Spellbinding string work
For Italian guitarist Franco Morone, the show must go on, even if there's a wedding to play earlier the same day.
'Extreme Guitar -- Italian Style!'
Featuring Franco Morone and opener Michael Tanenbaum
On stage: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the rRed Elephant, 1144 Bethel St.
Tickets: $20 advance and $22.50 at the door
Call: 550-8457 or online at honoluluboxoffice.com
After playing Saturday on Kauai at the request of a fan of his, he'll fly down to Oahu to join his friend and Hawaii contact Michael Tanenbaum three hours later for an intimate show at downtown's rRed Elephant.
Tanenbaum has played at the rRed Elephant before, and likes the place's vibe.
"I'll be opening for him," he said, "and I'll be playing some of my new tunes, as well as compositions that feature the work of my mentor and teacher from Los Angeles, Richard Peikoff. And I hope Franco and I will be able to do a duet at the end of his set."
The two of them met in 2001 at the L.A. trade show for NAMM, the International Music Products Association. "I walked into the Taylor guitar booth, and saw Franco play on a small stage there. I was spellbound. There was so much incredible emotion behind his playing, and unbelievable technique. Then and there, I thought it'd be great to get him to Hawaii one day, and after he took my contact info, we connected a year later.
"The great thing about Franco," said Tanenbaum, "is that he's starting to explore ethnic music through fingerstyle guitar -- even Jewish Klezmer music, which usually features clarinet. That's one of his gifts. In fact, one of his CDs had him rearranging and transcribing pure Celtic music originally written for pipes.
"The latest thing he's up to is fusing Celtic with American blues. And not only is he quite the guitarist, but Franco's very funny on stage."