(Above: French-Algerian master acoustic guitar player Pierre Bensusan )
Compiled by Randi Bjornstad
Lots of people have had great things to say about acoustic guitarist Pierre Bensusan, but people around here who venture to Cottage Grove on Sept. 23 will have a chance to add their own reactions to the mix.
Bensusan was born in what was called French-Algeria in 1957 — his roots are in the Sephardic Jewish traditions of Spain, Morocco and Algeria — and he moved with his family to Paris when he was 4 years old. He first started playing piano at age 7, but he discovered the guitar when he was 11, taught himself to play it, and his future course was set.
He signed his first recording contract at 17, and the next year his first album, “Pres de Paris” took grand prize honors at Switzerland’s Montreux Festival.
Bensusan’s music has been described as “the way the guitar would sound if it played itself, and a reviewer in the Los Angeles Times called him “one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today.” Several years ago, Guitar Player Magazine named him “Best World Music Guitar Player.”
His sound reflects his Algerian heritage melded with his French upbringing as well as strains of folk music from Great Britain and the United States, and he is a composer as well as a performer.
The U.S. portion of Bensusan’s 40th Anniversary World Tour features three concerts in Portland before his appearance at the Axe and Fiddle in Cottage Grove.
From there, he will perform seven times in California, once each in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee before returning to Europe for five more concerts in England.
Pierre Bensusan plays in Cottage Grove as part of his 2017 USA tour
When: 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23
Where: The Axe and Fiddle, 657 E. Main St., Cottage Grove
YouTube clip: youtube.com/watch?v=b23L99oBt_Q
Tickets: $15, available by reservation at 541-942-5942 or online at pierrebensusanataxe.brownpapertickets.com/