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The World Stage

I believe I’ve found the cure to jet lag. It’s actually rather simple. First you acclimate by flying from Florida to Wyoming and back. That’s just the warm up. Follow that with a flight to both islands in New Zealand, continue west to Australia, return to Florida, take one day off and then spend an equal amount of time on the other side of the planet in Ireland, England and France.

Gilewitz_jetlagWhen you return to Florida you will feel as if you have then neutralized yourself by going west and then east and back. But wait, there’s more. Just to be on the safe side, fly straight up to Buffalo, New York, drive to Niagara Falls, stare at the Falls and drift into them (without jumping of course),and then return to Florida. As you’re lying on the couch watching the World Series and wondering what just happened, keep in mind that you’ll soon be receiving your “Ground Astronaut” diploma in the mail.

That’s actually how my last tour went and believe it or not, there actually were no effects that I can recall involving jet lag. Another sure fire method is this – don’t go anywhere.

Although if that was the route I took, I would not have met up with some of the truly remarkable musicians and guitarists that we earthlings have to offer. I’m proud to call many of them my friends and teachers. It’s almost impossible to not pick up more than a few tips regarding my craft of playing the guitar. A new tune, technique, rhythm, style, voicing or combination of instruments in a duo or small ensemble setting always seems to be hovering in the midst waiting to pounce its way into my repertoire in some fashion.

Gilewitz_Fix_2014During my 4th trip to Australia I was delighted to meet up with my friend Michael Fix simply for a cup of coffee and catch up before he headed off to New Zealand for the front end of his tour. On the previous tour Michael and I shared the stage for several shows and I had the pleasure of recording some terrific duets with him in his home studio. Currently on tour in Europe with guitar phenom Tommy Emmanuel, Michael certainly was nothing short of a musical culinary expert and I gladly added some seasoning to my music from that experience. Feast your ears on “Lines and Spaces”, his new CD and be sure to check out some of our impromptu duets.

During the 10th annual Clonakilty Guitar Festival in Ireland I once again ran into another friend, Stephen Housden from the famed Little River Band. Playing together the previous years at the Festival had gone so well that our little makeshift duo morphed into a wonderful trio with my new friend Margaret Kennedy, a flute wizard of the highest order.

The event we played together at the Festival was so packed I had to actually have audience members hold my guitars for me when I was not playing them because our playing space became that tight as more and more Festival attendees crammed into the small venue. That was the first time I could actually feel the energy of a crowd to such a degree that it felt like a thermometer ready to burst.

Margaret and I also made a deal. I wouldn’t stab her in the head with the headstock of my 12 string guitar if she didn’t poke me in the head with her flute.

It would be very easy to misinterpret the point I’m trying to make here, which is not what it might seem like on the surface, which is “oh, look at all the cool people I get to play with…aren’t I cool.” Grateful is actually the word that would be more applicable, but the actual point I’m trying to make is that I have realized over the years that as my playing and craft improve, other players who initially would tolerate playing with me began to be willing to play with me and eventually want to play with me and that’s actually the highlight of it all. Not for ego or to just feel like you’re on the playing field and simply proud, but when you put the time into your craft and saddle up with someone else who’s done the same, the musical results can be truly magical for the players and anyone around the results.

Gilewitz_echoing_coverSo get into the woodshed, work on your craft, get with other players and cook up a good musical sandwich or two. And in the meantime, take a listen to a sample of “Echoing Gilewitz” with Michael Fix and me.

Richard Gilewitz 2014

About the author

Richard Gilewitz

For over three decades fingerstyle guitarist Richard Gilewitz has charmed audiences with road tales and right-hand wizardry, creating a sparkle of mood mastery and wonderment during each performance. Recognized world wide as a performer who has a quirky take on everything around him, Richard lives up to this depiction with rousing shows filled with offbeat observations and 6 & 12-string gymnastics. As a youngster, Richard Gilewitz embraced such diverse artists as The Beatles, Andres Segovia, Kraftwerk, Leo Kottke, J.S. Bach, Arlo Guthrie, John Fahey and Flatt & Scruggs. With Richard's signature playing style delivering a technical diversity of banjo style picking patterns, classical arpeggios, tapping and harmonics, along with a rhythmic and percussive approach, he shares a fresh impression of sound to the listener during his concert performances and at his annual 2-day GillaCamp Guitar Workshop. Students around the globe also attend Richard's roving GillaCamp Guitar Workshop, a 1 to 4 hour interactive experience that provides players an avenue to renew their love of the guitar. In between touring, Richard conducts private lessons and also teaches students through Skype. Catch Richard's tour schedule at www.richardgilewitz.com

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