Here’s a lovely feature from The Pulse on Pierre Bensusan, the world music icon who will be at Barking Legs on Friday, March 13. Follow this link, or read it here.
Pierre Bensusan, you know him, or you don’t. If you know him, there’s nothing I can add to the wonder and respect you already feel for the man who is consistently referred to as one of the world’s greatest living guitarists. If this is your first time hearing the name, well, take off your coat, relax, and sit a spell while we get caught up.
Born in French-Algeria in 1957, Pierre began his formal musical education (on piano) in Paris at the age of seven. Enamored by the folk revival in Western Europe and America, Pierre would go on to teach himself guitar a few years later, sign his first recording deal at seventeen, and release his first album a year later, winning the Grand Prix du Disque at Montreux.
His career has been on a perpetually upward trajectory ever since.
The list of accolades and awards Pierre has claimed worldwide is expansive, including the title “Best World Music Guitar Player” from Guitar Player magazine and numerous “Album of the Month/Year” designations. In 2013 his album Intuite came in second place as “Best Acoustic Album of All Time” in Spain.
There’s more, much more, but the point is made that Bensusan has, with grace and humor, earned his place as one of the greatest of all time which brings an extra level of excitement to his March 13th performance at Barking Legs Theater here in Chattanooga.
This would be a “get” in L.A., Chicago, or New York. The fact that it is happening here in the Scenic City is astounding and yet increasingly par for the course as our humble mid-sized home continues to gain credibility as a music destination.
To make the point directly, as concerts go, this is a big deal both as an opportunity for music lovers and as a badge of prestige for the city.
The person responsible for booking deserves an enthusiastic pat on the back and the gratitude of everyone who wants to see Chattanooga’s cultural and artistic reputation blossom.
Bensusan’s style is variously described as classical, jazz, traditional, folk, even Celtic, but at the end of the day the fairest description (and I am aware that this borders on cliché) is that Bensusan’s style is an amalgam of all of that and more.
He, like so many others who have achieved a level of mastery, incorporates elements of the various traditions, combining them in a way that is distinctively his. YouTube is rife with examples of his live performances which, in a word, are mesmerizing and Azwan, his latest album and the promotional point of his current tour, is no exception.
On a personal level, he’s one of the nicest, most instantly likable people you’ll ever meet. Generous and supportive of various charitable causes, he is as sublime a person as he is a performer.
Musical ambassador, world treasure, Bensusan is one of the “must not miss” acts of the year. Tickets to Friday night’s performance are still available via the Barking Legs website at barkinglegs.org
The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Don’t be late; you don’t want to miss a note.