Los Angeles Guitar Quartet: A Listening Guide

On February 21, one of America’s premier instrumental ensembles, the Grammy-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will perform at Wortham Theater Center for DACAMERA’s annual James K. Schooler Memorial Concert. Guitarists Scott Tennant, Matt Greif, John Dearman and William Kanengiser regularly tackle works from baroque to bluegrass and everything between, although this show will focus on their American guitar inspirations, including arrangements of songs by Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, among others. Widely regarded as America’s most innovative classical guitar ensemble, American Mavericks: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is a performance guitar aficionados won’t want to miss.

Below, we’ve gathered a selection of tunes to give you a feel for the incredible range and artistry that LAGQ brings to every performance.

Icarus

Ralph Towner’s Icarus, arranged by LAGQ member William Kanengiser, sets the stage with incredible melody and musicianship, so we’ll open with it here just as it will open the quartet’s upcoming DACAMERA program. Renowned master of the classical and 12-string guitar, Ralph Towner co-founded the groundbreaking band Oregon in 1970.

Pachabel’s ‘Loose’ Canon

This daring and delightful take on a baroque classic is from the group’s LAGQ Live! album and is the group’s most popular video on YouTube, with 1.6 million views.

Shenandoah

Breathing new life into a lovely traditional tune, this version was arranged by former LAGQ member Andrew York and released by the group in 1995.

Blue Echo

Jazz meets country in this bluegrass-y take on a Chet Atkins tune, also arranged by Kanengiser.

Road to the Sun

“Road to the Sun” was composed specially for the quartet by famed jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and is filled with Metheny’s trademark grooves, haunting melodies and rich extended harmonies. Here, Metheny describes the process of writing a major work for a group like the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. It’s the finale of American Mavericks, so we’re okay only giving you a sneak peek here.

American Mavericks: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Wortham Theater Center. Tickets start at $37.50 and are available at here on our site.

Join us for a pre-concert conversation with members of Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and guitarist and educator Marc Garvin at 7:15 PM in Wortham’s Cullen Theater.