Local guitar icon James Grace gets Chilled on latest album release

Local guitar icon James Grace gets Chilled on latest album release

Two time SAMA nominee James Grace will return to the Alexander Bar upstairs theatre for the launch of ‘Chilled’, his sixth solo guitar studio album. The acclaimed guitarist will be performing at the venue on 76 Strand Street from Thursday to Saturday, August 10 to 12, at 7pm nightly. ‘Chilled’ also celebrates 10 years of Grace’s independently owned and operated record label, Stringwise Records.

Breaking with tradition from his previous five solo albums consisting largely of music for classical guitar, ‘Chilled’ features Grace’s own unique arrangements of songs by artists including The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jesse Harris, Carol King and Billy Joel. ‘Chilled’ also introduces a South American element with a medley of original compositions and arrangements by Brazilian guitar maestro Marco Pereira.

The album title appropriately describes the mood and ‘feel’ of the CD, which draws substantially on material from Grace’s previous shows ‘Guitar Hero’ and ‘Guitar Hero II’.

‘Chilled’ continues to celebrate the diversity of the modern day instrument, and demonstrates the fingerboard prowess which has led Grace to recently be described by local media as a “South African icon”.

KANNA Award winner for Best Male Artist at the 2010 ABSA KKNK, and more recently KykNET Fiesta winner, Grace is one of one South Africa’s leading concert artists. In recent years he has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Gauteng Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa – Lobos, Tirao, Stephenson, Giuliani and Vivaldi.

A regular performer at the major arts festivals and concert series, Grace’s schedule frequently takes him throughout Southern Africa, Europe and the U.A.E. Born in England, the artist began playing the guitar aged seven. He immigrated with his family to South Africa at the age of ten and continued lessons with the late Dietrich Wagner. Grace then studied at the Royal College of Music in London as a Foundation Scholar with Carlos Bonell. Upon graduating he became the first guitarist in the history of the College to receive the Tagore Gold Medal, an annual award presented to the most outstanding student.

After spending two years in Doha, in the Arabian State of Qatar where he taught guitar at an International Music Centre, Grace returned to South Africa and was appointed Head of Classical Guitar Studies at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music.

His previous two releases ‘Sevilla – Music of Spain II’ and ‘Café Latino’ both topped the Classic FM Top 20 South African Charts and earned Grace SAMA nominations for Best Popular Classical Album and Best Instrumental Album respectively.

As an entrepreneur and concert organiser, Grace often hosts and performs with visiting artists. In 2015 he toured South Africa in a series of duo concerts with UK-based Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanksi. Grace has also appeared in concert with Cinzia Milani (Italy), Goran Krivokapic (Germany) and Chloe Murphy (London).

* Tickets are R100 when purchased online at alexanderbar.co.za.

For more information, visit www.jamesgrace.co.za.