STEPHEN BENNETT - Stephen Bennett is an
extraordinary musician, an acknowledged master of the harp guitar, a challenging
teacher, a gifted composer, and a performer of astounding sensitivity. The
Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association calls him “the Jedi Master of Fingerstyle
Stephen has traveled the world and performed with the best. From California to
Maine, Texas to Tennessee, as well as around Europe, Canada, Australia and
Japan, Stephen has played all sorts of venues and events. He has released 20
recordings of music, along with a couple of DVDs, books and other instructional
materials – and he’s always working on something new!
The testimony of those who hear Stephen is that his work is the product of both
mind and heart, intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying – - and it
is deeply personal, even as it is universal. Listeners have a feeling that they
have stepped into the world of the musician, and for a short moment in time,
there are only the two of them there. Says one reviewer: “With his ear near the
body of the harp guitar, Mr. Bennett gave the impression of a father cradling a
newborn baby . . . His performance was imbued with heart and grace.”
The producer of a Texas music Festival writes, “Stephen’s music draws the
listener in. He has the ability to make you feel as though you are a part of the
music he is making.
From France: “Stephen’s compositions are so beautiful, filled with great emotion
and great sensitivity. He is one of those musicians who serve the music, and
only the music.”
“When I first heard him playing a few years ago in France, I felt like I had
been pushed into a different world, where the lost emotions come back to your
heart and make it beat in a different way. What Stephen can do, and few artists
have this gift, is to speak directly to your heart and to move your best
feelings!” Pierpaolo Adda, music journalist and festival promoter, Italy.
“The image of Stephen Bennett embracing his harp guitar is the one that tends to
linger. The fact that Stephen is only too happy to champion the cause of the
harp guitar may inadvertently obscure his abilities on the six-string
instrument. In what is becoming known as the Golden Age of Guitar Luthiery, it’s
easy to overlook the fact that this is also the Golden Age of Guitar Playing.
With six strings or more, as one of the most original and prolific composers and
arrangers for the guitar on the current scene, Stephen Bennett is clearly a part
of the latter heritage.” S. Rekas – Mel Bay Publications
Stephen is also is the founder of the Harp Guitar Gathering, an event that
celebrated its seventh season in October of 2009. The HGG seeks to celebrate all
things harp guitar as it brings players, luthiers, scholars and fans together
for a weekend of performances, workshops and camaraderie.
Whether playing his great-grandfather’s harp guitar, slide on his National
resonator guitar, or a standard six-string, Stephen Bennett is a musician to
hear. His music has won awards and critical praise. In live performance and on
record, his diverse musical influences and interests are joined in a life-long
love affair with the sound of guitar strings.