AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR SUMMIT FOR BRUNCH, FEATURING 3 STRONG GUITARISTS FROM THE MIDWEST, HOSTED BY ELGIN FOSTER.
Gabriel Andrews is an emerging Australian acoustic guitarist, taking first prize in the 2014 Wilson Centre International Guitar Competition (Milwaukee, USA), and opening for Canadian Guitarist Jesse Cook in the evening showcase. In 2015, Gabriel completed a Master of Music (MM) at the Peck School of the Arts (PSOA), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM), working as a tutor in The Bachelor of Music program during his studies. In October of the same year, he placed third in the Kentucky International Home of the Legends Thumb-picking Championship.
In August 2013, Gabriel worked with Italian guitar virtuoso Pino Forastiere as part of his masters program, subsequently travelling to Tivoli (Italy) to study with Forastiere in December of the same year. In addition to UWM workshops, presented by leading guitarists Clive Carroll (England), Mike Dawes (England), Billy McLaughlan (USA), Alex de Grassi (USA), and Lucas Michailidis (Australia), Gabriel has thrived under the principal tutelage and learning philosophy of Professor John Stropes, receiving a Chancellor’s Scholarship and Distinguished Graduate Fellowship nomination from the PSOA in his first year.
He released his first solo album Pathways at the Blue Mountains Music Festival in Sydney, Australia (2013) before leaving to undertake the MM at UWM. In May 2014, he launched Pathways in the US, performing at the Zelazo Centre for the Performing Arts (Milwaukee), promoted by WMSE Milwaukee, Taurus Arts Management, Hausch Design, and the Hudson Business Lounge. In 2015, Gabriel’s composition “Here & Now” made
it to the semifinal round of the International Song Writing
Contest Instrumental category.
Gabriel graduated in 2008, with honors, from the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Australia. Studying under the internationally acclaimed Australian guitarist, Lucas Michailidis, Gabriel was the first contemporary guitarist to enter the Conservatorium’s elite performance stream.
However, it is not in institutions but on the stage that this musician has flourished. Performing since the age of five, his band Flavus made it to the arena stage by age fifteen performing in front of 10,000 people at the Rod Lava Arena in 2001. Whether as a session player for big band rhythm sections, jazz trios, cover bands, or pit orchestras; lead guitarist for original outfits; accompanist for singers; or as a soloist on acoustic guitar; Gabriel is at home on the stage and is on the verge of a promising career in Music.
To this dedicated musician who strives to learn and develop every day, composing and performing are a way of life. With his love of reflection combined with a passion for living, Gabriel hopes his music transcends just the notes, to express deep emotion, and encourage in listeners self-reflection and a desire to live a fulfilling life.
Over the years, Elgin has performed in local coffee houses; restaurants; Mall of America, Minneapolis - Saint Paul Airport, wine tastings; Bed and Breakfasts; weddings; house concerts; church services and open-mic nights with the Minnesota Guitar Society. Elgin also was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition from congressman John Kline for his service to the community through benefit concerts to help the homeless, cancer victims and programs for single moms. Elgin has shared the stage with some of the artists who continue to inspire him including: Dean Magraw, Dan Schwartz, Ben Woolman, Dylan Mckinstry, Dan Neale, Tim Sparks, Greg Herriges, Steve Lehto and John Wright.
Guitarist Joel Shapira is an internationally acclaimed musician residing in St. Paul / Minneapolis MN. He's a leader and/or member of multiple top Twin Cities' jazz ensembles, as well as a master of the demanding discipline of solo guitar. He performs regularly with world class musicians, has numerous recordings to his credit, and is an artist featured on the NYC record label Unseen Rain Records.
In 2017, with the release of his first solo guitar recording "In Essence", Shapira has received glowing accolades from critics in Vintage Guitar magazine, The Jazz Police, The Villager newspaper and more.