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Center for the Arts Presents Acoustic Guitar Virtuoso Andy McKee

Acoustic guitar virtuoso Andy McKee will bring his unique songbook to Smothers Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 8 PM.

McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists, and his crossover success to millions upon millions of YouTube viewers underscores his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. To fans of virtuoso musicianship, it is McKee’s attention to song structure and melodic content that elevates him above the rest. To fans of popular music, McKee entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra;  McKee’s acoustic guitar can approximate the polyrhythmic interplay of a percussion ensemble, the harmonic sweep of a string section, the dazzling runs of a bluegrass bass-and-banjo duo, and virtually anything else his pastoral compositions and tasteful covers require.

He’s been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the U.K.  In December 2008, McKee was awarded  Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s  esteemed worldwide silver medal award for his finger style approach.

McKee is a self-taught musician who grew up studying recordings of artists as diverse as Preston Reed, Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin, Michael Hedges, Eric Johnson, and Dream Theater. He also absorbed the sophisticatedly accessible work of 1980s icons like Toto and Tears For Fears. His compositions and imaginative technique are an amalgamated conception of these disparate aesthetics. McKee writes with rich impressionistic chords that often evoke beautiful country landscapes. He arranges with a keen understanding of dynamics and how songs have to feel transporting to have emotional currency.

McKee started his professional career, like many musicians, as a guitar teacher, before his career-launching appearance at the venerated National Finger Style Guitar Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Recently, McKee launched a record label titled Mythmaker Records in 2014, the focus of which is on gathering and developing the world's most creative and unique musicians in one place. 

Tickets, priced starting at $20 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522 or on the Center for the Arts website.