January-February, 2008

THIS BYRD HAS FLOWN: 

JOHN YORK TRANSCENDS HIS MUSICAL PAST WITH INNOVATIVE ROOTS AND INTERNATIONAL MUSIC

By Terry Roland

John York is the last pure voice of the Silver Sixties to make it through… intact to the first decade of the 21st Century - Kim Fowleyjohnyorkphoto_175.jpg


   John York is not a typical veteran of the 60s LA music scene. Number one, he's still alive. This may put him in a very small percentage of the veterans from those days. Number two, he's not holding on to the musical style and songs of the past. Rather, York has remained passionate about his musical growth and pilgrimage in world music, Native American styles and a diversity of international instruments. Along with the twelve and six-string guitars, fretted and fretless bass, the instruments he has studied include pipa (the Chinese lute), gu zheng (the Chinese table harp), violin, Native American flute, Chinese jade screen flute, dong xiao (Chinese bamboo flute), oud (Arabic lute), Mexican five-string guitar, and Irish harp. His musical path has taken him through Arabic, Native American, Chinese and Japanese influences. Probably most important of all these accomplishments is the spirituality energizing his music with a fresh and original integration of eastern and western influences.

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January-February 2008

SLACK KEY FESTIVAL IN SO CAL

By Audrey Coleman

jimkimowest4_175.jpg
Jim Kimo West
Photo Jim Viets

On January 20, nine acclaimed slack key guitarists will grace the stage of the Redondo Performing Arts Center in the first Southern California Slack Key Guitar Festival. They include Cyril Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi, George Kahumoku, Ozzie Kotani, Makana, Jeff Peterson, Owana Salazar, Steve Espaniola, and Jim “Kimo” West.

Slack key is the least known of the guitar traditions despite the rich history, refined aesthetic, and continued vitality that should give it equal status with flamenco, bluegrass, jazz and blues guitar. But recently slack key has been attracting attention on the mainland, in part because of its presence at the Grammy Awards. This year a compilation of live performances by slack key guitar luminaries, Treasures of Slack Key Guitar (Daniel Ho Creations), is competing for a Grammy in the Hawaiian Music Category. The 2006 and 2007 music awards went to similar compilations.

Read more: SLACK KEY FESTIVAL IN SO CAL