4th Annual Six String Competition: Judges Announced

six string theory

Yamaha announced an all-star judging panel for Lee Ritenour's fourth Sixth String Competition yesterday.

“We have assembled an incredible array of judges who are some of the best musicians on the planet,” said Ritenour. “When busy people with this level of talent devote their time to this endeavor, the musician community affirms its commitment to cultivating the next generation of great players.”

Guitar judges include (*denotes Yamaha Artist): *Don Alder, Joe Bonamassa, Vince Gill, Guthrie Govan, Sonny Landreth, *Steve Lukather, Pat Martino, Brent Mason, Andy McKee, Keb’ Mo’, *Lee Ritenour, John Scofield, Joe Satriani.

Rhythm judges, including keyboards, include (*denotes Yamaha Artist): Victor Bailey, *Ndugu Chancler, *Nathan East, *Sonny Emory, Dave Grusin, Daniel Jobim, Tom Kennedy, *Abraham Laboriel, Harvey Mason, *Patrice Rushen, *John Patitucci, Simon Phillips, *Oscar Seaton, *Dave Weckl.

The competition, open to guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, and drummers, asks applicants to submit two YouTube videos of themselves performing on their instrument to find the next great players of our generation.

Four grand-prize winners (one in each instrument category) will win an opportunity to perform at the 2014 Montreux Jazz Festival. In addition to being invited to record on Ritenour’s forthcoming 2014 Concord album, the Six String Theory guitar Grand Prize winner will appear with Ritenour and other guitar legends at the “Legends of Guitar” concert at Montreux, to be filmed in HD. Additional prizes include: four full scholarships to the Berklee College of Music; Yamaha instruments and endorsements; Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop scholarships; and more.

Registration is open through May 15, 2014. To submit an entry, visit

Guitar Center Sessions: Season 8 Debut

guitar center

DIRECTV will be debuting the eighth season of Guitar Center Sessions, a show that features live performances and interviews with noteworthy and influential artists, starting next month. The series will air at 8 p.m. on May 4, and continue with new episodes every Sunday.

The first six episodes will be of live footage taken at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Some artists that viewers can look forward to seeing on the show include Phantogram, Soundgarden, 311, Snoop Dogg, CHVRCHES, Alice In Chains, and Cage The Elephant.

“We are incredibly proud to present our viewers with yet another season of Guitar Center Sessions,” says Dustin Hinz, Director of Music and Entertainment Marketing Guitar Center. “Season 8 brings to life the stories, songs and journeys of a remarkable line-up of iconic and influential artists. Filming live at one of the world’s biggest music festivals was the perfect way to celebrate both Guitar Center’s 50th Anniversary and the success Guitar Center Sessions has seen over the past 60 episodes.”

Mogee Turns Everyday Objects Into Instruments


Former drummer Bruno Zamborlin has created a device that turns everyday objects into instruments with the help of a simple iPhone app. His invention, the Mogee, attaches to any item of your choosing and picks up vibrations from it, turning them into sounds and then sending them out to headphones, speakers, recording devices, effects pedals, and more.

Zamborlin has already received funding for the Mogee through kickstarter, but to see it in action, check out the video below:

Cream Cancels Reunion Tour


Cream have cancelled plans for a reunion tour due to unidentified flying drama between band members. According to Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker "upset" Eric Clapton.

"Everybody had agreed about doing it," Bruce said, "but then I think Ginger upset Eric. He said something or did something, so it's not happening... Ginger, from what I've heard, is a bitter old man. And I'm quite a cheerful old chap."

Some bitterness was aired in the recent documentary, Beware of Mr Baker, which is a revealing portrait of the talented but unstable drummer.

We'll see if they can get it together for their fans at least, if nothing else.

Armando Peraza Passes Away At 89

Legendary percussionist Armando Peraza passed away Monday at the age of 89.

Peraza worked with many Jazz and Rock luminaries including Charlie Parker, George Shearing, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Zappa, Rick James, Aretha Franklin, Jaco Pastorius, and Carlos Santana.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1924, Armando Peraza arrived in New York City via Mexico in 1949, where his intuitive and exuberant playing style translated into immediate work for big bands with Machito and Slim Gaillard. It was while touring with Gaillard that Peraza first visited the city he would eventually call home, San Francisco, California.

Peraza joined Carlos Santana’s band in 1972, playing for nearly twenty years with the group before retiring as a full time member in 1990. In the 1990′s and 2000′s, Peraza would make occasional guest appearances at concerts, festivals and percussion workshops. A revered mentor to many percussionists worldwide, Armando was an honored Latin Percussion endorser for many years.

Armando Peraza leaves behind a wide-ranging and robust catalog of Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz music. He is survived by his wife of over 30 years, Josephine, a daughter and three grandchildren.