10th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat June 22nd – 25th 2017, 9th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat Great Success

John Doan’s Tenth Annual Harp Guitar Retreat is set for June 22nd to June 25th 2017.  I hope you will be able to make it. (see below for a daily itinerary, Saturday concert, testimonials, photos, fees, and registration information).

Harp Guitar Retreat Class with John Doan

The Ninth Annual Harp Guitar Retreat was a huge success with classes, private lessons, Harp Guitar Gallery, Music Nights, Concerts, and plenty of time hanging out talking about life and, what else, harp guitars!  We begin each day with a three hour group class where we are hands on the instrument exploring harp guitar playing techniques, music ideas, and even ensemble playing.

2. Harp Guitar Retreat Harp Guitars

We always have a great line up of harp guitars of all sizes and makes, all for you to test drive at your leisure.

3. Gerry Camp shows John Doan Emerald Harp Guitar

Gerry Camp brought his prototype 20 string Carbon Fiber Emerald harp guitar made in Ireland.  It is virtually indestructible and we were all impressed what a good sounding instrument it was, especially plugged in or with the new Tonewood Amp attached to its back. Continue reading

“Harp Guitar In The Woods” Saturday, June 25th 6:30pm Potluck, 8pm Concert

Version 2

I will be performing an outdoor harp guitar concert in the woods at my home on top of Prospect Ridge Saturday, June 25th.  You are invited to a potluck dinner at 6:30pm where we can visit followed by an intimate concert at 8pm.  Plan to bring an entree or a dessert item.

For tickets, you may order them via PayPal to ensure a spot at one of the most exciting events of the year – trust me.

This year the music will be about the evening sky.  A special piece will be premiered at sunset titled “Harp Guitar Sunset” where I will be accompanied by several other harp guitarists attending the 9th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat.  I hope you can be a part of this special occasion.  This is not just a concert, but an experience!

17. Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 Sunset

Seating is limited (last year’s event nearly sold out!).  Admission is $30.00 per person.

To purchase tickets, use our handy PayPal ticket service to ensure a seat. Once you have secured your admission you will be sent the address and directions to the event. RSVP if you will be coming to the potluck. I hope to see you there!

John Doan

Christmas Unplugged 2015 Concert Tour

Willamette University presents Emmy-Nominated musician and storyteller John Doan with his acclaimed “Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” program. Imagine stepping into a time machine with Dr. Who to experience the world when people actually entertained themselves and each other. That is what it may feel like entering the performance site that has been transformed into a period parlor. The immersion experience is heightened by group sing-alongs and whistle-alongs, archival photographs, and by hearing the very sounds of a century ago on period instruments common then (harp guitar, classical banjo, various zithers) but rarely if ever heard today. Emmy nominated for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” John’s physical comedy interspersed with fine musicianship makes for a fun filled evening for all ages.

House Concert in John Doan’s Living Room July 12, 2014

John Doan - living room concert - the chair awaits in his home.

Join John Doan and the participants of the Annual Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 for an intimate evening concert in John’s own living room. Although we have had people come from far off this is especially for those of you within driving distance of Salem, Oregon. In addition to the intimate house concert (8pm) in my own living room July 12th there will be a potluck (6:30pm) and you are invited! Enjoy visiting with John Doan and other guests while taking in the amazing vistas from his mountain top home.

For tickets, use the paypal link below. Please do not use the comment form to request tickets.




Once you have secured your admission I will send you a confirmation with my address and directions to the event. RSVP if you will be coming to the potluck.

John Doan plays in a home concert with the harpolyre guitar.

John Will play a variety of instruments that he ordinarily could not bring on tour. Past living room concerts have drawn people from as far away as California, Washington and Pennsylvania!

Potluck outdoors at John Doan home summer concert.

John Doan Living Room Concert in Your Own Living Room

If you have any concert venue suggestions, contacts, or would like to have me in your own living room for a house concert, please Contact me.

John Doan living room concert in his home.

John Doan Performs in China: First Pictures

John Doan is on tour in China after being so graciously welcomed at the airport. These are the first peeks of his first concert in Xian.

The debut concert was held at the Qujiang Theatre in the heart of Xi’an.  It is a beautiful and intimate facility that soon filled with local people and those who attended at the invitation of my wonderful host Hongquan Wang and the Shaanxi Musicians Association.

I had written out my program and text that I would normally say in English so that it could be read in Chinese (as my Mandarin is currently limited to about 3 words).  Yilin Wang excellently interpreted my text before each song (at least it sounded very authoritative).  I am so use to speaking myself to audiences so as to provide them a bridge to my music so by not being able to speak I initially felt mute and somewhat awkward.

Everything changed once I hit the first note.  I instantly realized that I actually was speaking to the audience directly by playing my music on the harp guitar.  Even the notes sounded a bit Chinese as there was no more distance between us.  They burst to applause after each piece.  Some recording engineers in a sound room were talking to each other and didn’t know that they had a microphone on so my music drifted over some speech in the hall.  Some people in the audience began to shout out to have them be quiet.  I said “Shay Shay (Thank you”).  Once they stopped talking I gave the audience a thumbs up and said “how” (good).  “Hung how” (very good) and the audience erupted in applauds.

The host wanted to have a question and answer session just before starting the second half and many people called out.  One man shouted, “Where do we get your recordings?”  Another asked in Mandarin, “How is the harp guitar different than the guitar?” and so on.

After the concert the audience rushed the stage and wanted to have photos with me.  Everyone waited for me to greet an important man in the arts community.  Then it was another half hour of little children, teens, middle aged to elderly people coming up and posing with me the “Rock Star!”

I made many fans that evening but beyond all that I felt an implied “East meets West” turned into an evening among friends.

On Tour: China

From Chinese newspaper, reporters interview John Doan on arrival in China for harp guitar concert and lecture tour.John Doan is on tour currently in China. The first news interviews are out.

美国音乐大师空降西安 将演奏20弦“神器”吉他 – 新闻频道 – 西部网(陕西新闻网)WWW.CNWEST.COM and 美国古典吉他大师约翰.多恩莅临西安 – 娱乐新闻 – 三秦网-权威主流媒体 陕西首选门户 – feature John and his harp guitar in interviews done as they arrived at the airport in China.

Here are translated and edited excerpts:

You may be familiar to the six string guitar, but have you seen a 20 string guitar? Called an “artifact” [historical instrument], the 20-string guitar is known as a harp guitar. It has almost the same range as a piano, but with only one person playing. Shaanxi Province musicians and fans are invited to a special recital by John Doan, harp guitar pioneer, international concert artist, and composer.

Reporters met up with John at the airport. He was very approachable, always smiling, saying thank you, a real gentleman who nominated for the US television industry’s highest award, an Emmy. The Washington Post says, “his playing is an exquisite union of the ancient and the contemporary, the austere and the sensual.”

John told reporters he came to China 24 years ago as a cultural ambassador and created a lot of music but felt his work was not complete. This time he hopes to find new inspiration, pieces of music turned into real movements. he has come to the ancient city to list to some wonderful music, too…he heard “Xi’an is the world’s most friendly people.”

The Musicians Association of Shaanxi Province will feature John Doan in concert on December 31, 2013 and January 5, 2014, in Xi’an Qujiang Concert Hall (VIP) in a special solo recital. On January 7 he will present academic lectures in Shaanxi Music and Arts School, and participating in organized exchanges in Xi’an University of Arts and Matilda House January 8, 2014. On January 10, 2014, John Doan and the founder of Shaanxi Ge “Thirteen Wolf” will be in Yisu theater performances side by side.

Via Google Translate

The 2013 Christmas Unplugged Tour: Updated

John Doan on stage with the Christmas show.

The 2013 Christmas Tour is on with concerts all over the Pacific Northwest and afar.

For specifics, check the calendar for tour dates and ticket information.

John will be performing an updated version of his popular, Emmy-nominated live show, “Christmas Unplugged: Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” in Oregon state in Lake Oswego, Salem, Silverton, Tualatin, Portland, and Lincoln City throughout December. It’s fun for children of all ages.

People are concerned about the isolation in this digital era of Individual entertainment choices (according to a recent American Academy of Pediatrics study children ages 8 to 18 average more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media). John worked over the past year to revamp the show a bit to reach out to a wider audience, still bringing the fun and laughter along as he takes you on a historical journey back to a time when we entertained ourselves with stories and music, through to today, a time when we are retreating behind technology, reminding us that we need to make this season and every season a time for stories, laughter, and music.
Continue reading

John Doan Shares Music and Stories at Lend an Ear, Come and Hear 2013

Join John Doan and writers from the Pacific Northwest at the annual “Lend an Ear, Come and Hear” poetry and prose reading event. John will be playing harp guitar and sharing stories with the family-friendly audience as we laze in the sun at the Plum Hill Winery.

Plum Hill Winery - rows of grapes in the field of this country winery in Gaston, Oregon.Produced by Writers in the Grove, a local writer’s group offering writing workshops and events monthly in the Forest Grove, Oregon, area. “Lend an Ear, Come and Hear” is an annual event featuring local authors, writers, and poets sharing their work with a public audience.

The event is free and open to all ages. It begins Saturday, July 13, 2013, at 1:30PM and runs until approximate 3:00PM, or whenever John Doan stops sharing his music and stories with the audience picnicking at the beautiful Plum Hill Winery in Gaston, Oregon.

Winners of the Lend an Ear writer’s competition will share their poetry and prose among the lovely grounds of the winery. Snacks and wine tasting will be available for a small fee.

For more information on the Writers in the Grove special event “Lend an Ear,” check out their site.

For directions to the winery, check out their site, Plum Hill Winery.

Please join John and the Writers in the Grove for a special summer event.

John Doan Concert at the Chapel Arts Center, Bath, England

Press Release

John Doan at Celtic Cottage.(Bath, UK). — Emmy nominee and master harp guitarist John Doan with family roots to Bath and Burton, will perform at the Chapel Arts Centre, St James’s Memorial Hall as part of his European Tour 2013. Chapel Arts Centre is located at Lower Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1QR. The show is scheduled for 8pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Tickets are advance: £8.00, Door: £10.00. For more information, call the Chapel Arts Centre at 01225 461700.

A “Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan” features music from John’s award winning recording “Eire – Isle of the Saints” (Winner of “Best Celtic Album of the Year”) and Wayfarer (also nominated for the same title).

Concert Description

john doan playing harp guitar in England.Master harp guitarist and storyteller John Doan is a Bard for the 21st Century bringing back soulful and provocative musical sketches from a pilgrimage to the most sacred sites of the British Isles. “Thin Places,” as they were once called, were believed to be where the space between heaven and earth, and past and future, were thinly divided. John shares what he found there inspired by breathtaking landscapes, historic ruins, and dynamic stories underlying the faith and vision of a people who shaped the world we have come to call our own. He now leads his audiences back down ancient paths to locations made famous by St. Patrick and the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland” along winding roads to secluded sanctuaries and by boat to remote island retreats. Adventurous, thoughtful, and renewing, this is a journey memorable for its achingly beautiful moments and encouraging spirit. Continue reading

Victorian Christmas Tour 2012

John Doan Victorian Christmas Concert with harp guitar in front of fire place.This year celebrates the 26th annual tour of John Doan’s Victorian Christmas Concert. This year’s tour includes Oregon, California, and Arizona. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours now.

The festive concert is a live version of Doan’s Emmy-nominated Public Broadcasting television special, which re-enacts what it might have been like to celebrate Christmas a century ago. “The show explores how Victorians invented many Christmas traditions we remember and quite a few we have forgotten,” said the Willamette music professor. “The 20-string harp guitar, classical banjo and ukelin are just a few of the original instruments that will be featured. The aim is to recapture the feeling of a time before radio and TV when our ancestors provided most of their own musical entertainment at home, especially during the holidays.”

Doan plays more than a dozen turn-of-the-century instruments once popular in American parlors, on vaudeville stages and in mandolin orchestras. He explains their history in a entertaining and often zany fashion, shows slides of old catalogues and archival photographs, and leads the audience in singing (or whistling) many of our most beloved carols. John will include several arrangements from his CD, “Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past.”
Continue reading