A guitarist in Chicago

 

I am a solo guitarist based in Chicago. I have been performing professionally as a soloist since 2004, most often providing live instrumental background music for events of all types:  dinner/cocktail parties, gallery openings, corporate receptions, fundraising banquets, wine tastings, memorial services, and weddings. Increasingly I have also been performing in concert settings, including esteemed Chicago venues such as MayneStage, Uncommon Ground and City Winery.

I love everything about being a solo guitarist - the physicality of the instrument itself, the range of emotion and energy, the endless variety of techniques and ways to produce different sounds and rhythms - and I was lucky enough to have been presented with a path to learning music that I believe exercises the full range of expression the instrument has to offer.

I perform a very unique repertoire of "old school" popular, classical and folkloric guitar music from Latin America, along with some great works of Spanish classical guitar. I learned this music from a decade-long apprenticeship with a master guitarist from Chile, Alfonso Chacon (1934-2011).

Anytime I play you'll be hearing a mix of music from Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Puerto Rico. It may be high energy cocktail party music, or mellow and romantic. The music I play is rootsy and tropical while also elegant and graceful. I play to the purpose of the event and the energy of the room.

My mission as a guitarist is twofold: first, musically, to go deeper into Afro/Latin rhythms, and continue to learn classic tunes within styles such as cumbia, bossa nova, son, milonga, joropo, and festejo developing new finger-picking techniques that I also use to create original music. Secondly, professionally, to continue to bring this music to every conceivable live performance space the world has to offer: dining rooms, patios, concert halls, art galleries, restaurants, churches, conference rooms, you name it.

I perform solo, as well as in a duo with percussionist Janet Cramer as Neil & Janet de los EEUU. We released a debut EP called 2017 Demonstrations that I think pretty exciting music. You can learn more about Neil & Janet here:
http://neilandjanetmusic.com

In 2014 I released my debut solo guitar album, a tribute to my mentor called "The Panamericanist: Compositions and Arrangements of Alfonso Chacón", featuring solo guitar styles from across South America.

Through my studies and travels, I have fostered a great love of Latin American culture and, as a “North American,” I embrace the challenge of interpreting this work with passion and humility.

My mission is to bring live music back to intimate spaces and to introduce these guitar styles to new audiences and hopefully a new generation of guitarists.

Whether you see me perform on stage or in the corner of a room at a private party, I hope to create a soulful and mesmerizing experience.

To see a list of my current working solo guitar Repertoire, please click here.

For a review of my services and rates for events, please click here.

To check out my video music/editing projects, check out the Media page.

Some of my favorite images:

A list of venues I have performed (in Chicago unless otherwise specified):

  • A New Leaf
  • Addison Public Library in Addison, IL
  • Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Arabian Knights Farm in Willowbrook, IL
  • Architectural Artifacts
  • Armour House at Lake Forest Academy
  • Ausrine’s Art Room in Evanston, IL
  • Balena
  • Berger Park Cultural Center
  • Bespoke Cuisine
  • Bistro Margot
  • Blackstone Hotel
  • Blackwell Forest Preserve, Wheaton, IL
  • Block 37
  • Blu Aqua Hotel
  • Bogey Club in St. Louis, MO
  • Bridgeport Art Center
  • Brookdale Senior Living
  • Buckingham Fountain
  • Café 28
  • Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
  • Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Canterbury House, Ann Arbor MI
  • Carmichael’s
  • Carnivale
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • Chicago Cultural Center
  • Chicago Design Museum
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Chicago Illuminating Club
  • Chicago Oyster House
  • Chicago Urban Art Society
  • Chicago Yacht Club
  • City Winery
  • Cole’s Bar
  • Colibri Gallery
  • County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN
  • Columbus Park Refrectory
  • Congress Theater
  • Curly Tail Fine Art Gallery
  • Daley Plaza
  • Danada House in Wheaton, IL
  • DiNolfo’s Banquets in Mokena, IL
  • Dubhe Carreño Gallery
  • East Bank Club
  • El Nandu
  • Elysian Hotel
  • Evanston Gold Club in Evanston, IL
  • Felt Mansion in Holland, MI
  • Filoni Boutique in Oak Park, IL
  • FLATFILE Gallery
  • Floating World Gallery
  • Front Street Cantina in Geneva, IL
  • Fulton’s on the River
  • Galleria Marchetti
  • Galleria Metzli
  • Gallery 1028
  • Gardens of Woodstock in Woodstock, IL
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Glessner House
  • Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, WI
  • Grand Piazza
  • Green Bay Botanical Garden
  • Green City Market in Lincoln Park
  • Greenhouse Loft
  • Grove-Redfield Estate
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Heritage Hill in Green Bay, WI
  • Herrington Inn in Geneva, IL
  • Hilton Chicago Hotel
  • Hotel Arista in Naperville, IL
  • Hotel Palomar
  • House Red in Forest Park, IL
  • Humboldt Park Boat House
  • Hyatt Regency Woodfield in Schaumberg, IL
  • In Fine Spirits
  • Indian Hill Country Club in Winnetka, IL
  • The Ivy Room at Tree Studios
  • James Hotel
  • Jared Jewlers of Skokie
  • Katherine Legge Memorial Lounge in Hinsdale, IL
  • Kendall College
  • Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI
  • Kitchen Chicago
  • Las Tablas
  • Lehmann Mansion in Lake Villa, IL
  • Lillstreet Art Center
  • Lincoln Park Farmer’s Market
  • Lincoln Park Zoo, Kolver Lion House
  • Loft on Lake
  • Logan Square Auditorium
  • Logan Square Farmer’s Market
  • Loyola Museum of Art
  • Macy’s Bridal Salon
  • Maggiano’s Wine Cellar
  • Martyrs’
  • Marina Grand Boutique Resort in New Buffalo, MI
  • Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower
  • Millcreek Barn in Watervilet, MI
  • Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI
  • Mon Ami Gabi
  • Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL
  • Naper Settlement in Naperville, IL
  • Narnia Estate in Lemont, IL
  • Navy Pier
  • Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Pak, IL
  • Northerly Island Fieldhouse
  • Northlight Theater in Skokie, IL
  • Oak Brook Hills Marriott
  • Oak Street Beach
  • Old Town School of Folk Music
  • Old Town Triangle
  • Olive Park
  • Open Secret Studio
  • Osteria Via Stato
  • Palmer House
  • Palos Hill Country Club
  • Paolo’s Vinnum
  • Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet, IL
  • Pazzo’s @ 311
  • Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL
  • Pivot Boutique
  • Prairie Productions
  • Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
  • Promontory Point
  • Public Hotel
  • Public Landing in Lockport, IL
  • Quadrangle Club
  • Que Syrah Wine Shop
  • Reid Murdoch Penthouse
  • Renaissance Chicago Hotel
  • Revolution Brewery
  • Rocky Gap Beach in Benton Harbor, MI
  • Room 1520
  • Royal Melbourne Country Club in Lake Zurich, IL
  • Ruffled Feathers Club in Lemont, IL
  • Salvage One
  • Salvatore’s
  • Sepia
  • Sgt. Means Park in Olympia Fields, MI
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Sheffield’s
  • Sheraton Chicago (outdoor gazebo)
  • Siboney Cuban Resaurant
  • Signature Room
  • Simple Truth Ad Agency
  • Smart Museum, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Smith and Wollensky
  • Spertus
  • Spiaggia
  • Stan Mansion
  • Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora, IL
  • Strawdog Theater
  • Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Lincolnshire, IL
  • Sweets and Savories
  • Swissotel
  • Taste of Peru
  • Theo’s in Highland, IN
  • The Grove in Glenview, IL
  • The Wine Consortium
  • Thorne Auditorium
  • Topo Gigio
  • Trump Tower Chicago
  • Tula Yoga Studio
  • Uncommon Ground (Lakeview)
  • Uncommon Ground (Rogers Park)
  • Vines on Clark
  • Volo
  • WBEZ Studios
  • Westin Hotel in Itsaca, IL
  • Westlawn Park
  • White Plains Gold Club in Bensenville, IL
  • Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst, IL
  • Willow Harbor Vineyards in Three Oaks, MI
  • Zed
  • Zhivago’s in Skokie, IL

I have also performed in many churches of all denominations, in addition to countless private dining rooms, patios and beaches!