First Annual North Carolina Guitar Celebration 6.4.22


Brevard Music Center
Brevard, NC

Words, Photos & Video by C. Alan Crandall (Rocky Mountain Jams)

Clear skies and better than average spring weather greeted the North Carolina First Annual Guitar Celebration, hosted by Bryan Sutton, Saturday June 4th in Brevard, NC. The celebration was held at the beautiful Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium and hosted in conjunction with the long anticipated Blue Ridge Guitar Camp that took place June 1-5.  

Bryan Sutton’s Blue Ridge Guitar Camp, that had been delayed for two years due to Covid-19 concerns, was held at the Brevard Music Center. The 5-day retreat style camp had attendees staying at the newly renovated music center that features multiple auditoriums, numerous large rehearsal spaces and over 100 practice rooms. Sutton had picked this location to celebrate North Carolina and to be close to his home. “I was fortunate to grow up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, surrounded by family and friends sharing in rich musical tradition,” said Sutton, himself a Grammy award winner and nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year. “A big part of this experience was the impactful and lasting instruction I received. I’m thrilled to host the Blue Ridge Guitar Camp in Brevard, NC.”

The inaugural Brevard Music Center event was part of the camp and filled with performances by guest artists and camp instructors teaming up in various combinations. Celebrated artists like dobro legend Jerry Douglas, Grammy award winning bluegrass artist Peter Rowan, guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle and her band Golden Highway, Steep Canyon Rangers guitarist/vocalist Woddy Platt, Infamous Stringdusters bassist Travis Book and many more.

The evening was hosted and began with an introduction by Grammy award winner and nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year, and camp host, Bryan Sutton. What followed was interesting and fun collaborations, celebrating the guitar stylings and music of North Carolina. Several artists mentioned the connection to North Carolina in their song selections.  Guitar Camp Instructors like David Grier, Michael Daves, Courtney Hartman and Grant Gordy all contributed to the evening’s music offerings. Travis Book at one point was called the champion for sitting in on so many collaborations.

Other special guests, like Grammy award-winning Dom Flemons, both shared their solo guitar picking artistry as well as joining in with the events supergroups. 

Molly Tuttle not only performed with her band, Golden Highway also including special guests, in addition, performed with other artists forming the kind of supergroups you only see at festivals or special events. To see some of these pairings watch the video for this article.

The evening culminated in a huge cluster pluck with the guitar camp students, instructors and special guest all joining on stage with what can only be described as the most strings on a stage this writer has ever seen. The large group performed perhaps the most famous Woody Guthrie tune “This Land is Your Land.” The evening by all accounts was a huge success and judging by the smiles on the students faces the guitar camp was also. Hopefully this was the first year of a long tradition of North Carolina Guitar festivals so that we can enjoy the artistry and performances of all of the wonderful talent the area has to offer.

Alan's Photo Gallery

For more information on the guitar camp please visit: www.blueridgeguitarcamp.com



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