John Doan had performed throughout the year, traveling around the world to introduce (and sometimes reintroduce) the art of the harp guitar to international audiences.
John Doan’s annual “Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” celebrated its 33rd year of touring around the west coast in 2018, revitalizing traditions of the holiday parlor with two dozen century old instruments, scores of archival photos, all to the delight of thousands of audience members. John reminded us of a time when people used to entertain themselves and each other before machines did that for us.
His Celtic Pilgrimage performances, often in the spring and fall, had celebrated the life and times of St. Patrick with his multi-media program, breath-taking musical sketches upon the twenty-string harp guitar and his captivating stories that recreate the compelling tradition of the Irish Bards. John took his audience on a Celtic Pilgrimage to “Thin Places” where the Irish believed the distance between Heaven and earth and the difference between the past, present and future were thin.
In his “Beyond Six-Strings” John Doan had redefined what it means to hear acoustic guitar music while giving a bow to many of his guitar heroes who themselves were music innovators. He reflects upon his time with John Fahey (“Father of the American fingerstyle guitar”), his touring with Mason Williams (“Classical Gas”), performances with the legendary Burl Ives, to the guitar wizardry of fellow Northwest guitarist Jimi Hendrix.
John’s program “Homage to Fernando Sor” transported his audiences back to the life and times of Fernando Sor (“The Father of the Classical Guitar”) reexamining his music with original compositions inspired by Sor’s own. John revealed what Sor’s music might really be saying through entering into a musical dialog allowing the audience to intimately experience the back story to a creative moment. John performed on an original guitar Sor may have commissioned the Panormo Family to make in London in 1819 as well as performing the ten works that Sor composed for the three-necked harpolyre on an original instrument from 1829. This concert went beyond time travel and reached into the heart and soul of the human experience.