Teja Gerken (Solo Guitar), Jared Clifton
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107
This event is 21 and over
Steve Kaul is a Minnesota songwriter and guitarist who plays American folk music and writes original songs. He first played professionally in the coffee shops and clubs of northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Moving to Minneapolis in the 80’s he performed solo and with bands and toured regionally playing everything from jazz, rock and hip-hop to folk. As a member of the Twin Cities’ thriving musical community he has worked with artists like David Lindley, Beausoleil, Eilen Jewel, Willie Murphy, Tony Glover, Trampled by Turtles and many, many more. With his band The Brass Kings he recently opened for the Grammy winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.
As a songwriter Steve is steeped in the traditional story-songs of American folk music. He draws from these roots and from the writers he admires: John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Jim Miller and Greg Brown. His songs have been featured on Public Radio and community radio stations across the country and nationally on Pacifica Radio.
As a fingerpicking guitarist with a quick hand and an ear for World music influences Steve often blends traditional American bluegrass and blues with Hawaiian, Middle Eastern and Carnatic Indian influences. His open-tuning guitar explorations have won him two McKnight Fellowship finalist awards. His music has also been featured in film soundtracks, most recently in the independent documentary ‘Poustinia’. He is touring on his seventh full-length release.
Teja Gerken (Solo Guitar)
Born in Germany in 1970, Teja Gerken began his journey on the guitar at the age of six and became a serious student of the instrument after his family moved to California in the mid '80s.
Today, Teja is no stranger to those familiar with contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music into a style that is uniquely his own, Teja's playing reflects his diverse musical interests. While many of his composition employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, others simply rely on his keen sense of melody and movement. Within this framework, Teja has created a repertoire that appeals to fellow guitarists as well as to listening audiences, and while original material is his main focus, he can also be found playing Irish traditionals, the occasional jazz standard, or improvising on themes by classical composers.
An active participant in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area acoustic music scene, Teja is a regular performer at many of the region's venues. A firm believer in creating community, he hosts a monthly acoustic guitar showcase at San Francisco's Bazaar Café, which features both established and emerging players. Teja also frequently introduces international talent to Bay Area audiences.
Teja has shared the stage with guitar visionaries such as John Renbourn, Alex de Grassi, Peter Finger, and Henry Kaiser, as well as with his mentors, Duck Baker and Peppino D'Agostino. He has been a featured guest at the International Guitar Night, as well as on radio stations such as San Francisco's KALW and KUSF, and Berkeley's KPFA. In 2000, he began adding annual concerts in Germany to his performance calendar, and in 2004, he participated in a ten-city tour of Hungary.
Teja's debut album On My Way (LifeRhythm Music) has received critical acclaim since its release in 1999. "This sounds as if Michael Hedges, Paco De Lucia, and Bill Monroe are all fighting over a guitar," says the music review website Listen.com, which goes on to say that "this exceptional musician combines elements of folk, jazz, bluegrass and just about any style you can think of, into his seamless, lightning speed guitar workouts. Gerken plays World Fusion without losing his own identity or watering down styles." The UK's Folk Roots adds, "very impressive technique, and tuneful," and Dirty Linen calls Teja "a fine technical player." The composition Her Red Hair was featured on a Best of Contemporary Instrumental Music sampler CD by Germany's Laika Records in fall 2002. Teja released his second album Postcaards in 2005.
Besides performing solo, Gerken is also active playing in a duet with vocalist Lavender Grace. In addition, Gerken can be found on the editorial staff of Acoustic Guitar magazine, and he has co-authored several books about guitars.
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