One of today's true innovators of guitar composition and technique, Don Ross has emerged as one of the most respected musicians in Canada and one of the top guitarists in the world. In September 1996, he managed to do what no other player has done: win the prestigious U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship for the second time (he first won in 1988). The competition, held yearly in Winfield, Kansas, cannot be won only with immaculate technique, but the player's music must also display a high degree of emotion and intensity — hallmarks of Don's style.
Don continues to do extensive touring in Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia's Pacific Rim. When he's not on the road, he lives a quiet life with his family in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
"I have been playing the guitar for most of my life. Lord knows, there are a lot of guitar players out there, and a lot of manufacturers. I now own three Marc Beneteau guitars, and they are far and away the most responsive guitars I have ever played. They not only record magnificently, but they put up extremely well with the rigors of my touring schedule. I've lost track of how many times people have run up to me after a concert to ask excitedly, Who makes your guitars?"
Acoustic "fingerstyle" guitar player/wizard Shaun Hopper is at first glance an unassuming presence, a true southern gentleman whose humility stands in sharp contrast to the prodigious talents he unveils on stage. Merging complex melodic lines, harmony and bass lines along with a one-of-a-kind percussive technique, he mesmerizes everyone within earshot. His original compositions and pop covers are infused with a cutting edge resonance found only in the new breed of You Tube virtuosos, including players like Adam Rafferty, Don Ross and Andy McKee, and yet he remains loyal to his roots. His overall approach to guitar remains inspired by the legends; Andre Segovia, Tommy Emmanuel, Michael Hedges, George Benson, Martin Taylor, Leo Kottke and Chet Atkins. The final result is a "signature style" which crosses over the full range of musical genres, including; Alternative, Folk, Classical, Celtic, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Blues and Percussive-New Age.
Not every young Canadian singer-songwriter gets to launch her CD with a live appearance on the US satellite station Sirius XM. The show was hosted by Dave Marsh, author of more than 25 books on rock and roll and known as the “dean of American rock writers” who admits to being her biggest fan. But that’s how Ariana Gillis, from St. Catharines, Ontario — began to premiere her second album, Forget Me Not. Earlier, Marsh had played a track — “John and the Monster” — from an advance copy of the CD; one response was a phone call from an enthusiastic listener who wanted to know more about the unusual song, and the singer. The mystery caller was Elton John’s lyricist and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
Her fans in the industry are many, including luminaries such as Steve Wozniak, Buddy Miller, Bernie Taupin, Bob Ezrin, Josh Ritter, Kevin Breit and Joel Moss, to name a few.
"I'm staggered by how good she is. There is not much that impresses me these days but after hearing her available tracks I can honestly say she's the single most exciting thing I've heard in a very long time." — Bernie Taupin
Tony McManus is acknowledged as one of the world's great celtic guitarists. A native of Scotland and now living in Canada, Tony continues to amaze audiences with his flawless technique and unique approach to this ancient music form. I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform many times and am always blown away by his musicianship and engaging onstage personality. I am now very pleased to announce that Tony is a proud new owner of an "M" model cutaway with an Englemann Spruce top and Cocobolo back & sides.
"Marc's work is exceptional. He stands apart from the traditional school of Canadian luthiers and has cut his own path with the sheer elegance and attention to detail each of his instruments display. I first came across his work through Canadian guitar icon Don Ross whose style of playing makes great demands of his instruments both in tone and stamina. Don always sounds great! My guitar is still revealing new facets of its personality and am really enjoying the journey. Thanks Marc."
A versatile guitarist/performer/composer, Carter is one of those rare musicians whose expertise and virtuosity transcend issues of style. His unique musical vision has led him to master Jazz, Bluegrass and modern Acoustic guitar styles, in a manner that allows each style to complement the others without sacrificing any of their respective nuances. A performer with over 40 year's experience, Carter is currently the lead guitarist for the Gordon Lightfoot Band, but can also be seen working as a solo artist, with jazz and folk duos, trios, or quartets. "Marc is truly one of the best luthiers out there today. He built me the perfect custom guitar and helped with every step of the building process in a friendly and professional manner."
David Gillis has won awards as a guitarist, a songwriter and more recently won the 2017 CFMA producer of the year award for Corin Raymond's record which also was nominated for a JUNO award. A noteworthy multi-instrumentalist, David plays, acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, banjo and ukulele. David place Top 5 in the Winfield Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. David Gillis is the recipient of the 2003 Colleen Peterson Song-writing Award and was featured in the American guitar publication known as “Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine”.
"I have been playing Beneteau guitars for over a dozen years. Since that time Marc has been a wise and dear friend. I own three Beneteau instruments... a Mahogany OM, a Rosewood 13 fret Nick Lucas and a Koa Tenor ukulele. For one reason or another ,depending on the moment, I play at least one of them everyday, without fail."
"As a producer David Gillis' blends organic instrumentation and takes songs to modern edgy places. His originality and daring musical finesse is brilliant!" — Eliza Gilkyson
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you a rising star on the acoustic guitar scene. In 2006 Craig placed 3rd in the fingerstyle competition at the Canadian Guitar Festival in Odessa, Ontario. Craig's fresh take on song structure and groove as well as his personal, yet accessible, melodies have found him loyal fans and a recording contract with Candy Rat Records. Craig recorded his debut release Crazy is Catching for candy Rat on which he demonstrates technique and ability beyond his years. Crazy is Catching will be available through Candyrat on March 15th, 2007. As a bonus, Don Ross contributed to two songs on the CD. Craig currently plays two Beneteau SJ models. One has Flamed Bubinga back & sides with an Englemann Spruce top and a 25.75" (654mm) scale. The other is a Padouk/Englemann Baritone with a 27" (686mm) scale. It's safe to say that the future of acoustic guitar music is in good hands with players like Craig coming on the scene.
In his 45 year professional career, Paul Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Paul Siebel, Mary McCaslin, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. His jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro has released several award-winning recordings, and performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Roskilde, in Copenhagen. Their latest, "Homecoming", was picked by Jazziz magazine for their “Best of 2009” CD, along with tracks by Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, and other heavyweights. Paul’s two solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana” and “Roots and Branches”, received numerous rave reviews for their fresh takes on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country tunes, and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition. Recent appearances include Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, MerleFest, Lunenburg Folk Festival, and many other venues. Acoustic Guitar Magazine recently did an article on him, featuring his composition “Chunky Monkey Gumbo”. Paul has taught guitar for over 40 years, including positions at Dartmouth, Skidmore, and other colleges. He presently teaches at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.
"My Beneteau guitar never fails as a source of inspiration for me. There's a wonderful sonic quality to it, that I've long tried to capture in words... the best I can muster is that each note is wonderfully round, and "chewy". That, combined with the utmost ease of left-hand playability, makes for a guitar that I love to play fingerstyle jazz arrangements. Thanks again, Marc, for building this inspiring guitar! Many students have expressed admiration for my guitar... initially for its appearance, then for its sound, and finally, for it's uncanny ease of play. At least one of them has gone on to purchase his own Beneteau."
Matteo is a German fingerstyle guitarist and musician, who excites listeners with his individual, virtuosity performing, distinctive melodies and deep grooves which are unique. As newcomer from Acoustic Music Records he is visible on the Acoustic Guitar Masters DVD Vol. 1.
"When I receieved my Fan fret Guitar from Beneteau I was astonished by the deep and clear tone. I knew this was the guitar for me to create the sound I wanted for my music. As a rule, I would never order a guitar whithout first trying them out, but Marc had my full confidence. Whenever I perform, I bring both Beneteau guitars and without fail, I always seem to get compliments from fans and musicians alike. I look very much foward to ordering my next one."