Grammy winning acoustic guitar virtuoso Ed Gerhard makes his island debut with three Big Island concerts this weekend.
The master of six- and 12-string, slide and acoustic Hawaiian lap steel guitars will kick off his Hawaii Island tour with an in-store show and meet-and-greet reception Friday at Hilo Ukulele and Guitar at 56 Ponahawai Street in downtown Hilo.
On Saturday, it’s off to the Kohala Coast for a concert in the Kamani Room at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
Then, Gerhard will grace the intimate confines of Gertrude’s Jazz Bar in Kailua-Kona on Sunday.
All shows are at 7 p.m.
Gerhard’s virtuosity can move a listener with a single note. Scott Alalrik of the Boston Globe said it best when he wrote, “Gerhard does not write instrumentals. He writes songs only a guitar can sing.”
Gerhard’s relationship with the guitar began at age 10, when he happened upon classical guitar master Andrés Segovia on TV. “I’d heard all the pop music on the radio and maybe a little of that 60s folk stuff, but this was the first time I’d ever heard the guitar all by itself and the sound just instantly got me,” he recalled.
Another game changer for Gerhard is when he first heard bluesman Mississippi John Hurt.
Gerhard’s “Luna” CD is featured in Acoustic Guitar magazine’s 20th Anniversary list of the “240 Essential Albums.”
“This soulful album of original compositions rich in melody, chordal complexity and stylistic variety proves why Gerhard is considered to have the most exquisite acoustic guitar tone on the planet,” the publication noted.
Gerhard’s guitar work can be heard on recordings by Arlo Guthrie, Jorma Kaukonen and Bill Morrissey, and in the Ken Burns’ films “Mark Twain” and “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”
Admission is $25 to the Hilo show and $35 to the Kona show. The Kohala Coast concert is $35 general, $48 gold circle seating.
Tickets are available at Hilo Ukulele and Guitar, Hilo Music Exchange, Gertrude’s Jazz Bar, Kona Music Exchange, Kiernan Music in Kainaliu, Waimea General Store, Top Stitch in Honokaa, online at bluesbearhawaii.com or by calling 896-4845.
Gerhard will also conduct a guitar workshop at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s Kamani Room. The cost for the 1.5-hour workshop is $55 and a reservation must be booked in advance at bluesbearhawaii.com.