Stephen Bennett is an extraordinary musician, an acknowledged master of the harp guitar, a challenging teacher, a gifted composer, and a performer of astounding sensitivity. The Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association calls him “the Jedi Master of Fingerstyle Guitar,” which is why he is invited back year after year. This makes his 17th appearance at the Festival. Stephen has traveled the world and performed with the best. He has released 20 recordings of music, along with DVDs, books and other instructional materials – and he’s always working on something new!
Stephen’s work is the product of both mind and heart, intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying. It is deeply personal, even as it is universal. When listeners see how Stephen embraces his harp guitar, they have a feeling they have stepped into the world of the musician, and for a short moment in time, there are only the two of them there. Says one reviewer, “With his ear near the body of the harp guitar, Mr. Bennett gave the impression of a father cradling a newborn baby . . . His performance was imbued with heart and grace.”
Stephen also is the founder of the Harp Guitar Gathering, an event that celebrates its twelfth annual meeting in November. The Gathering seeks to celebrate all things harp guitar as it brings players, luthiers, scholars and fans together for a weekend of performances, workshops and camaraderie.