Out on the Rolling Sea:  The Guitar of Joseph Spence

Joseph Spence, of Andros Island in the Bahamas, was an utterly unique, brilliant guitarist.  Over the course of his life he developed a powerful yet lyrical style featuring contrapuntal melody, harmony and bass lines weaving seamlessly together with immense musicality and joy.  His repertoire, set almost exclusively in drop-D tuning, ranged from Bahamian songs and gospel to blues, calypso and pop standards (including such deathless compositions as “The Glory of Love” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”).

Come, let’s examine the concepts behind this master musician’s playing in all their genius and mind-boggling simplicity.  Be prepared to experience the guitaristic equivalent of patting one’s head, rubbing one’s belly and dancing a polka all at the same time.  Please bring a recording device to class.  For advanced-intermediate to advanced players.