Award-winning electro-acoustic guitarists Guy Strazz and Mark Johns will be taking audiences on a musical journey of great tunes from past and present at Gosford Regional Gallery on 8 October.
Guy, Head of Guitar at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music, has had an extensive career touring, recording, composing, and teaching. He enjoys many styles of music including intelligent pop, jazz, Latin, funk, rock, fusion, and classical and first team up with
Mark Johns is one of the world’s most renowned session guitarists and performers. Previously based in London for many years, he has recorded and toured with artists such as Jeff Beck, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, Sting, Mariane Faithful, Julie Driscoll, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine and is also a renowned composer.
The pair first teamed up in 2019 after they were put in touch with each other via a mutual friend at the Con. Since then they have recorded the album Great Guitars and performed together several times.
“Since we first got together we discovered we had a lot of common languages and enjoyed each others’ compositions and also shared a lot of foundations and styles of music,” said Guy, adding that the collaboration was a “growing project”. “We are only starting to get going. From when we started it has now matured into something quite different.”
In what will be the duo’s first concert at the gallery on the NSW Central Coast, the Guitar Masters in Concert show will include some of Guy and Mark’s original works – such as the Jazz APRA Awarded
Mandela, Afro Bouban, and Romantica. The pair will also offer their own rendition of Chick Corea’s Armando’s Rumba and Spain as well as pieces by Tom Jobim, Harold Harlen, Dave Brubeck, Consuelo Velázquez, and Mark Johns’ engaging ukulele rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
“There will be a little bit for everybody – with plenty of variety to keep everyone entertained. It’s going to be fun!” said Guy.
About Guy Strazz
Renowned guitar master Guy Strazz grew up in a musical family going back four generations and started playing guitar when he was eight.
Currently Head of Guitar at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music, He says highlights of his international touring career include performing to 15,000 spectators at Mumbai Cricket Stadium for Jazz Yatra Festival, playing with his Passion Fruit trio at Sydney Opera House and performing with Australian jazz singer Vince Jones at Sydney Domain.
“I have been fortunate to have had many exciting learning experiences and each one taught me to ‘dig deep’ into my skills,” says Guy.
While Guy has played with musical greats, and graced many international stages, he is also passionate about teaching music.
“There have been teachers in my family, so I guess it’s quite natural that I like teaching. At the end of the day, I like it when I see a student feeling happy to play music, whatever the standard. That’s the most important thing for me.”
A dedicated and experienced teacher, with deep knowledge and skill in multiple styles of music, Guy also studied ‘music and the brain’ as part of his PhD research. “This has helped deepen my understanding of learning processes and viewing each student as an individual experience.”
Many of Guy’s students have gone on to establish strong music careers with several gaining acceptance into music degrees at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, including Central Coast guitarist and Allen Family Scholarship winner Min Ahn. Others, such as Aaron Flower, have gone on to win the National Guitar Jazz Awards, while Wendy Anggerani and Luke Liang have worked with artists such as Guy Sebastian and Ronan Keating.
Guy teaches Harmony at Avondale University. He holds a PhD and a master’s degrees in music, as well as B. Mus and a Jazz Diploma.
Guy’s teachers in his early development include luminaries such as Australia’s George Golla, as well as Americans Mike Stern (ex-Miles Davis) and the legendary Pat Martino. His classical guitar teachers were John Della Torre and Greg Pickler. Guy was a recipient of a Jazz APRA Award and two APRA nominations for composition; an AIR Nomination 2008 for Best Jazz Release; an Indie Acoustic Project USA Finalist 2006 for Best Global Beat Release; and an Australia Council Music Fellowship.
About Mark Johns
Mark Johns is one of the world’s most renowned session guitarists and performers. Previously based in London for many years, he is the ultimate all round player, having recorded and toured with artists such as Jeff Beck, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, Sting, Mariane Faithful, Julie Driscoll, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine.
Mark is also a gifted and versatile composer, his music can be heard on TV series such as Absolutely Fabulous, Bottom, Monarch of the Glen and French and Saunders. Other television credits include Down to Earth, Coupling, The Ralph Little Show, The Johnny Vaughan Show, The Ben Elton Show, The Lenny Henry Show, Films include Gangsta No.1, Best and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
- What: Guy Strazz and Mark Johns: Guitar Masters in Concert
- Where: Gosford Regional Art Gallery
- When: 8 October, 7.30pm
- Tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/942083