DENVER - For three days this week, the University of Colorado Denver is holding a jam session. Nationally renowned musicians from around the country are on the Auraria Campus to teach students and the public their craft.
"You know, as I get older I'm more interested in seeing, you know, passing on what I've learned to younger players and sharing that," said Alex de Grassi, a Grammy-nominated guitarist based out of northern California.
He is one of several musicians taking part in the annual Guitar Festival put together by CU Denver Associate Professor Sean McGowan.
"We specifically program musicians who are great artists who have very successful and diverse careers, but are also good teachers, as well," said McGowan.
Students and members of the public are invited to take part in workshops and concerts put on by guitarists like de Grassi.
"The Guitar Fest is a great opportunity to learn about all kinds of facets of guitar playing," said Johnny Addleman, student at CU Denver. "It's been really helpful."
They get to ask questions in an intimate setting with musicians like de Grassi who is known an innovator in "finger style guitar." He is also performing Thursday night at the King Center at 7:30 p.m.
"I like to believe that we're giving (students) a once-in-a-lifetime experience to interact with artists of a high caliber," said McGowan. "Not only are they learning fundamental music skills, but they're learning skills to create a career in music."
Composer and Jazz Guitarist Paul Clarke Myers also performed and offered a lecture. On Friday, Patti Cathcart Andress and Tuck Andress will offer lessons on vocal improvisation and Jazz Guitar before performing at the King Center on Friday night.
"Having somebody from the outside who's primarily a performer come in and share their craft," said de Grassi. "I know for me when I was young; I had a couple of experiences that really got me inspired with music."
The workshops are free to CU Denver students. Members of the general public can pay $10 to attend. Tickets are sold separately for each of the evening concerts. If you want to find out more click here: http://www.ahec.edu/kingcenter/boxoffice.htm
"It's wonderful that they have a great program like this here," said de Grassi.