“THREE AND A HALF GREAT GUITARISTS IN ONE CONCERT !!! These are going to be GREAT CONCERTS !!! 4 of us will be in concert.
Todd Mosby, an absolutely brilliant guitarist who plays a wide variety of styles, but is considerably influenced by the music of India will be on stage, as will Trevor Gordon Hall who is THE young phenom out there today… while incredibly dynamic as a performer his music is never about simple gymnastics… this guy is all about heart.
Todd Boston is one of the best and most soulful guitarists drawing breath on the planet today.
And, yes, they're allowing me to play too ! I just squeaked in, but managed to make the team !!!
These are all musicians I've been honored to produce. This will be as good a night of guitar playing as you could hope for. I know I'm very much looking forward to it !!!
Filmed Live at SOKA University February, 2018.
Universally recognized as the preeminent pioneer in the new age music movement, and the founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman's career spans more than three decades of remarkable vision, single-minded determination, fervent business savvy, and "a thorough love of the mystery of making music."
The glory years at Windham Hill with Ackerman at the helm launched the recording careers of an abundant list of acoustic instrumentalists, many of whom became household names. The primary influence Windham Hill cast on contemporary music over the last three decades of the 20th century emanated from folk roots, the acoustic guitar, and the piano. This legacy remains with Ackerman in a uniquely prolific and peerless career.
From a distance, Will's life is anything but ordinary. Yet upon closer examination, the strongest, most colorful threads in the fabric of who he is are traditionally held values and pursuits almost anyone would consider commonplace. The reality is Ackerman's success is predicated on doing traditional things untraditionally well.
Will lives on a large spread of land in Windham County, Vermont outside Brattleboro.
In 1972 he founded Windham Hill Builders, the sister company that chronologically parallels Windham Hill Records. Of his 40-year career as a builder Will says, "The vision of completely constructed buildings is so tangible to me, formal plans aren't really necessary." His vision for Imaginary Road Studios was designed around the breathtaking scenery of the West River Valley in full view from the studio's core creating a naturally serene chamber for recording sessions.
The walls of Imaginary Road are lined with gold, platinum, and multi-platinum records representing the millions of albums sold when Windham Hill Records rose to prominence. The first of these is George Winston's 1980 solo piano release titled, Autumn. This album played a pivotal role in Ackerman's life on a wide continuum speaking to the beginning of his career and the transformation of Windham Hill Records from a cottage industry into a corporate giant; but ultimately to Ackerman's gifts as a producer. His ability to distinguish music that resonates on a deeply fundamental level with a wide variety of listeners has never wavered; it's only gotten better with age.
If impresario seems too strong a word to describe the unique abilities Ackerman brings to the craft of music making, it isn't far off. It's his reputation and the impressive list of recording artists who continue to seek him out that gives him carte blanche in taking projects through layers of development resulting in beautifully produced volumes of work.
The unconventional success of Turtle's Navel laid the foundation for what would lie ahead. Windham Hill Records quickly became the consummate business model for the independent record business with other major labels attempting to capitalize on the overarching, multi-million dollar success Ackerman achieved through sheer determination and true grit. Windham Hill was David to the recording industry's Goliath. At every turn the industry smugly implied something couldn't or shouldn't be done, Ackerman made sure it happened his way, on his terms.
There is a story written somewhere about Ackerman meeting with Winston in the late 1970s to discuss a recording project for Windham Hill a few years after Winston's debut Ballads and Blues, on John Fahey's Takoma Records went unnoticed. Winston and Ackerman were negotiating a slack key guitar recording after a year of correspondence. At the end of the day, Ackerman ended up bunking on Winston's couch; and George asked if he could play some piano music before heading off to sleep. Ackerman instantly realized he'd heard folk piano for the first time; or what Winston now calls "rural folk piano". Ackerman immediately dismissed the idea for the guitar recording in favor of Autumn, an idea that took some compromise before the two agreed.
Will discovered another monster talent in acoustic guitarist, Michael Hedges, at the Varsity Theater, a Palo Alto cafe. Urban legend has it Ackerman immediately jotted out a recording contract on a paper napkin so impressed with what he'd heard. Breakfast in the Field (1981) and Aerial Boundaries (1984) both produced by Ackerman, are considered milestone recordings for acoustic guitar. Aerial Boundaries was nominated for a Grammy Award - a first for Hedges, and for Windham Hill as well. That Michael's music was organic, his own utterly free, genre-defying style is what Ackerman's brand has come to stand for.
Under Ackerman's tutelage, Windham Hill Records became a leading brand of distinction, an unprecedented accomplishment for an independent label. Will was invited to lecture at the business schools of Harvard, Yale and Stanford. He taught independent seminars on the basic principles of the recording industry, as well as classes at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.
Among his many accomplishments, Ackerman is a beloved, Grammy Award-winning recording artist with twelve recordings in his discography. Since his debut in 1976, Will released a new album about once every two to three years until 1992. The next three consecutive releases, Sound of Wind Driven Rain (1998), Hearing Voices (2001), and Returning (2004) were all nominated for Grammy Awards in the New Age category. On February 13, 2005, Returning won the Best New Age Grammy Award.
He writes, "Returning was an opportunity to capture my career as I hope it will be remembered. These are new recordings of my favorite pieces spanning 35 years of music writing. Over years of performing these pieces, they've evolved nuance that was invisible to me then. I honestly had to make this record for myself…the Grammy Award only proved to me that it had worked for others as well.”
Read Will's full bio, the history and background of one of the primary figures in the music industry.
He was there at critical moments in music history to help usher in the new ways we perceive, listen, present, perform purchase and ultimately bring music into our every day lives.
Learn about Will's history in the industry, Windham Hill and the artists against beautiful images and clips of Will performing some of his more memorable compositions.
“Unique” is not a word I throw out easily or frequently.” - Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records
“Todd is one of the most innovative musicians of this century." - Ustadt Imrat Khan, India’s greatest living Ustadt.
A guitarist's guitarist, Mosby is a 2x Global Music Award Recipient and made it on the 2017 Grammy Ballot in three categories nominated top ten ZMR album of the year 2017, nominated in three ZMR categories for 2017, is broadcast on radio stations throughout the world and licensed on a global platform,
Todd Mosby is a seeker and learner who believes in the transformative power of music. He explores a life of creative purposefulness, sharing his knowledge and innovations along the way—in all his pursuits, that’s his missive.
Mosby’s vibrant creativity has led to numerous innovations in music spanning inventive compositions, imaginative technical books for guitar, co-creating a new instrument (the Imrat guitar), to an assortment of products which enrich and enhance artistic expression.
He is an innovative guitarist, composer & improvisor who creates an intriguing combination of new age, jazz, folk and world music.
“His knowledge of Indian music is quickly apparent, his virtuosity in jazz is present; along with a graceful ease in bluegrass and folk music tradition." - Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records
Schooled in composition, guitar and improvisation from Berklee College of Music and live music performance from Tom Jackson Productions, Todd Mosby delivers a transformative concert which engages audiences.
Mosby is the only guitarist ever admitted into the famed Imdad Khani Gharana of sitar musicians and considered one of the finest jazz guitarist in the Saint Louis area, headlining area jazz festivals.
"The only guitarist carrying the Michael Hedges torch to the next level." - Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records
Rated one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 years of age by Acoustic Guitar magazine, Trevor Gordon Hall is an instrumentalist from Philadelphia whose compositions range in style from edgy driving rhythms to soft melodic phrases. Trevor sets himself apart by leaving no physical aspect of the guitar untouched and weaving together different textures into grand yet intimate and lyrical compositions. His blend of sounds never overcomplicates but focuses on utilizing the instrument’s fullest creative and compositional potential guiding listeners through an igniting experience of music that isn’t just heard but felt.
Trevor has gained the respect of some of the most trusted and legendary names in the music business and his genre with nods of approval from Graham Nash, Steve Hackett, Billy Cobham, Dar Williams, Will Ackerman, Don Ross, Andy McKee, Phil Keaggy and more. Between his live show, his albums and his custom instrument, Trevor has earned an international growing fanbase that has allowed him to tour throughout North America and Europe. Trevor has also been featured on various national radio stations including NPR and national and international television networks including NBC, PBS and German national television.
Then in 2010, inspired by his studies and always on the hunt for new sounds to utilize, Trevor collaborated with various builders to design an instrument combining an african finger piano (kalimba) and an acoustic guitar. The instrument combination, which Trevor calls the “Kalimbatar”, has opened up new possibilities for solo instrumental music.
Compositions inspired by the pairing of the two instruments were first introduced in previous releases but fully realized in Trevor’s Candyrat Records debut Entelechy. Upon its release in 2011, this album rapidly climbed the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, as well as YouTube Top Commented/Top Favorited/Most Discussed categories gathering millions of views with the release of performance videos. This enabled Trevor to start touring throughout the USA, Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Holland and more.
Trevor is an artist on a mission to ride the line between being adventurous and accessible. As Grammy winning Will Ackerman has said “…Trevor has a stunning range stylistically while being made cohesive by the power of Trevor’s artistic voice and vision...a guitarist we will need to pay attention to…”, and guitarist Don Ross agrees, “…Trevor has a timeless sense of melody, and he creates some of the richest sonic textures you're likely to hear from any contemporary composer/guitarist…”
Watch and view Trevor as he performs his version of Clair De Lune on Kalimbatar, absolutely fascinating.
"Todd Boston is a brilliant guitarist and it seems there’s nothing under the sun he can’t make a beautiful noise with. The world’s a better place for his gift." - Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records
Todd Boston is a composer, guitarist/multi instrumentalist and producer that defies what is possible for one musician.
Todd fuses advanced finger style guitar techniques, wood flute, percussion and instruments of the world together with live looping and computer technology in an organic and mesmerizing sound marrying together his love of music, nature and technology.
He has toured internationally reaching audiences in the United States, Europe, Russia, India, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. As a performer for concert audiences, festivals, yoga classes or at the bedside of hospital patients, Todd invokes the feelings of nature in his melodic, and rhythmic playing to inspire and soothe his listeners.
His album Touched by the Sun produced with Grammy winner Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) was chosen Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2012 ZMR Music Awards and charted #1 on the World/New Age listening charts.
He has worked and performed with greats such as, Will Ackerman (Windham Hill), Alex Degrassi, Barbara Higbie, Michael Manring, Snatam Kaur, Ramesh Kannan, Tony Levin (legendary bassist of Peter Gabriel) to name a few.
“Vin Downes is a brilliant guitarist and a heart-felt composer.” - Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records
“Just beautiful. I love the way you play…really fine touch…and you swing!” ~ David Crosby, Crosby Stills & Nash
Downes’ music has ranked in the top 10 of the ZMR Radio Airplay Chart and reached #1 on the One World Music Album Chart. He was a ZMR nominee for Best Instrumental Album - Acoustic in 2015. His music can be heard on radio stations worldwide.
Vin Downes is a composer and finger style guitarist who has released four studio albums, two of which were produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer, Will Ackerman and award winning engineer/producer, Tom Eaton. He has performed nationally as a soloist and as a member of “The Gathering” - A Concert Series presented by Will Ackerman.
He has recorded and performed with musicians including Will Ackerman, David Cullen, Tom Eaton, Eugene Friesen, Tony Levin, Michael Manring, Liz Story.