Bringing guitar magic to St. John's

Tara Bradbury
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British virtuoso to perform, host masterclass

Guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm will play the LSPU Hall Thursday night.
— Submitted photo

When comedian Stephen Fry posted a one-word tweet to his four million followers back in February, he propelled a British guitarist from relative obscurity to rock star.

“Wow,” was all Fry wrote, and included a You Tube link to guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm playing his single, “Passionflower.”

Today, “Passionflower” has more than two million hits and counting, and Gomm is in demand around the world.

Thursday night, he’ll perform at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s.

Gomm, 35, is a singer/songwriter who uses his acoustic guitar to create melodies, bass and drum sounds all at the same time.

In “Passionflower,” he uses the instrument to play the melody and as a snare drum, bass drum and bongo, as well as retuning it while playing for an almost electric sound.

“Denis Parker (MusicNL executive director and blues guitarist) is always trolling guitar websites and he came across this video for ‘Passionflower,’” explained John Clarke, who’s presenting Gomm’s show in St. John’s.

“I checked out the video and I was really struck by his musicality and stunning technique. There are a lot of virtuosos out there and extremely talented musicians, but there’s just something about Jon that I find really appealing, and I think a lot of other people do, too.”

Gomm was booked for the Canadian Guitar Festival in Ontario and shows in Quebec earlier this month, so making the trip to this province was convenient.

In addition to performing, Gomm will host an acoustic guitar master class for intermediate to advanced guitarists at the LSPU Hall Saturday at 1p.m. — the only such workshop he’ll conduct on his visit to Canada.

“It’s basically a two-hour masterclass where he’ll demonstrate aspects of his style and hopefully we’ll all steal a few top-shelf tricks,” Clarke said.

“I think his performance will be something you will not see anywhere else or on any other day. It’s going to be an extremely high-level musical performance that’s going to be so far out of the ordinary that anyone would be amazed,” he said.

“The amount of music that man puts forth is incredible.”

For tickets for both events, call the LSPU Hall at 753-4531 or book online at

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Geographic location: Ontario, Quebec, Canada

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