Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather and More to Perform at Birthday Salute to Les Paul

By Newsferatu, Writer
Saturday, January 28, 2006 @ 6:39 AM

Allstar Benefit Concert

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Press release:

On Tuesday, February 7 at 8:15pm, one of the world's greatest gatherings of guitarists will take the Gibson Amphitheatre stage at Universal CityWalk for LES PAUL & FRIENDS: 90th BIRTHDAY SALUTE. The star-studded celebration, benefiting A Place Called Home, is produced by In Touch Entertainment and Centerline Entertainment and presented by Gibson Guitar. Tickets, priced from $42.50 to $104.50, go on sale Friday, January 27 at 1:00 PM PST.

Guitar legend Les Paul, celebrating two Grammy nominations in his 90th year, will share the Gibson Amphitheatre stage with some of music’s finest performers. Les Paul & Friends: 90th Birthday Salute, an all-star concert to benefit A Place Called Home, shares the collaborative spirit of Paul’s 2005 album, Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, released in August by Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing. Paul’s first new release since Chester and Lester, his 1978 Grammy-winning collaboration with Chet Atkins, Les Paul & Friends marked Paul’s first return to Billboard’s Albums chart in 50 years, while also setting a new record for Paul as the eldest living artist to ever enjoy a Top 200 chart debut. Songs from the album have received two Grammy nominations in the Rock and Pop categories, making Paul the eldest living nominee ever in those fields.

Les Paul, the father of the electric guitar, was born June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, WI. The five-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is the inventor of the solid body electric guitar and the pioneer of multi-track recording, the use of reverb and other now-standard recording techniques.

Paul is being honored throughout his 90th year with an array of new product releases, honors and awards fit for the father of the electric guitar. In addition to Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, Capitol/EMI released Les Paul with Mary Ford: The Best of The Capitol Masters (90th Birthday Edition), a collection of Paul's finest Capitol recordings, with new artwork, bonus tracks and a package essay written by Paul himself. Last May, Paul was inducted into the National Inventors’ Hall Of Fame at the Hall’s Akron, OH headquarters. On June 9, the evening of Paul's 90th birthday, he was honored with the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. On June 19, an all-star group of guitarists took the Carnegie Hall stage for “All For Paul: Les Paul’s 90th Birthday Salute,” a star-studded celebration presented by Gibson Guitar at the JVC Jazz Festival - New York. In addition, two new Les Paul books have been released: The Les Paul Legacy by Rob Lawrence (Hal Leonard Publishing) and Les Paul In His Own Words, a limited edition autobiography with each numbered copy signed by Paul (Russ Cochran Publishing). Guitarists around the world favor Les Paul’s signature line of Gibson guitars, which debuted in 1952.

The Les Paul & Friends all-star celebration features:

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and multi-Grammy award winner Buddy Guy is a chief guitar influence on rock titans like Hendrix, Clapton, Beck and Vaughn, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. The genre’s most electrifying guitarist, Guy has remained a vital and current musician, moving blues forward without losing sight of its roots. He's renowned for his raw, blistering vocals and high-voltage guitar playing. Eric Clapton has proclaimed Guy “by far, without a doubt, the best guitar player alive. He really changed the course of rock and roll blues.” Guy regards himself as a “caretaker of the blues.” Having learned from the likes of Waters, Otis Rush, Guitar Slim and Magic Sam, he explains, “I just take what they taught me and keep adding to it.”

Merle Haggard, arguably the world's greatest living country music singer and undeniably the greatest living country music songwriter, has been writing, recording and performing for more than forty years. He's charted forty #1 Country hits. There has always been a strong influence of blues and jazz in the sound of Haggard and his virtuoso group the Strangers. Few bodies of recorded work have aged as well as his. 2004 saw Haggard reunite with his old label Capitol; his first release for Capitol Nashville was Unforgettable, a collection of standards, and his recently released Chicago Wind is winning praise from critics and fans alike. Haggard completed a 2005 tour with Bob Dylan, and 2006 has been declared ‘The Year Of Hag’ by Capitol Nashville/EMI Music Catalog Marketing. An in-depth catalog campaign kicks off this February with the release of five CDs pairing ten classic Haggard albums with previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Alison Krauss, at the age of 33, has achieved more career milestones than most people do in their lifetime. Her first album was released when she was 16. She has released ten studio albums, all on Rounder Records, with her long time band of highly acclaimed musicians, Union Station. Their most recent release is Lonely Runs Both Ways, which has already been certified Gold by the RIAA, with their two-disc recording Live and their two-disc Live DVD being certified Platinum. To date, she has earned 17 Grammy Awards and multiple Country Music Association Awards, International Bluegrass Music Awards and countless others. Her album releases have been critical and commercial successes, with multiple RIAA platinum and gold certified records and more than a combined 7 million albums sold.

Steve Lukather rose to fame as guitarist, vocalist and a songwriter with the chart topping, Grammy Award winning band Toto. He branched out with a solo career, recording four albums, and collaborated with Larry Carlton for the Grammy Award winning live album "No Substitutions."

Along with Kiss' Ace Frehley, Aerosmith's Joe Perry was responsible for inspiring thousands of teenagers to pick up guitars and start rocking n' rolling in the 1970's and beyond. Born September 10, 1950 in Lawrence, MA, Perry got his first taste of rock n' roll at the ripe old age of six, when neighbors turned him on to such early rock nuggets as "Rock Around the Clock" and "Tutti Frutti." Infatuated by the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the ‘60s, Perry picked up the guitar during his teenaged years and started jamming along with such British blues rockers as The Yardbirds (Having A Rave Up with the Yardbirds) and John Mayall (Bluesbreakers), which would serve as the basis for his tough n' rough blues licks that would later put Aerosmith over the top.

Along with teaching some of the top rock guitar players of the '80s and '90s, Joe Satriani is one of the most technically accomplished and widely respected guitarists to emerge in recent times. His 1987 album Surfing With the Alien garnered him national acclaim as the burnin'est superguitar axeman of his generation. Since then Satriani has continued to release albums of intricately constructed virtuoso guitar rock, almost all of it instrumental.

By the time he was 15, Neal Schon was traveling the world with Santana. In 1973, he left the band to join Gregg Rolie in what would become the mega-group Journey and is now the only original member of the band that has been on every album. In addition to Journey, which celebrates a new album, "Generations," and hits the road on June 26 for the 30th Anniversary tour, Schon has maintained a solo career that produced the Grammy nominated album "Voice" and his latest solo offering, "i on U," as well as "WorldPlay" with his band Soul SirkUs.

Shayna Steele was an original cast member of the Broadway musical RENT and has also performed in the Broadway musicals JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and HAIRSPRAY. She appeared on Moby’s recent album HOTEL, and will be appearing in a Steve Buscemi-directed episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos” this spring.

Keyboardist Edgar Winter has been thrilling audiences and garnering critical acclaim throughout his 35-five year career with such hits as "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride" with The Edgar Winter Group. He has more than 20 albums and numerous collaborations to his credit in addition to film, television projects and live performances where he continues to display his cutting edge style.

Larry Carlton once said, "There are a lot of great bass players in this world, but there is one, and only one Abraham Laboriel." Originally a classically trained guitarist, Abraham infused his flamenco style on the bass guitar when he made the transition to four strings at the Berklee School of Music. Since the day that the late Henry Mancini encouraged him to come to Los Angeles, Abe has played on over 3000(!) recordings and soundtracks, prompting Guitar Player to succinctly peg him as "...the most widely used session bassist of our time." You have undoubtedly heard the diversity of his contributions to recordings by music's creme de la creme including: Stevie Wonder, Robbie Robertson, Joe Zawinul, George Benson, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Dave & Don Gruisin, Elton John, Joe Sample, Dori Caymmi, Quincy Jones, Justo Almario and Michael Jackson to name a few. He was also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed fusion groups Friendship and Koinonia.

Kenny Aronoff is one of the most in-demand and influential drummers in rock music. He has worked with many of the world's top artists including The Rolling Stones, The Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp, Alanis Morissette, Bob Seger, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Michelle Branch, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf, Avril Lavigne and many others. With a style of playing that combines power and finesse, Kenny was named the #1 Pop/Rock Drummer and the #1 Studio Drummer for five consecutive years by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine, and in addition has played on over 30 Grammy-nominated recordings.

Vinnie Colaiuta is regarded as one of the most influential drummers of all time; in fact, Modern Drummer has been quoted as saying that he is "the greatest drummer of our time." Vinnie emerged in the late 1970's, and took the world by storm. He spent his formative years backing up some of the most demanding bandleaders: Frank Zappa and Gino Vannelli. Vinnie had a knack for difficult time signatures, and rhythmic invention, making him a perfect match for such groups. His unique polyrhythmic style was garnished while attending Berklee and studying under Gary Chaffee. Being a preferred session player had its perks as well, earning him respect from such diverse artists as Sting, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell, Al Kooper, Don Henley, and a plethora of others. During the ‘80s, Vinnie was one of the most sought after session players, recording literally hundreds of albums with the likes of Madonna, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Ray Charles and Billy Joel to name a few.

Also joining Les Paul for the celebration are long-time Les Paul Trio band members John Colliani, piano; Lou Pallo, guitar; and Nicky Parrott, bass.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit A Place Called Home. A Place Called Home has been accomplishing its mission for the past 15 years, providing at-risk youth with a secure, positive family environment where they can regain hope and belief, earn trust and self respect and learn skills to lead a productive lifestyle through learning. They help inner-city youth (8-20 years old) to find their dreams and lead a more self-reliant life through educational enrichment through mentoring, literacy, dance and music programs and scholarships.


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