Jan Knutson Headlines at the Mainstay


Jan Knutson

Jan Knutson, the young jazz guitarist mentored by Frank Vignola headlines at The Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Knutson will be joined by Grif Kazmierczak on violin, mandolin and trumpet and Eddie Hrybyk on bass. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Jan Knutson is a dazzling 18-year-old guitarist who has been playing for 9 years. He has studied with such luminaries as Rodney Jones, Steve Abshire, Paul Wingo, Shawn Purcell, Frank Vignola, Frank Latino, and Heather McKay in addition to online lessons with Martin Taylor.

Knutson has appeared as a guest artist at The Mainstay with guitarists such as Frank Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Steve Abshire and Martin Taylor. In this, his Mainstay debut as a bandleader, Knutson and his trio will be playing music ranging from Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz to classic jazz standards. He will be joined by Grif Kazmierczak on violin, mandolin and trumpet and Eddie Hrybyk on bass.

His first performance at The Mainstay was when he was given a solo after a Frank Vignola guitar workshop.

Knutson says, “The Mainstay is a very special place to me. As you mentioned on your website, it was the first place I met and played with Frank Vignola who has been a truly great mentor and teacher to me. It was also the first place I played with Bucky Pizzarelli and Martin Taylor. It is a real privilege to play there again.”

He has performed at many other venues including Strathmore Mansion and the Kennedy Center and with artists such as Frank Vignola, Al Caiola, and Olie Soikelli at The Cutting Room in New York City, and with Frank Vignola at Germano’s in Baltimore, and the Djangoary Festival in Richmond, VA.

Jan Knutson

Jan Knutson was 2016 Artist in Residence at the Strathmore Music Center in Rockville, MD, the guitarist for the 2016 Jazz Band of America, won first prize in the 2015 Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Soloist Competition and has performed as a soloist with the US Army Blues.  He was a member of the elite Jazz At Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy in Summer 2015 and 2016, attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz program and in May 2016 he was featured with Frank Vignola, Julian Lage, Vinny Raniolo, and Olli Soikkeli at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This past June, he performed at the Syracuse Jazz festival and will be the featured jazz artist at the Richmond Folk Festival in October 2017.

He recorded his first CD, Out of Nowhere, produced by Frank Vignola in August of 2014 at Sweetfoot Studio in Easton MD.  The recording has been played on radio stations across the country and was reviewed in Just Jazz Guitar magazine. His second recording, Looking Both Ways, is on the Patuxent Music label and was released last year. The recording is a mix of standards and originals and includes solo guitar and combo performances featuring some of the finest musicians in the DC area including guitarist Steve Abshire, mandolinist Danny Knicely, and Tommy Cecil on bass.

In addition to the guitar, Knutson plays violin, viola, and trombone.  He now studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Rodney Jones.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Griffith Kazmierczak is a versatile multi-instrumentalist with a unique musical voice on trumpet, violin and mandolin. He has a Masters in Jazz Performance from the University of Maryland, has been recognized for his unique compositions in Capitol Bop’s D.C. Jazz Lofts concert series and is one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the greater D.C. area.

Ed Hrybyk is an upright and electric bassist, composer, arranger, and educator active in the Baltimore music scene. He graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in has a degree in jazz performance from University of the Arts. He resides in Baltimore, MD and has played and/or recorded with Ultrafaux, The Bumper Jacksons, Hot Club of Baltimore, Sonny Nelson and the Unity Reggae Band, and The Manly Deeds. He made his debut as a bandleader last year with his band, the Bright Moments Sextet which will release an album of his original compositions in September 2017.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD, and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas, and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Mainstay sells advance tickets online through Instant Seats. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website. Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and pay by cash or check at the door.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

August 21 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Danny Tobias

August 26 Nevin Dawson: The Versatile Viola

August 28 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes John Thomas, Saxophone

September 2 The Greg Hatza Organ-ization

September 4 Joe Holt welcomes Beth McDonald

September 7 Katie Thiroux

September 11 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Tom Baldwin, bass

September 16 Melissa Aldana

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