Concert supports Crown Guitar scholarships

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Brett Dennen performing at the 2015 Crown Guitar Festival in Bigfork. (Courtesy photo)

Self-proclaimed “Wild Child” guitarist and singer-songwriter, Brett Dennen, will join with Montana-based composer and pianist, Philip Aaberg, in a special fundraising concert to support the scholarship program of the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop.

The Dec. 4 show will start at 7 p.m. at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center and offers a pre-show party at Abruzzo restaurant and a post-show party at the Firebrand Hotel. These include an opportunity to meet and greet the artists, bid on auction items and enjoy more music.

This will be both artists’ second appearance at a Crown Guitar event. Dennen played to a full house at the 2015 Crown Guitar Festival in Bigfork bringing the crowd to its feet with his infectious one-of-a-kind voice, barefoot dancing and let’s-get-happy attitude. The folk/pop singer says his early inspiration came from Paul Simon and his songwriting style has been compared to Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Jack Johnson, James Taylor and Wynonna Judd. His song “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)” was the theme for the TV show “About a Boy” and he has six full studio albums and five live discs and EPs.

Pianist Philip Aaberg is well–known to Montana audiences for his compositions that evoke the spaciousness and beauty of the Western landscape. Now based in his hometown of Chester, Aaberg is classically trained, holding a music degree from Harvard, and was the recipient of a Leonard Bernstein Scholarship. His musical career is as diverse and expansive as the Montana landscape he calls home. After graduation, Aaberg moved to California to make pop and rock records eventually joining the Elvin Bishop Group in 1973, and touring for four years. He later joined with Peter Gabriel and recorded with the Doobie Brothers, Kenny Rogers and Vince Gill. Aaberg began composing his own music, signed with Windham Hill and released a solo album “High Plains,” bringing elements of blues, bluegrass, rock, and new music to his meditative compositions.

“This event will be a great kick off for our focused funding program that’s all about local scholarships and bringing the best musicians and teachers into the Valley,” says Steve Anderson, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Executive Director. “Our mission at the Crown is to boost every participant’s performance, composition, collaboration and skill level up a notch or more through mentorship. Both Brett and Phil are considered two of the best today in the music world.”

Tickets for the fundraising event are $100 for the VIP ticket that includes a meet and greet with wine and food at Abruzzo and VIP seating that can include seats on the stage. Preferred seating is $75 with excellent seating and includes a drink ticket for the after party at the Firebrand. General Admission seats are $50. Student tickets are $10 with a student ID. Purchase tickets online at www. crownguitarfest.org. All seats are $10 more at the door day of show.

With this COCGF Fundraising concert and event, 70 percent of all donations will go towards the scholarship fund. This fund provides local musicians and students with the opportunity to attend, learn, and perform at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival each year. There will also be a silent auction each evening. The items are available to view on the Crown website until 9 p.m. on Dec. 4. For more information about the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation visit www.crownguitarfest.org or call 855-855-5900.

A Winter Gala party featuring live music by the two superb musicians, dancing, tasty delectables and fine wine and beer will be will held from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 5 near Bigfork. The party’s purpose is raising scholarship funding for the 2019 Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival and the festivities will be held at The Nest, a new venue situated on a wide bend of the Swan River in Ferndale.

A very limited number of tickets for the Winter Gala are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.crownguitarfest.org or by calling 855-855-5900. A special package price of $150 that includes both the Dec. 4 concert and the Dec. 5 party is also available on the website while they last.

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