An Evening with Leo Kottke


8:00 PM to 10:00 PM


The Ballroom at Thirty One West

31 W. Church Street, Newark, OH 43055

(740) 258-6002

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Acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, but left town after a year and a half. Raised in 12 different states, he absorbed a variety of musical influences as a child, flirting with both violin and trombone, before abandoning Stravinsky for the guitar at age 11. After sending tapes to guitarist John Fahey, Kottke was signed to Fahey's Takoma label, releasing what has come to be called the Armadillo record. Fahey and his manager Denny Bruce soon secured a production deal for Kottke with Capitol Records. Kottke's 1971 major-label debut, Mudlark, positioned him somewhat uneasily in the singer/songwriter vein, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer. Still, despite arguments with label heads as well as with Bruce, Kottke flourished during his tenure on Capitol, as records like 1972's Greenhouse and 1973's live My Feet Are Smiling and Ice Water found him branching out with guest musicians and honing his guitar technique. With 1975's Chewing Pine, Kottke reached the U.S. Top 30 for the second time; he also gained an international following thanks to his continuing tours in Europe and Australia. His collaboration with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Clone, caught audiences' attention in 2002. Kottke and Gordon followed with a recording in the Bahamas called Sixty Six Steps, produced by Leo's old friend and Prince producer David Z. Kottke has been awarded two Grammy nominations; a Doctorate in Music Performance by the Peck School of Music at the U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and a Certificate of Significant Achievement in Not Playing the Trombone from the U of Texas at Brownsville with Texas Southmost College.