Renowned guitarist performs at River Run Centre Friday, February 24
GUELPH, ON February 10, 2017 – Robert Michaels remembers the moment he was first inspired to pick up the instrument he would become famous for playing. He was 14 years old when he noticed a guitar in the corner of a room at a friend’s house.
“I asked my friend to play me something,” Michaels recalls. “As soon as he strummed the first cord, something came over me that said ‘you will be doing this for the rest of your life.’ With that thought in my head, I ran home begging my parents for guitar lessons and a guitar.
“They were reluctant at first, so out of desperation and frustration I went in the basement and grabbed a piece of wood and nailed some strings to it and drew some frets. That was my first makeshift guitar, which kind of kicked everything off.”
Today a multi-time gold and platinum world music artist, Michaels has won admiration around the world for performances that leave audiences awestruck. He will bring his electric energy to Guelph’s River Run Centre – accompanied by the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra – on Friday, February 24, at 8 p.m. The Main Stage performance is presented as part of the Richardson GMP Music Series.
Renowned by critics as a “dazzling guitarist” who mixes a captivating blend of styles, Michaels was a 2003 Juno Award winner in the Best Instrumental Album category for his recording Allegro. His other works include the critically acclaimed and best-selling albums Paradiso, Arizona and Utopia, along with the self-titled Robert Michaels. Michaels’ latest project, 2013’s Via Italia, explores the music of his ancestral homeland of Italy.
Michaels’ musical influences include traditional Cuban, Spanish and Italian music. His instrumental compositions offer tastes of rock, tango, jazz and flamenco.
“Over the years, I’ve had experience playing so many styles that I’ve merely incorporated all of the influences,” Michaels says. “My style was never planned. I arrived at it spontaneously while playing in front of audiences.”
Michaels has toured across Canada and throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. During the 1990s, he spent time in Cuba and released the album Cubamenco, a fusion of flamenco and Cuban music. After engaging concert goers around the globe, Michaels says it is his audience that sustains him.
“I really sense and feel the energy of the audience and then it just becomes a trade-off – they respond to what I am doing and I respond to the way they react – and then it becomes magical,” Michaels says. “It’s sharing something that’s honest and something that’s really deep and I think the audience gets it even if it’s an instrumental piece without words. I think they really feel the journey of where we are going together.”
Tickets to see Robert Michaels cost $44 for adults and $42 for seniors and students. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. $5 eyeGO tickets are available to high school students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased at River Run Centre box office, 35 Woolwich St. in Guelph, by calling 519-763-3000, or online at riverrun.ca/robert-michaels.
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River Run Centre
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