Whether playing his great-grandfather's harp guitar, his 1930 National Steel or a standard 6-string, Stephen Bennett is a musician to hear. His playing has won awards and critical praise. In live performance and on record, his diverse musical influences and interests are joined with a lifelong love affair with the sound of guitar strings.
May 9th, 2013
Greetings all ~
I have been hard at work on my rendition of Tchaikovsky’s score for the Nutcracker ballet for some time now. At last, I can truly say that I see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. This is a big project and won’t all fit on one cd – it’s a lot of music! And great music it is too.
But I have to put that aside for a few days now because -
I’m off today to play my tune Cemetery Ridge at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia at the opening of a new exhibit there tomorrow.
This coming week I’m doing a couple of things here at home in Connecticut. On the 16th, from 5-8, I’ll play at the opening of a new art gallery here in Milford, the Beach Gallery. And on the 19th, I’ll again play some background music at a local restaurant, Indigo, from 6-8:30 or so. If you’re in the area and want to hear some live guitar music, come on out!
For you Marylanders, I’ve got two shows in your fair state later this month, on the 24th and 25th. Check the calendar page if you’re interested.
Life is busy and good. Speaking of which, next week will mark 5 years since the miracle of my kidney transplant! Many thanks to all who made that possible!
April 8th, 2013
Hello everyone ~
I’ve been keeping very busy lately working on my guitar orchestra version of the score to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, playing and recording all the parts on various guitars. This project is taking a huge amount of time but the end is finally in sight. The music is amazing and I can’t wait for people to be able to hear it later this year!
But I’ll be taking a break from that and heading south to play two concerts in Virginia this weekend. If you happen to live nearby, I hope to see you there! Details here
Best wishes to all,
March 22nd, 2013
Greetings all ~
I had a great time in Europe! Nancy and I started in Switzerland, then were off to Italy, Germany, and Belgium, concluding the trip with a quick stop in the Netherlands. We squeezed in 8 concerts, a workshop, some fun times with old and new friends, and even managed to spend a little quality time together, just the two of us. It was a wonderful trip! Many thanks to everyone who helped organize things there!
It was good to get out and do a few shows again – it had been a while! Now I’m back hard at work on the Nutcracker project that I’ve taken on; arranging, playing and recording the entire ballet score for guitar orchestra.
Two shows coming up in a few weeks back in Virginia where I lived for many years.
Best to all!
February 28th, 2013
Greetings all ~
I’m sitting with Nancy in an airport lounge waiting to fly to Switzerland tonight. Over the next two weeks I have shows there and in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Please check the calendar page for details if you’re in any of those place and interested.
My best to all,
January 25th, 2013
…will take place October 11-13 here in Connecticut. It will be held at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, using the facilities of the Law School there. To learn more about The Harp Guitar Gathering, click here.
If you’re at all interested in harp guitars, this is the place to be! And if you just like to hear them, we will have two concerts that weekend. Hope to see you there!
A good day to all,
January 18th, 2013
For a short time, the cd that was put together as a tribute to me (I know – amazing, huh!) and unveiled at the Tenth Annual Harp Guitar Gathering last November in Dallas – is available here. I only purchased a few and won’t be carrying them here on my website after these are gone. A variety of artists are on this cd playing tunes they composed for me, arrangements of some of my tunes, and a few other special arrangements created just for this cd. It’s a great cd – even if they couldn’t find someone worthier to do this for!
Best to all,
January 10th, 2013
My 2012 was shaped by pain and productivity. After struggling with relentless back pain for the first part of the year, I had surgery in June that eliminated the problem. In spite of that, I had a very productive year. I released 2 new cds, one filled with my own tunes (High Street) and one cd of new arrangements (Cool Tunes for Harp Guitar). I finally finished arranging a 25 minute long suite of my music for full orchestra and also transcribed dozens of my compositions and arrangements. In late summer I started writing a Milford Harbor Suite for piano and cello and a few months later, that 4 piece suite was done. I decided to carry on and compose an entire concert’s worth of material for piano and cello and am now just 2 or 3 pieces short of doing that. I made some progress on my Nutcracker project as well. Oh, and I played some shows and walked my dog most every day. It was a year of getting lots of stuff done. Life is good here in Connecticut with Nancy B.
So what am I going to do this year? After several days of rearranging my workspace, I’m back to music. I’m getting back to arranging and recording my version of the entire Nutcracker ballet for guitar orchestra, for one thing. That will be finished this year. I’ve got a few new guitar tunes written, but not enough for a new cd of compositions this year, at least not early in the year. That’s ok – I’ve still got lots of last year’s cds to sell! What? You don’t have them yet? That can be solved here.
As I said there are a few pieces left to compose for my Connecticut-themed concert. Then of course I have to arrange for that concert to take place. Recording and releasing that music is a project as well. And I’ve got to figure out how to get my orchestral work performed. Not to mention – I have some new ideas for music for full orchestra to explore too.
I have an idea for a collection of classic American tunes as a new guitar cd too. If there’s time…
Add to this that I also have to keep my guitar chops in shape, play some shows here and there to pay the bills, walk my dog in the woods most every day, and spend as much time as possible with Nancy B – and 2013 will be a sufficiently busy and productive year. And hopefully pain will stay out of the equation this year!
That’s all for now, I’ve got stuff to do!
My best to all,
December 24th, 2012
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
December 12th, 2012
Last Saturday night I played a concert at the River Street Gallery in New Haven. A truly fun show in a great setting!
One of my favorite people to play music for was there to listen. Her name is Carmen and she’s the young lady who gave me the inspiration for my tune Chocolate Mo. (Which is what she calls my friend Andy McKee).
Anyway, this Saturday (Dec. 15th) I’ll be playing a workshop and concert in Michigan. For details
Peace on Earth & Good Will to everyone!
November 5th, 2012
Greetings all who happen here ~
I’m writing just as the 10th Annual Harp Guitar Gathering has ended here in Texas. As usual, our event brought together players, builders, authorities and enthusiasts of the harp guitar for a weekend of music and camaraderie.
I was very, very surprised by the first presentation. It turned out to be not what was on the schedule. As it happened, the first presentation was the unveiling of a cd of music, two years in the making, that I had no inkling of whatsoever. It’s called The Water Is Wide: A Tribute to ——————————- well, me…
The cd was put together by my friend and co-conspirator in the Gathering, Gregg Miner.
I haven’t yet had the chance to listen to the whole thing or read the accompanying booklet (much less absorb that this has actually happened). A bunch of very talented folks have created some beautiful music and written some very nice words about me.
Truly I am honored by this incredible expression of love. And just as truly, I am humbled by it.
In time I will be in touch with everyone who contributed in any way. For now, a simple but heartfelt thank to you all!
p.s. The cd is available at HarpGuitarMusic.com