International Guitar Night - February 7, 2020

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An evening of acoustic guitar featuring four international masters

SANTA FE, NM – The Lensic proudly presents International Guitar Night on Friday, February 7, an evening of acoustic music by four guitar masters.

Mike Dawes – England – contemporary guitar virtuoso, known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument using unique extended and micro-techniques. (Mike Dawes is pictured above)

Cenk Erdogan  – Turkey – master of the fretless guitar, known for his intriguing, exotic style and his engaging on-stage personality.

Olli Soikkeli – Finland – soulful, dexterous jazz guitarist called one of the “worthiest current-day successors to the legacy of the great Django [Reinhardt]” by the Wall Street Journal

Jim “Kimo” West – Canada – regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists; long-time guitarist for “Weird Al” Yankovic

International Guitar Night is the world’s premier touring guitar festival, each show bringing together the most interesting and innovative acoustic guitarists to exchange musical ideas in a public concert setting. For each tour, IGN founder Brian Gore brings together a new cast of guitar luminaries for special evenings of solos, duets, and quartets that highlight the dexterity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar. Brian founded IGN in 1995 as a forum for the world’s finest guitarists/composers to play their latest original songs and share musical ideas and talent with their peers.

“The melange of mind-bending British finger style, Turkish fretless improvisation, virtuosic gypsy jazz and laid back Hawaiian slack key is sure to be a show stopper,” says Gore of this 2020 tour.


Mike Dawes is an English guitar player known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument using unique extended and micro-techniques. He is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers. Dawes is also lead guitar player for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues featuring heavily on multiple DVD and PBS releases, notably “Spirits…Live” which debuted at #2 on the US Billboard chart.  Mike Dawes has amassed around 80 million music video views online. He was voted the ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World’ by MusicRadar & Total Guitar Magazine in a December 2017 readers’ poll.

Cenk Erdoğan was born in Istanbul in 1979. In 1997 he won a four-year scholarship at Istanbul Bilgi University for Music Composition, he graduated with First Class Honors. In the years since, Cenk has performed around the globe playing Turkish fretless guitar.  He has also been a leading fretless guitar educator, setting up classes, workshops, and a website dedicated to the subject. In 2008 Cenk recorded his first album ILE, which was produced by Baykus Music.  He later moved into film composition, writing music for the Turkish romance Issiz Adam.  The score won Cenk a Yecilcam Award for Music.  In 2016, he arranged and conducted orchestral music for Sezen Aksu, the queen of Turkish pop. Sezenli Yillar has performed 6 concerts with a 35 piece orchestra and visuals and dance shows.  The next year, Cenk released his latest album, Lahza, with Swedish drummer Mehmet Ikiz. Lahza is a guitar & drum duo project consisting of original music and live improvisations. He performs regularly with his solo, duo, and trio projects and composes in a wide range of musical styles.

Olli Soikkeli was born in Nurmes, Finland, in 1991. He started playing guitar at age of 12. After a few years of playing Olli was introduced to the music of the great Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz has been Olli’s main focus ever since. Soon Olli was playing in jazz clubs and festivals all around Finland. After touring throughout Europe, with musicians such as Paulus Schäfer and Arnoud Van Den Berg, Olli decided to move to New York City in 2014. Olli has played legendary venues such as Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note and the Lincoln Center.  Despite his young age he’s already played with stars such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Stochelo Rosenberg, Tommy Emmanuel, Andreas Öberg, Cyrille Aimee, Anat Cohen, Antti Sarpila and Marian Petrescu.

Jim “Kimo” West moved to Hana, Maui,  in 1985 and spent much of his time there for many years. Best known as long-time guitarist for the world’s most successful musical comedy artist, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kimo is regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists and his music has garnered many millions of streams on Spotify and Pandora. This warm and engaging fingerpicking guitar style has its roots in 1840’s Hawaii, when Mexican vaqueros first brought guitars to the Big Island of Hawaii. If you saw the Oscar-winning film, “The Descendants” you have experienced this great acoustic guitar tradition. Kimo is a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards and three-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee. He is also a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic guitar tradition alive. For his work with “Weird Al”, he has earned four Grammys and a Billboard #1 CD debut for 2015’s “Mandatory Fun.”

Event Sponsor
This event is generously sponsored by Hotel Santa Fe.

Lensic Presents Season Sponsors
Season Sponsors: Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and Sassella Restaurant.
Media Sponsors: Hutton Broadcasting and 95.9 The Oasis.  

The Lensic Performing Arts Center
The nonprofit Lensic Performing Arts Center, a landmark historic theater in the heart of Santa Fe, is home to arts and cultural experiences for everyone, all year round. The Lensic serves its community through world-class artistic programming (including our Lensic Presents series), theater rentals with discounts for local nonprofits, and groundbreaking educational programs that touch the lives of 16,000+ students each year. For more information about our presentations and programs, visit