Guitar Heroes

It may be one of Milwaukee’s best-kept musical secrets: In addition to its superlative educational music programs and an enviable independent music scene, Milwaukee is a hotbed of young guitar talent. But it will be a secret no more with the inaugural Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival, which brings musicians from many genres together for a weekend summit. Guitarists ages 15-30 will play for some of the best pickers around, with eyes on $22,000 in prize money, while listeners will be treated to concerts from some of the best in the biz, including jazz great Julian Lage, bluegrass talent Chris…

It may be one of Milwaukee’s best-kept musical secrets: In addition to its superlative educational music programs and an enviable independent music scene, Milwaukee is a hotbed of young guitar talent. But it will be a secret no more with the inaugural Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival, which brings musicians from many genres together for a weekend summit. Guitarists ages 15-30 will play for some of the best pickers around, with eyes on $22,000 in prize money, while listeners will be treated to concerts from some of the best in the biz, including jazz great Julian Lage, bluegrass talent Chris Eldridge, and the legendary Daryl Stuermer of Genesis. 

Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival (Aug. 15-17). Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. 19805 W. Capitol Dr., 262-781-9520, wilson-center.com.

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Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.