Masters of guitar concert series moves to Empire

Acoustic guitar virtuoso Michael Gulezian is coming to the Empire Arts Center at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, as a part of the Masters of Guitar Concert Series. The series is presented by local guitar maker and plastic surgeon Kevin Muiderman, in conjunction with the Empire Arts Center.

Gulezian is a guitar master whose music is at once familiar and wonderfully enigmatic. In a world where music is sold and lauded by category, Gulezian's work defies simple definition. It is acoustic guitar music, but not strictly folk. It has complex chordal structure, but it is not classical music. Its melodic structure, although accessible, often ventures into the experimental. But it is not really jazz. It has a beat and is rhythmically complex, so it's not quite new age either.

Gulezian himself laughingly describes his music as "acoustic trance, neo-classical, deep powder anti-gravitational freestyle big mogul, alternative instrumental soul."

What can concert goers expect from a Michael Gulezian concert? They will hear a spectrum of pieces that range from quiet, moody compositions to tunes that dance with joy, to songs played with out and out jaw dropping technical brilliance. And he sings too.

The Jazz Times says about Gulezian's live performances, "Uncommonly thoughtful and provocative. The technical wizardry is tremendous sweeping story-like melodies, multi-dimensional epics, and heartland hymns." And Garrison Keillor says, "If I could play guitar the way Michael Gulezian does, I would just sit in front of a mirror and watch myself do it." Guitar fiends will have the time of their lives. The rest will be converted.

In the end, says Gulezian, making music is about, "Fearlessness. And love. That's really what it all comes down to. Love. And fearlessness."

Tickets are $15 through the Chester Fritz box office at 777-4090 or in person. They are also available at all Ticketmaster locations and online at ( ). The series is sponsored in part by the North Valley Arts Council with funding provided by the City of Grand Forks.