"The guitar is a whole lot more than a guitar...
there's a whole attitude towards life wrapped up in it" (Charles Fox)
SB Acoustic ~ an Ongoing Series of Live
International Acoustic Music Concerts
& Annual Handmade Guitar Exhibition
Fingerstyle & Jazz
Gypsy & Flamenco
Americana & Blues
Slack Key & more
12 Sunday Nights per year at SOhO
1221 State St. in Beautiful Downtown Santa Barbara
Our Final Fall '21 Concert
This is our highlight show of the fall season for a
once-in-our-lifetime concert on the small stage!
The incredible John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
Featuring Herb Pederson
11/21@ 7:30pm. Come early for dinner.
Proof of Vax (or negative test within 72 hours if medically unable to be vax'd) required.
J2B2 | John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
featuring Herb Pederson - 11/21/21 $35
John Jorgenson, known for his blistering guitar and mandolin licks and mastery of a broad musical palette, has earned a reputation as a world-class musician who has collaborated with Chris Hillman, the Byrds, Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan and many others.
J2B2 is an all-star bluegrass supergroup featuring four legendary, award-winning musicians – John Jorgenson on acoustic guitar, mandolin and vocals; Herb Pedersen on banjo, acoustic guitar and vocals; Mark Fain on bass; and Patrick Sauber on acoustic guitar and vocals – delivering bluegrass like no one has ever heard it before. The four combine forces to form a spot-on union of impeccable musicianship, incomparable songwriting, incredible harmony vocals and seasoned showmanship. This is the “high lonesome sound” of American roots music at its finest.
“Brilliant guitarist!” – ELTON JOHN
“John Jorgenson is one of my most favorite players. He is incredibly versatile and his solos are unique and melodic, played with amazing technique. ‘My guitarist’s guitarist.” – PETER FRAMPTON
“If there was one guitar player I’d like to be, it would be John Jorgenson.” – BRAD PAISLEY
“John Jorgenson is a true artiste. He’s a phenomenal musician.” – CHRIS HILLMAN
“This is a display of virtuosity rarely rendered.” – FRETBOARD JOURNAL
“John Jorgenson is one of the most respected guitarists in the world…” – LOS
Winter/Spring '22 Concerts
Thank you Acoustic Club members for renewing your season tix! You keep this series of world class acoustic music alive.
Seats will be available for individual concerts for the winter/spring season of 8 concerts in 7 nights at www.sohosb.com. As far as I know we and Freight & Salvage in Berkeley are the only ongoing acoustic/traditional series in CA at this time.
We hope, with your support, to continue the series with 10 concerts in '22-23. So please come and support live music while it's here - don't take it for granted!
SBAcoustic is the best bargain for live acoustic music, anywhere, anytime.
Trace Bundy (USA) 2/6/22 $25
Internationally- acclaimed guitar virtuoso Trace Bundy must be seen, not just heard. His music is poetry in motion, using harmonics, looping, multiple capos, and his unique banter and stage presence to deliver an unforgettable live concert experience. Listening to his intricate arrangements is one thing, but seeing the fan-dubbed “Acoustic Ninja” play live confounds even the most accomplished music lovers as to how one person can do all that with just two hands and ten fingers.
Bundy’s unique career has brought him across the world, with concerts in 28 countries and counting – from high-tech performance halls in South Korea and Italy, to remote villages in Zimbabwe and Guatemala. He has independently sold over 150,000 albums on his record label, Honest Ninja Music. His video clips circulate virally at astonishing speed, with over 45 million YouTube views to date.
Over his many years of touring, Trace has shared the stage with Brandi Carlile, Olivia Newton-John, Neko Case, Judy Collins, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Phil Keaggy, David Wilcox, David Knopfler (Dire Straits), Bill Nershi (String Cheese), Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Chris Hillman (the Byrds), and Stanley Jordan, among others.
“It was easy to see why Bundy plays bigger venues on each tour. In his hands, the acoustic guitar is an imagination station, and there was no telling where he is going take the audience at any given turn. Thrilling stuff.” - Guitar Player Magazine
“Possessing a staggering acoustic technique, on both right and left sides, Bundy has made his reputation as a next generation solo guitarist of serious repute.” - Boulder Weekly
“Bundy’s live show is without a doubt an event that needs to be witnessed rather than told about. With such a jaw-dropping performance, Bundy’s live concert is a slap in the face that would leave a palm print on the memory of everyone in the audience.” - Audiocast Magazine
Carl Verheyen Acoustic Blues Band (USA) 3/6/22 $22
In his 50-plus years of playing the instrument, Carl Verheyen has created a wildly successful, multi-faceted career. He is a critically acclaimed musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, producer and educator with fifteen albums and two live DVDs released worldwide. Carl is commonly regarded as a guitar virtuoso capable of playing any style of music with remarkable mastery and conviction. He has been one of LA’s elite “first call” session players for the past 38 years, playing on hundreds of records, movie soundtracks and television shows. As a solo artist, Verheyen has graced the pages of countless industry publications and been the subject of numerous articles chronicling his rise to the forefront of the modern day guitar scene. Carl has won numerous polls and musical honors in the US, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
A member of the British rock group Supertramp since 1985, Carl has played to millions of enthusiastic fans in sold out arenas worldwide. As the creative force behind the Carl Verheyen Band, he has released an impressive and eclectic discography that showcases his endless talents across a wide array of musical genres. The CVB tours all over the world and continues to draw fans on the festival circuit as well as theaters and clubs.
A much sought after studio musician, Carl plays on other artists’ CDs whenever his busy schedule permits. He has recorded and played with a virtual who’s who of the music industry. His vast collection of movie soundtrack and television credits is enviable. 67,000,000 people heard Carl as a featured soloist at the 2009 Academy Awards. He is also heavily featured in the documentary film about the electric guitar called Turn It Up!
“One of the Top 10 Guitar Players in the World” - Guitar Magazine
“One of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time” - Classic Rock Magazine
“Verheyen’s guitar work will blow you away” - Guitar Player Magazine
We are grateful to Carl for putting together a special acoustic blues concert especially for us.
"It’s one the most beautiful experiences I know. Someone has spent a lifetime learning how to get the most beautiful sound possible out of an instrument that someone else has spent a lifetime learning how to build those sounds into…and we come together to play what a similar human has done with writing music. And finally, the whole thing merges when fellow music lovers come to hear and see it all. Many good things happen in this life, but none better than this." (Michael Chapdelaine)
"The Celebration was one of the all around most meaningful and entertaining experiences I have ever had and I thank you from the bottom of my heart..." (SBAIC'16 attendee)
Andres Vadin Flamenco Trio (Cuba/USA) 3/27/22 $25
Born in Cuba, Andres Vadin’s talent spans many different genres while highlighting the flamenco guitar as a universal instrument with no boundaries - a breathtaking fusion of traditional and contemporary interpretations, often infused with Cuban, Arabic, and jazz influences.
He began studying music at the age of 10 and won first prize in the Almadeo Roldan music competition at the age of 12. Vadin graduated from the Guillermo Tomas and Almadeo Roldan Conservatory of Music in Habana.
Vadin has played for some of the most talented flamenco artists known today, including Antonio Carmona, José Antonio Rodríguez, and Maria Juncal. He has also collaborated on Latin Grammy-nominated albums with Aceituna sin Hueso and Oskar Cartaya. He has toured throughout the world performing with Concha Buika, Faramarz Aslani, Wadih Al Safi, Billy Cobhan, and in festivals such as WOMAD, Glastonbury, Montreal International Jazz Music Festival, and at rock legend Steve Vai’s Big Mama Jama Jam-a-thon.
His work as a session musician includes the movie soundtracks for “Whale of a Tale” and “Bel Canto.” One of his great passions is teaching music and he partners on a regular basis with Barrio Music, an L.A. based organization that provides music education to children in neighborhoods in LA.
Andres put on an incredible show with the Andres Vadin Project as the headliner for the 2019 Flamenco Arts Festival and we are thrilled to have him return to Santa Barbara.
presented in partnership with the
Sean McGowan (USA) & Pierre Bensusan (France) 4/17/22 $22
Sean McGowan is a fingerstyle jazz guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. He is considered by his professional peers as one of the finest jazz guitarists in the world.
“Sean McGowan’s playing and arranging are world class. My Fair Lady delivers with beauty, imagination, and stunning technique.” – Fingerstyle Guitar Journal
“Sean’s impressive style is so musical. You are transported by his selection of songs; but within the compositions is a masterful guitarist using multi faceted guitar arrangements at the same time, creating a single guitar orchestra!” - Eric Johnson
“Sean McGowan is the most promising young solo guitarist I have ever heard.” - Tuck Andress
“Sean McGowan has found that sweet spot where the worlds of jazz and fingerstyle guitar intersect” - Alex de Grassi
French-Algerian acoustic guitar virtuoso, vocalist and composer Pierre Bensusan, surnamed “Mister DADGAD”, has taken his unique sound to all corners of the globe.
Voted Best World Music Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine reader’s Poll, and winner of the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Montreux Festival, the Independent Music Award, and the Rose d’Or, Pierre is recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of the 21st century.
Born in French-Algeria, Pierre Bensusan's family moved to Paris when he was 4. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival blooming in Britain, France and North America, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage and then moved to the horizons beyond. He signed his first recording contract at 17, and one year later his first album, "Près de Paris”, won the in Switzerland
Pierre's name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius, long before the terms New Age or World Music were invented. He has literally created a style of playing with the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. Bensusan is more than what any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and original and improvisational vocalist, with his own scat technique.
Immortalised by the tune “Bensusan” written in tribute by the late Michael Hedges, and referenced as an important inspiration to many other great musicians, Pierre Bensusan is a one-of-a-kind artist whose music transcends genre and time, with an uninhibited sense of musical freedom and expression, a sense of something both playful and serious, otherworldly yet right here right now. His playing defies classification - crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk, pop and more. None can be isolated as simply “World Music”, “Celtic”, "Arabic" or “French”; rather, they represent Pierre’s genuine vocabulary and the best part of our world in its current state, a world sharing itself.
"One of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today" - L.A. Times
“It’s like the guitar has been given free rein to play itself!”
TransAtlantic Gypsy Jazz Trio (UK/Germany/USA) 5/15/22 $30
Richard Smith, Joscho Stephan & Rory Hoffman
The international Transatlantic Guitar Trio is a unique, phonetic highlight. Fingerstyle guitar champion Richard Smith (UK), Gypsy Jazz virtuoso Joscho Stephan (Germany) and the brilliant multi-instrumentalist Rory Hoffman (USA) joined forces and performed their first, incredible, live gig together for us in 2019. It is unique how they put together jazz ballads, gypsy swing standards, a pinch of pop music and groovy original compositions to create a broad repertoire of songs by the great role models such as Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed.
Richard Smith returns for ninth visit with us, and brings something new and amazing with him every time.
“Richard Smith is the most amazing guy I know on the guitar. He can play anything I know, only better.” - Chet Atkins
“If you like my playing, you should hear Richard Smith! The world champion!” - Tommy Emmanuel
“Guitar playing at its finest. Don’t miss this one.” - Doyle Dykes
“He is one of the world’s greatest guitarists.” - Muriel Anderson
Joscho Stephan has not merely absorbed the music of the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, but interprets Gypsy Swing music on the highest level, is actively engaged in extending its boundaries and has played his way into the illustrous circle of the finest Gypsy Swing musicians in the world.
Rory Hoffman is a Nashville based multi-instrumentalist, playing over a dozen stringed, keyboard and wind instruments. Rory's skill and diverse interests in country, western swing, jazz, polka, latin, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and gospel music has led him to play the Grand Ole Opry numerous times as a soloist and as a sideman with Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Mattea and John Cowan as well as part of the John Jorgenson quintet.
"Here in the undisputed guitar capital of the world, you have to be pretty spectacular to drop jaws. But when Rory Hoffman takes a solo, that’s usually what happens. But what’s most astounding is that he is just as phenomenal on saxophone and clarinet. And accordion and bass. And harmonica and mandolin. Oh yeah, and drums too. And banjo. And keys."
Joe Robinson (Australia/USA) 6/12/22 $25
Joe Robinson is a true force in the pantheon of exceptional artists in modern music, and he has joined an exclusive group of lite performers whose impact continues to shape our unique American musical culture.
Joe began playing guitar in the bush country of Temagog, Australia when he was nine years old; at the age of 13 he won the Australian National Songwriting Competition and then won first place on the “Australia's Got Talent” television show. By his eighteenth birthday Robinson had played more than 1,000 shows, and by the time he celebrated his twenty-fourth he had played over 2,000, an incredible total number of performances logged in a comparatively brief professional career. Robinson was invited to come to Nashville by his mentor and inspirational savant Tommy Emmanuel. In 2009 Joe was awarded the Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World award at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, where 70,000 contestants vied for the top prize. He continues to perform with Robben Ford, Lee Roy Parnell, John Jorgenson, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.
The Australian native continues to awe and delight with soulful and utterly brilliant, finely crafted songs on both acoustic and electric guitar, and has come into his own as a lyricist. Joe is at the top of his game, boldly stepping up with mind-bending chord work, solos that literally redefine what can be milked from a guitar, and inspired, melodic singing in his signature tenor voice.
Joe canceled all of his 2021 and 2022 touring dates due to Covid and his teaching and recording work. However, he will return to play for us to close out our season, for which we are deeply honored and indebted.
“I am enamored with the Taoist worldview... Through this lens, one is exposed to the polarizing elements of our world—the whole world views the beautiful as the beautiful, yet this is only the ugly. The whole world recognizes the good as the good, yet this is only the bad. Thus, something and nothing produce each other. The difficult and the easy complement each other—note and sound harmonize with one another. It seems everything in our world can be deconstructed in this way. Everything has an undertone.
The more I play music, the less I need to think about it. The less I need to think about it, the more I feel that I can dedicate myself to experiencing the undertones of harmony, rhythm, melody, rhyme and narrative.” – Joe Robinson
“One in a great while a young guitarist captures the attention of music lovers early in his career and manages to sustain this interest as he matures creatively and shed the prodigy label. Joe Robinson is one of those rare talents.” – Premier Guitar
Future Concerts (pending your support)
Clive Carroll (UK) 10/23/22
Django Cats (USA) Fall/22
Calum Graham (Canada) 1/22/23
Nick Charles (Australia)
Parker Hastings (USA)
KoMaGa Trio (Japan/USA)
Brooks Robertson (USA)
If you would like to be added to our e-blast list
Since 2016 we have been fortunate to host live music by many of the world’s great string players:
A Call 2 Peace
Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan
Ken Emerson & Kimo West
Nina Gerber & Chris Webster
Trevor Gordon Hall
The Hot Club of Nashville
Sam ’n’ Ash
The Transatlantic Trio
Dani Vargas & Jenna Columbet
Acoustic Music & the Guitar
"Acoustic music is the timeless sound of nature and resonating materials – wood, bone, gourd, gut and skin. It predates the spoken language of modern culture, crossing all borders and barriers. It speaks to great, universal truths of very personal, yet familiar stories. Those stories keep legacies alive, allow them to be shared, and create new ones going forward".
(Derek Johnson aka Musicalist)
Music is unparalleled in its impact across civilization; it is infinite and evolving across time, place, religion and culture. It is the door to our souls, the balm for our spirit, an inspiration to feel deeply, our common language, and the heart of community.
The humble guitar is known for its enormous musical versatility across all cultures and genres. It has been the voice of people to tell their stories, and attainable to everyone regardless of wealth or social status.
"The guitar can truly change the world...we've seen that in ministry and education;
it has affected international borders. It's a very dangerous tool." (Richard Hoover, with a smile)
Background image: Benedetto Guitars