Young Guitarist Of The Year finalists announced
Five finalists have been selected from thousands of hopefuls to compete for the coveted accolade of Young Guitarist Of The Year 2011 in association with Blackstar Amplifiers.
The finalists are: Carlo Bardoli, James Bell, Elliot Noble, Callum Williams and Jordan Swann. The five will compete in the live finals held at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, as part of the London Guitar Festival 2011 at the Southbank Centre, SE1.
The winner on the day will walk away with a Blackstar HT-Stage 60 and HT-1R amplifier package courtesy of Blackstar Amplification, plus a place at the IGF Summer School. Most importantly, they will be crowned Guitarist magazine's Young Guitarist Of The Year 2011.
Previous winners have gone on to great success, and we expect this year to be no exception. Come along and cheer for your favourite - entry is just £3.
Click onwards for more information and to meet the finalists...
Name: Callum Williams
Track entered: Guitars On Fire
Current main guitar: PRS Custom 24
12-year-old Callum has been playing guitar for three years, but has already passed Rock School's Grade Six electric guitar exams with merit, after being encouraged to get into playing by his dad, Paul.
A rock and blues fan, Callum's guitar idols are Slash, Joe Satriani, Hendrix and Steve Vai. When asked about the prospect of winning YGOTY he responded: "I want to be recognised as a fantastic guitar player." And why not indeed?
Random fact: He met Joe Satriani at a gig last year, where the guitar god signed his JS2000.
Name: Elliot Noble
Track entered: W.H.E.N.
Current main guitar: Schecter Blackjack ATX C7
Scottish djentleman Elliot has been playing for five years. "I got a few lessons as a bribe to work hard at school and I've been hooked ever since," he tells us.
A big fan of Italian rock guitarist Marco Sfogli and Periphery fret-blazer Misha Mansoor, Elliot is excited by the chance offered by YGOTY. "Winning such a prestigious event would be a great opportunity to show my work to a wider audience."
Random fact: "My mum says that if any more guitars come into the house she's leaving. She doesn't know yet, but my Dad and I just bought a 50th Anniversary Tele off eBay - bye Mum!"
Name: James Bell
Track entered: A New Hope
Current main guitar: Vintage VS6
Having started on drums, 13-year-old James got into guitar after hearing his dad play. "My dad played guitar to help improve his drumming," James recalls. "And then one day he blasted out Smoke On The Water - it sounded so great!"
Hooked, James found himself idolising the likes of Satch, Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Randy Rhoads. "I'd love to be a professional guitarist when I'm older,” says James. “Winning YGOTY could open up a lot of opportunities for me."
Random fact: James loves to busk and even has a busking slot at the Nantwich Arts Festival this year.
Name: Jordan Swann
Track entered: Swann Song
Current main guitar: Gibson SG
SG-slinger Jordan is a big rock and blues fan, and his choice of axe gives a pretty clear hint about his guitar inspiration, "Watching the AC/DC live at Donington DVD three years ago made me want to start playing," he enthuses.
Jordan has been eyeing up the YGOTY crown for some time, "It's been my major goal since my dad first bought me a copy of Guitarist magazine," he admits. "Plus, Guthrie Govan won it, so it must be a good thing to do!"
Random fact: Jordan keeps up his rock 'n' roll credentials by owning a pet tarantula.
Name: Carlo Bardoli
Track entered: Like This
Current main guitar: Schecter Hellraiser C1
Based in Ruislip, North London, Carlo has been playing guitar for 11 years and his preferred musical genres are instrumental rock and metal. Somewhere between studying maths, physics, chemistry and music, Carlo manages to find time to get his head around the equally mind-bending subjects of his favourite players, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert.
“Winning Young Guitarist Of The Year would help me further my career in music and hopefully reward me for the hard work I have put into playing the guitar,” muses the young hopeful.
Random fact: Carlo is Europe’s youngest endorsee of Schecter Guitars, EMG pickups and Line 6 effects
More info & ticket booking:
PLUS! The evening of Saturday 4thJune will feature Incredible evening performances by Jack Bruce & His Big Blues Band!
One of the greatest bass players of all time, Cream frontman Jack Bruce assembles a select group of musicians for a night of incredible blues, including very special guest, Joe Bonamassa.