard played at a quaint spot in Dunedin called the Painted
Fish Gallery www.paintedfishgallery.com. These smaller venues are a valuable
part of the musical scene as they provide an opportunity for fans to see their favorite artists in an intimate setting.
The return trip to Australia and Tasmania was a mixture of a CD Release tour, concerts, workshops, and retreats. Richard started the tour with Tim O'Brien
for their concert at the Ipswich Civic Center by looking for spiders.
"Tasmania Live" was recorded in Franklin and Margate Tasmania during the 2011 tour and it was an honor for Richard to return to this magical heart shaped
country to see many who attended the live concerts last year. Throughout the trip, Richard kept his hair in check by wearing his favorite Ice Cream Doctor
hat that has now traveled with him to several countries including Figi.
The Loose Acoustics' Winterbreak in Mt. Tambourine, Australia,
gave Richard a chance to plant himself in one place as he joined the other presenters: Andy White, Susanna Carman, Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo, and Angela Hryniu.
This year's New Zealand's tour covered the South Island only with concerts and workshops in Nelson, Picton, and Christchurch. While in Christchurch,
Richard performed a benefit concert and workshop for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand, organized by Pegasus Health. www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.nz
January 2012 opened with Richard's annual trek to Anaheim for the Winter NAMM show. Always a busy time, the NAMM provides a platform for those involved in the music industry to meet, introduce new products, and catch up on the latest trends.
The annual February Florida GillaCamp in Floral City gave participants the opportunity to "sit in the hot seat" as they learned to hone their performance skills by playing in front of the class. A complete weekend event with the GillaCamp Guitar Workshop running two days, an evening concert with a pot luck of local food, and opportunities for some local site seeing made the Florida sunshine even more special for those who traveled in from the colder regions. The 2013 GillaCamp is scheduled for February 16 and 17th.
A quick tour of Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia , then back to Florida for a St. Paddy's Day concert gave Richard an opportunity to see the new Wolfe Guitars store in Brentwood and visit his hometown of Huntsville. Seems that the leprechauns attached a reminder on Richard to make sure he would return for the annual Ireland Clonakilty International Guitar Festival in September 2012.
This year's MusikMesse in Frankfurt was a flurry of activity with players catching up with each other during the April show. A fast stop at the chocolate shop appeased Richard's American friends who pine for sweets each time he travels abroad.
This question always pops up from fans around the globe as they try to keep up with Richard's concerts and GillaCamp Guitar Workshops. With social media sites and gig calendars spread wide across the web, schedules have become readily available. richardgilewitz.com/calendar.html
But, where's Gilewitz been? This is the question the Richard Gilewitz News Section has answered monthly with photos and stories about his tours and announcements about new projects, sponsors, and life in general. It's a look into the world of a touring musician and we invite you to travel along with him on his journey.
In the next few months, the Richard Gilewitz News will catch up with the tours of 2011 and 2012 as we add more photos and reports. Check back often to read about the trips, view the scenery, and meet the folks from life on the road.
In this global world of music, it is never surprising that a chance encounter of an Australia guitarist in Ireland would lead to a first time tour of Australia and on to Tasmania. Tacking on extra dates to an already packed New Zealand tour could not have been possible without the invitations of Steve Seaton for his Loose Acoustic GillaCamp and concert
and Tim O'Brien, who arranged the Australian dates,
and Steve Gadd, who was a huge part of the Tasmania visit as promoter and support.
At the helm of this tour was Roger Joseph of Arelmedia Management who sliced through the complicated requirements for playing in Australia and who also agreed to represent Richard for his future tours.
The New Zealand tour was particularly moving as a number of the dates were in Christchurch, an amazing community who weathered the earthquakes and aftershocks that rocked the entire area, plus an ash cloud that almost detoured the entire Australian trip. Sponsored by MusicWorks and Rockshop, Richard's tour included several concerts and demonstrations for his sponsors, including D'Addario, LR Baggs, and Shubb, as well as his favorite stops at the Mussel Inn, The Bunker, and Le Café. New Zealand has long been a much loved destination with its stunning landscapes and welcoming people.
Of particular significance for the extended tour to Australia and Tasmania was the opportunity for Richard to follow the footsteps of John Fahey, who recorded a live album some thirty years prior to this trip. Richard's own recording, "Tasmania Live", fulfills his dream of visiting the land down under the Down Under. Plans are in motion to return in 2012.
March was a great time to be in the South as the weather is generally more forgiving than in other parts of the USA. Richard joined Hitesh Mehta (architect and landscape architect) for a book signing event and provided the music to accompany the stunning photographs of ecolodges around the world. Hitesh Mehta's book, "Authentic Ecolodges" is a collection at some of the most forward-thinking ecolodges in amazing exotic destinations. Hitesh is one of the world's leading authorities, practitioners, and researchers of ecolodges and ecotourism.
The annual MusikMesse in Frankfurt, Germany, was filled with concerts on the Acoustic Stage, as well as informal events throughout the conference.
A regular at the Shubb booth, Richard settled in to play a few tunes.
As one of the largest trade fairs in Europe, MusikMesse draws players and exhibitors from around the world for four days of demonstrations, workshops, and concerts.
Following MusikMesse, Richard traveled to the UK for a number of concerts and demonstrations sponsored by Strings & Things, LRbaggs_page1.html, the UK and Ireland's exclusive distributor for pickup and preamp specialist LR Baggs.
The Irish Guitar and Blues Festival in Drogheda, Ireland brought together some of the world's leading guitarists to share the stage at the TLT Concert Hall and Theatre. A favorite stopping place for Richard during his Ireland tour each year, the festival gave Richard twice the reason to catch up with old friends.
It's NAMM time so it must be January. Every year Richard travels to Anaheim, California for the National Association of Music Merchant's convention to catch up with his sponsors, meet old friends, and participate in planned and impromptu musical events. Generally on the artist side of NAMM, this year offered the opportunity for Richard to experience the other side of the spectrum as he assisted Gary Mobley at the Shubb Capos booth. Share Richard's take in his article "The Other Side of the Aisle".
While touring California, Richard was invited to be a guest artist of the String Letter Music School in San Anselmo. Presented in association with Acoustic Guitar magazine and AcousticGuitar.com, the Guest Artist Workshop program was an opportunity for players to study with Richard while he was in the Bay Area. Richard shared his fingerstyle techniques with students and also took time to film an instructional video.
A brief tour to North Carolina gave Richard a chance to catch up with friends, particularly during the Fiddle& Bow Society concert in Winston-Salem where Sonny Thomas has been hosting this series for 30 years.
GillaCamp Florida offered a warm welcome to players escaping the northern winter weather in January and February with sessions in south and central Florida. Players from as far as New Mexico and Illinois joined fellow pickers from Florida and Arkansas for the two-day session plus a special evening concert with an impromptu appearance by Ted Stauffer on drums. A private back yard picnic on Sunday closed out this fun and inspirational weekend with players picking into the late hours.