by Zach Terrillion
Classical guitar is a tradition dating back centuries. Such a long tradition is up for fresh twists and interpretations. That’s the case with this year’s Showcase Concert from the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, which returns on Saturday, November 11 with the appearance of jazz guitarist Dan Wilson.
An Akron native, Wilson will be the first jazz musician to play at the showcase. I sat down with Wilson over Zoom to discuss his style, the surprising similarities and differences between classical and jazz guitar, George R.R. Martin, and what audiences should look forward to at Saturday’s show.
When it comes to style, Wilson considers himself a “musical omnivore,” tracing it to many different sources. His musical prowess emerged in the church with a love of gospel music. He has since taken inspiration from other genres like R&B, hip-hop, blues, and traditional jazz. He has performed with jazz greats like Joey DeFrancesco and his trio quartet, performing on his Grammy-nominated album Project Freedom, as well as with other luminaries like Van Morrison. A true omnivore, Wilson’s palate has been all-encompassing. “Whatever inspires me, I take it in.”