Bluegrass phenom Bryan Sutton on campus March 16

Bryan SuttonThe Center for Popular Music’s next installment of the crowd-pleasing series The American Guitar kicks off with internationally renowned acoustic guitarist Bryan Sutton. 

The bluegrass phenom will be interviewed by the Center’s director, Greg Reish, following a guitar demonstration by Sutton on Monday, March 16, at 5 p.m. in Bragg Mass Communication Building Room 103.

Born in Asheville, North Carolina, to a family of musicians, Sutton first came to prominence as part of Ricky Skagg’s Kentucky Thunder band, touring extensively with the group and playing on two of the band’s GRAMMY award-winning records. Sutton later became one of the most sought-after session guitarist on the planet, primarily known for his flat-picked acoustic guitar skills, though he also plays banjo, mandolin and electric guitar.

Sutton has released five solo projects, is a member of the legendary bluegrass band Hot Rize and has toured around the world with artists like Bela Fleck, Chris Thile and the Dixie Chicks. He has been honored six times as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitarist of the Year and won a GRAMMU Award in 2007 for his guitar duet with Doc Watson on the bluegrass classic “Whiskey Before Breakfast.”

When not touring or recording, Sutton works with his Online Bluegrass Guitar School with Bryan Sutton as part of the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass. His library of bluegrass lectures gives students access to hundreds of flat-pick guitar lessons and offers students personalized feedback using a video exchange learning platform. For more information about Sutton’s Academy, please click here.

“Bryan Sutton is without a doubt one of the most important figures in bluegrass and other acoustic guitar styles of the last 20 years,” Reish said. “A true virtuoso, he is the great heir to the tradition handed down through Doc Watson, Clarence White, Tony Rice and other icons of the flatpicking world. In addition, Bryan is an excellent songwriter, singer, bandleader and producer truly at the very top of his game. As a guitarist and guitar historian, I am personally thrilled to welcome Bryan to MTSU and the CPM, and I couldn’t think of a better person for the next installment of our American Guitar Series.”

The Center’s The American Guitar series was launched in 2014 and explores the central importance of the instrument to American popular music through programs, workshops, lectures and exhibits. The Center’s scholarly mission is to promote research in American vernacular music and to foster an understanding and appreciation of America’s diverse musical culture.

Sutton’s visit is featured as part of MTSU College of Mass Communication Scholars Week.

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