Guitarist to show off his ‘flying fingers’ tonight

By Pat Deringer

The UK Singletary Center for the Arts will launch the first installment of its intimate concert series featuring an all-star lineup of Kentucky musicians tonight at 7:30.

“Flying Fingers! Guitars, Fiddles and other Strings” will take place in the Singletary Center Recital Hall and will feature UK School of Music classical guitar instructor Andrew Leonard and finger-style guitar champion Pat Kirtley, joining the Endless Road Strings in a mix-up of different acoustic styles.

“If you are interested in accomplished Kentucky musicians playing in an unique, intimate setting for a good price, this is your concert,” said Summer Gossett, marketing director for the Singletary Center.

Leonard’s passion for playing classical music and music from Spain, Turkey and South America has resulted in two albums, “A World of Guitar Music” and “Music of the Ages.” Leonard has traveled the world playing guitar and was the only classically trained guitarist to be invited to participate in the Acoustic Guitar Master’s Series in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Kirtley, an accomplished national finger-style guitar champion, draws his musical roots from bluegrass tradition. Though he does not limit himself to a specific category, he plays a variety of music ranging from folk and pop to Celtic/Irish and Kentucky Country. His album “Kentucky Guitar” earned him a spot on the “Top 59 Acoustic Albums of 1996” by Japan’s Player Magazine.

Endless Road Strings is a quartet comprised of four classically-trained musicians: violinists Julie Lastinger and Tina Simpson, violist Joanna Binford and cellist Rebecca Kiekenapp. When not touring with two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel or teaching one-on-one private lessons, the members of the quartet perform with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.

“The most fascinating aspect is the variety of styles each musician has,” Binford said. “It’s rare to have a string quartet back musicians up and doing solo stuff as well.”

Though Kirtley and the Endless Road Strings have shared the stage before, “Flying Fingers” is the first concert to also feature Leonard.

“If you are a fan of the acoustic guitar, curious about different styles, or want to see instruments played in a completely different way, this concert will allow you to see local musicians playing at a very high level,” Leonard said.

Tickets will be available at the Singletary Center box office for $15. To purchase the tickets by phone, call (859) 257-4929.