International Guitar Night (IGNSA) is a series of performances held every summer
and winter to bring to our South African doorstep the world’s greatest and most accomplished
acoustic guitar players in the world today.
Acoustic because Tony Cox, the show’s creator has a great passion for the acoustic
guitar and knows that a solo acoustic guitarist with a phenomenal technique, a strong
delivery and great stage presence, can bring any audience roaring to its feet howling
for more, just as effectively as any high-priced superstar in a stadium with an entourage
Says Cox, ‘This kind of intense and brilliant guitar playing is in no way brought
to the people of South Africa through its own media, yet the art represents the cutting
edge of what is possible on a mere wooden box with six strings. There is a great
love here for this instrument that is far broader than what radio and TV are willing
to give out and that love sweeps right across the age spectrum. It is this gap that
IGN hopes to fill’.
The body of an electric guitar is made from a single, solid piece of wood and needs
to be plugged into an amplifier in order to hear it properly, whereas an acoustic
guitar has an acoustic box and can generate its own sound without amplification.
Make no mistake though, the current crop of acoustic players all use pickups on their
guitars and are all amplified, creating massive soundscapes with their playing.
IGN’s main focus is on those players who use their right-hand fingers to individually
pluck the strings creating bass, rhythm, melody and percussive lines all at the same
time, like a mini-orchestra coaxed out by the fingers of the right hand (or in some
cases, the left hand). It makes for mesmerising and exhilarating music.