Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door.
Carl Tosten has a passion for guitars that began when his father bought him his first guitar at age 11. From his early years in a small town in Eastern Washington, his playing centered around the electric guitar, performing with various groups and diverse styles ranging from country to rock to jazz. In the mid 1990’s, after years of eclectic listening and playing, he began to focus fully on the acoustic guitar, creating masterful acoustic fingerstyle compositions which combine alternate tunings, multiple capos, percussive body slaps and right-hand tapping.
Known for his expressive and energetic guitar style, Tosten has been described as an “acoustic one-man band.” His four self-produced solo recordings combine his unique and expressive guitar style with his strong and soulful voice. He writes songs layered with warmth, intelligence, oblique humor and acute observation of human nature. His dynamic vocals and rhythmic, percussive guitar style fill his performances with intense energy, stories and music — weaving a web of writing, singing and playing that captivates and inspires his audiences.
As an artist representative & traveling clinician for several major manufacturers — including Gibson, Dean Markley and Behringer — Tosten has had the opportunity to perform and conduct workshops and product demonstrations throughout the US and in Europe.
Tosten began his solo career in 1999 with the release of his first CD, The Kindness of a Stranger, which features 10 original acoustic guitar compositions, including 3 with vocal tracks. In 2001, his second CD, A Road Less Traveled, was released with 14 tracks of intricate acoustic fingerstyle guitar. Tomorrow’s Perfect Plan, Carl’s 3rd CD, was released in the spring 2004 featuring 12 tracks of original songs with guitar and vocals. His 4th original recording, American Dream, released in 2006 also features his strong lyrics and introspective views on society, living, and love. The title track, “American Dream,” won 2nd place in the 2006 Woody Guthrie International Songwriting Competition. Carl’s instrumental work is featured on Guitar Masters Vol. 1 from Bohemian Productions.
Appearing with Carl is Colt Valenti. Colt has a masters degree in music (summa cum laude with honors) from the University of Georgia in 2002, where he studied with master teacher John Sutherland. He then studied in Italy as a Fulbright fellow, studying composition with Nuccio d’Angelo and performance with Flavio Cucchi, two of Italy’s finest and most well known classical guitarists. He extended his studies in Italy by winning entrance to the prestigious Accademia Chigiana, where some of the world’ most famous guitarists have studied. In 2005, Colt won the Northwest Guitar Competition in Calgary, Canada.
Colt released his first solo album of original compositions in 2007,titled Straight Ahead. The album prompted Associated Press reporter Gene Johnson to write, “Colt Valenti is a Seattle-based composer and guitarist who has trained with some of the finest classical guitarists in the world. Utilizing unconventional tunings, unorthodox techniques and a broad musical background provided by a quarter-century of study, Colt pushes toward a fresh musical target, and the result is a fresh sound that will appeal to other musicians and general listeners alike.” Colt currently performs and teaches in Seattle, and is the founder and director of the Ballard Academy of Music and Dance.