Kent Jones, the Rachel Maddow Show's pop-culturist, was in San Francisco September 23rd and 24th to cover the opening of the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival. Matthew Montfort kicked off the festival by showcasing his unusual guitars: the Godin Glissentar, an 11 string fretless guitar, and the scalloped fretboard guitar, a special modified instrument able to produce ornaments characteristic of the sitar.
About Matthew Montfort
Matthew Montfort is the leader of the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future. An award-winning guitarist (Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Colorado Outstanding Young Guitarist Award), he is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar (an instrument combining qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar). Montfort spent three months in intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. He is also known for his work on electric guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar, charango, mandolin, and gamelan, and as Ancient Future's main composer.
Matthew Montfort holds a B.A. in World Music and Composition and an M.A. in Arts and Media Technology from Antioch University. He has studied with the master musicians of many world music traditions, including sarangi master Ram Narayan, sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, mridangam master Guruvayoor Dorai, and gamelan director K.R.T. Wasitodipuro. He has recorded with legendary world music figures ranging from Bolivian panpipe master Gonzalo Vargas to tabla maestros Swapan Chaudhuri and Zakir Hussain. He has performed concerts world wide, including at the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain near Barcelona.
Matthew Montfort is on the faculty of Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, where hue teaches all styles of guitar as well as rhythm classes based on his book on the rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Some of his students have gone on to promising music careers.
Matthew Montfort conjures lovely Asian zither-like inflections with a scalloped fretboard guitar." GUITAR PLAYER