Musicians unite at annual Guitar Festival in Westport

WESTPORT — Hoping to celebrate a popular and versatile instrument, as well as invite involvement with its nonprofit music program, the Suzuki Music School hosted its third annual Connecticut Guitar Festival this weekend.

The Westport Library played home to a kickoff concert Friday night featuring several classical guitarists and other accompanists.

“It’s the most popular instrument in the world, arguably,” said performer Mak Grgic, of Los Angeles, the 2020 artistic director for the nonprofit.

“It can lend itself potentially to any style,” he said, with its integration into various genres of music part of the festival’s theme.

The festival continued through the weekend, with mini master classes on Saturday at the Post Road headquarters, as well as a GuitART exposition at the library in the afternoon, including performances. On Sunday, free presentations and concerts are also being held, with artists including veteran blues guitarist Paul Gabriel.

“We’re trying to bridge the musical spectrums together around the guitar,” festival producer Lory Ambrosini said. “It’s just a real unifying instrument.”

“That’s the great thing about guitar,” said Joe Carter, performer and director of the academic music program at Sacred Heart University. “So many people use it in so many different genres. ... And it’s still going strong.”