“A Conversation with Robben Ford” will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Blair School of Music’s Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall, with Jen Gunderman, assistant professor of musicology, as interviewer and moderator.
“The list of Robben Ford’s musical collaborators, which includes giants from the worlds of jazz, rock, blues and pop music, reflects not only his versatility and astonishing gift as a guitar player, but also his own artistic approach to songwriting and performing, which blurs the lines between all of these genres,” says Gunderman, who teaches History of Rock Music, American Popular Music, and Women and Rock and is a regular keyboard player and singer in Sheryl Crow’s touring band. “I’m thrilled to have a chance to speak with a true guitar hero about his life and work, and I think the evening will be interesting not just to guitarists but to anyone interested in hearing about a lifelong dedication to music of all styles.”
Into The Sun, Ford’s latest album and recorded in Music City, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Blues Chart. While Ford has an extensive discography, which includes more than 35 albums under his own name and with various bands, Guitarist Magazine describes Into The Sun as “one of the best things he’s ever done.”
In addition to being a world-class musician, songwriter and producer, Ford is a highly sought-after educator, with a series of acclaimed and groundbreaking interactive videos. He leads an annual guitar camp called the Robben Ford Traveling Dojo Guitar Camp, which features master classes, one-on-one sessions and live performances. This year’s camp will take place Aug. 29-Sept. 2 at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, N.Y.
Over the course of his remarkable career, Ford has also played with an impressive list of artists including Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb’ Mo’, Mavis Staples, Brad Paisley and many others.
The Conversations Series first launched in 1995, when Jim Foglesong, a top music industry executive and record producer who taught music business at Blair, and John Johns, associate professor of guitar, interviewed guitar legend Chet Atkins. Other artists featured in the series have included singer Sheryl Crow, singer and guitar innovator Peter Frampton, fiddler Mark O’Connor, pianist Awadagin Pratt, singer Amy Grant, violinist Joshua Bell, mandolinist and country singer Marty Stuart, songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, guitarist and Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, singer Steve Earle, songwriter, composer and musician Randy Newman, singer-songwriter John Hiatt, singer Eddy Arnold, singer Wynonna Judd, and singer and pianist Ben Folds.
Ford’s appearance comes as part of a month of events in Nashville that includes a three-week residence at The High Watt beginning Jan. 20, a sold-out guitar clinic at World Music Nashville on Jan. 30, and an appearance on Music City Roots on Feb. 10.
Admission to “A Conversation with Robben Ford” is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Ample free parking is available in West Garage on Children’s Way, directly across the street from the school.