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Guitar Virtuosos Play Bluegrass, American Roots Music

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Guitar Virtuosos Play Bluegrass, American Roots Music

at the Box Factory on June 29

For Aiden Schnell, it’s a return to his roots in St. Joe/BH 

Guitar virtuosos Aiden Schnell and Isaiah Gardham will perform at the Box Factory for the Arts on Saturday, June 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. Both are recent graduates of the prestigious Berklee College of Music.


For Schnell, 24, the performance will be a return to his hometown and his musical roots. He grew up in Benton Harbor and attended St. Joseph HS, spending much of his time playing old-time and folk music while studying banjo (both bluegrass and clawhammer), mandolin, guitar, and vocal performance. In addition to attending Berklee College of Music’s flagship campus in Boston, he has been involved in multiple community bands and professional projects, including The Water Street Wranglers in performances throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Legendary guitar professor at Berklee, Bobby Stanton, said of him: “Guitar wunderkind Aiden Schnell’s guitar playing is like Appalachian alchemy. In fact, I would not be surprised if you told me he has a dragon.”


Schnell has been teaching and was recently named head of the guitar program at Winchester Community Music School near Boston. In July he’ll be traveling to New York to perform at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival.


Schnell and Isaiah Gardham met when they were freshmen at Berklee. When performing, they often take inspiration from traditional duo guitarists who would play off each other. “It’s a way

of listening and responding with your instrument,” Schnell said. “It’s very improvisational.”


Gardham, 26, is a burgeoning flat-pick guitar virtuoso from South Carolina, now living in the Boston area. At Berklee, he honed his craft under the mentorship of renowned instructors, including Joe K Walsh, Bruce Molsky, and Greg Lizst. He went on to perform at esteemed events like IBMA World of Bluegrass and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Melding his passion for fiddle traditions with avant-garde elements, Gardham’s artistic mission is to dismantle musical boundaries and forge a connection with audiences through the expressive medium of the guitar. 


Don’t miss the guitar duo on June 29, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St. Online tickets are $12 general admission or $15 cabaret seating at Walk-in tickets are $15. Free admission for children 12 and under.

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