By Jesse Bertel

Anthony Mazzella, recognized as one of the leading guitarists of the new generation, is set to captivate audiences at the upcoming “Legends of Guitar” concert. The performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., Prescott.

“Legends of Guitar” is an homage to iconic guitar players and their music. The solo show by Mazzella promises a spellbinding performance, featuring live renditions of legendary guitarists’ works.

“People love Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and, that’s what I’m serving up,” Mazzella said. “I learned how to play guitar by studying the guitar masters. I studied guitar theory and took all the lessons and stuff like that, but I always tell people I graduated from the university of my stereo.”

Mazzella has earned global acclaim for his extraordinary talent and versatile style. Originating his performance career in New York City, Mazzella swiftly garnered a devoted following across Manhattan’s live music scene. Since then, he has graced stages worldwide, both as a solo artist and as the concert guitarist for world music luminary Omar Faruk Tekbilek.

“My whole career, I’ve been an original artist, you know, I’ve kind of done it backwards from a lot of musicians,” Mazzella said. “A lot of musicians start off as cover musicians to make money and then they try to find their way as an original, but I did the opposite.”

After years of writing music and performing his original songs, Mazzella decided to change directions about 10 years ago. “Later in life, just kind of artistically satisfied, I saw all the hype that a lot of these tribute bands were getting, and gigs, honestly,” he said. “I was like, ‘Well, you know, I’m not going to be in a tribute band. I’m not going to do that.’ So, I was like, ‘You know what? But I could put together a tribute show paying homage to all the guitar gods,’ and that’s what I did.”

Mazzella’s unique approach to classic rock cover songs blends classical guitar and acoustic fingerstyle with sound processors to create a fuller sound.

“It’s not just me sitting on a stool playing classical guitar or acoustic fingerstyle; it’s really a concert presentation, concert quality sound and all that, a very big sound for one guitar,” Mazzella said. “I have a lot of processors, you know, I have a lot of great equipment, EQ’s, compressors and stuff that really boosts the sound.”

Plus, he brings a lot of guitars to the show to add variety to the performance.

“Usually, I’ll bring about 10 guitars to the show, and on each guitar I’ll play somebody else’s music,” Mazzella said. “Each guitar has its own sound, its own character. So that really kind of helps fill up the stage and keep it visually interesting for the audience as well. I have the line of my wooden soldiers behind me when I perform.”

For more information and to buy tickets, call 928-777-1370, or visit www.prescottelkstheatre.org.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Facebook @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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