Italy Part II Pisa: A City of Music, Dining, Harp Guitars, and A Once Leaning Tower!

I’ve been taking you on a journal tour of European Tour 2013. So far we’ve revisited our arrival and adventures in Paris, played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans, and exploring more of the french countryside with castles, toys, and of course more harp guitars. After having our fun in France entertaining all with story and song, we moved on to Florence, Italy. The next part of this journal tour of Europe revisits Pisa, Italy, for more concerts, great food, and harp guitars – oh, and a once leaning tower.

After performing in Florence I took a train to Pisa. It is the local custom to not look at each other on the train.

2.Andrea Valeri A

International guitarist and rising star Andrea Valeri invited me to come and record with him on his latest CD project (he is very proud of the monument that was erected as a tribute to his first initial).
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Italy Part 1: Florence: The City of Passion for Life and Harp Guitars

I’ve been taking you on a journal tour of European Tour 2013. So far we’ve revisited our arrival and adventures in Paris, played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans, and exploring more of the french countryside with castles, toys, and of course more harp guitars. After having our fun in France entertaining all with story and song, we moved on to impress and be impressed with Italy.

1.John Doan Train Italy

Once in Venice we took a Ferrari looking high speed train to Florence. The city is simply eye popping and a photographer’s paradise.


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John Doan Tour in France Part III: An Ancient Castle, A Toy Museum, and Harp Guitars

So far in this journal of my European Tour 2013, we’ve revisited our adventures in Paris and played with fast cars and harp guitars in Le Mans. Now we’re visiting an ancient castle, toy museum, and more playing with harp guitars.

36.The Château de Saint-Ulrich Ribeauvillé

The next leg of the tour brought me to the northeast of France into the Alsace region on the border or Germany and Switzerland. This is a lush green expanse of mountains and rivers littered with scores of small rustic villages. It is here where Yaouen lives with his family in the shadow of ancient castles and winding rivers.

Village of Ribeauvillé

He invited me to the small village of Ribeauvillé where some of the people still dress as they did one thousand years ago.
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John Doan Tour in France Part Two: Paris – Le Mans – Fast Cars and Harp Guitars

After Paris we drove to Le Mans, a city known for car racing, ancient buildings and doors, obscure building regulations, and now for hosting the first International Festival for the Harp Guitar.

I was honored to be among such great international players.


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John Doan Tour in France Part One: Paris – From Bidet Guitar to Harp Guitar

I recently went with my wife Deirdra on a six-week concert tour in Europe.  We began with a transcontinental fight to Paris numbing the boredom with nine hours of non-stop movies.

1.John Doan Air travel to Paris

2.Deirdra Doan PhotosDeirdra can’t wait to try out her new camera. I believe she spent more time with her camera than with me on the trip!

As Gorilla travellers we like to travel in style, or at least in comfort, so we bring with us on the plane an inflatable back rest called “First Class Sleeper.”  It makes your economy seat feel like first class (as long as you don’t mind looking like you are going river rafting upon arrival).

Once in Paris we headed to the Eiffel Tower (Deirdra appears to be balancing it on her nose).

3.Paris Statue Pigeon 4.John Doan with Deirdra Debussy
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European Tour 2013

John Doan Harp Guitar Moscow.Turgenev Hall.John Doan will be taking Europe by storm again this year, delighting audiences with his magical harp guitar and delightful stories.

The tour this year includes a Harp Guitar Workshop on May 26, 2013, in Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Guitar and Music Festival. John will be offering additional workshops, seminars, and special performances along with his concert tour.

The tour includes Scotland, Britain, and the Netherlands this year in addition to other European countries.
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Harp Guitar Workshop, May 26, 2013, Scotland

John Doan will be presenting a one hour seminar on the Harp Guitar, exploring the various styles and techniques associated with this historical string instrument at the Edinburgh Guitar and Music Festival. This is a premiere international event in Scotland bringing together a diverse group of musicians, artists, and music professionals to educate and entertain.

The seminar will be Sunday, May 26, 2013, and is a rare opportunity to see and study with the master of the harp guitar and other stringed instruments.

John Doan Harp Guitar Moscow Lecture.

For more information, see the announcement of John Doan seminar at the Edinburgh Guitar And Music Festival and book your tickets immediately as this seminar is expected to fill fast.

More information on John’s upcoming European tour coming soon.

For more information on educational offerings, see John Doan’s workshops and classes and considering bringing one or more to your special event, festival, or group.

To Russia with Love – Part 1 – First Impressions

I suppose if one were living life fully, each moment in each day would seem like an adventure. Travel takes me away from all that is ordinary which is no doubt extraordinary except for that I have gotten use to everything and everyone that is usually around me. Last December a fan of mine in some ways awoke me from my waking sleep when he wrote me from Moscow and inquired if I had plans of performing there in the future. My custom is to write back and explore if there are any possibilities. I then received an extraordinary response from Жилин Андрей, or should I say, Andrew Jilan who claimed that when he was fifteen he had three favorite musicians/groups that he listened to. I never dreamed that I would ever be in league with Jimi Page and Iron Maiden but there I was raised high in the pantheon of cultural icons. We skyped each other and set a week mid May for my debut concerts in Russia and perhaps for the first harp guitar concerts heard there as well.

John Down in Moscow in a vehicle.After having performed in Ukraine and Germany my wife Deirdra and I arrived on my Birthday in Moscow. Andrew had prearranged a cab – basically someone who has highjacked the family car and has found a few hours of employment (the cabbies at the airport charge several times more).

Valdimer Putin - photographAndrew had never received a rock star before. I didn’t know if he was being kind and shaved part of his head to emulate me or that he enjoyed looking like Vladimir Lenin but his gentle demeanor put us at ease as we rushed through the strange landscape of endless apartment structures and construction detours.
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John Doan Visits L’viv, Ukraine, New Harp Guitar Capital of the World?

Early in May I had an adventure visiting L’viv, Ukraine to give harp guitar concerts.

It was like entering into a time warp as the city had a holiday celebrating its long history with people walking through the streets in medieval costumes.  There were even horse drawn carriages.
Ancient church walls were adorned with spectacular gold icons and detailed wall paintings.
There were shops with handmade goods like this candy shop brimming over with tempting delights.

The central park benches were either filled with lovers locked in Ukrainian embrace or with old men playing board games.

 

Deirdra and I were waiting our turn for a park bench

I sat down and had a long talk with one of the locals and later went atop a building for a view of the city skyline.

 

There were children dancing to folk music on a large stage in the town square.

This is where I introduced the 20-string harp guitar to mobs of cheering Ukrainians who were introduced to the instrument as “The Bandura of the 21st Century” (read on about the Bandura).

 

The real exciting part to my adventure in Lviv was a visit to the Trembita Musical Instrument Factory. They have years of experience building Ukrainian instruments like the Bandura. It is not unlike the version of harp guitar I have championed my entire career (complete with super treble strings).

It was amazing to see the walls lined with instruments.

They have remained a Ukrainian favorite for centuries as seen in one of the local sculptures. An image of one is even found on their money.

 

Myron Kuzemsky, the president of the factory, showed me one of the Banduras near completion.

I meet Jay Buckey who is working with Trembita to make harp guitars. The one I tried out was made quite well and had a very nice tone. Jay showed me one of the tops for an upcoming Dyer Model harp guitar.

 

Jay Buckey has formally started his new company “Your Harp Guitar” after a series of test instruments were made.  He has overseen a number of modifications and has even included in his future production harp mandolins and the new 21-string “John Doan Model” – a harp guitar based on the plans of his Elliott-Sullivan harp guitar (with an added bass string).  He is consulting with its noted designer – Jeffery Elliott aiming at the highest quality in an affordable instrument.

Before leaving L’viv Jay and I gave the first harp guitar concert in Ukrainian history with a little help from his friends (Alla who has the voice of an Angel, and Peter who moved the audience to tears!). The audience was so responsive with applauds that continued on and on prolonging the concert.  They loved it and we loved playing for them.

One fan came 3 hours by train to come to the event.  He is anxious to make a “Your Harp Guitar” one of his own and with the factory gearing up to produce 40 harp guitars a month this dream can come true.

Do the math.  At that rate of production most harp guitars made on the planet will come from L’viv, Ukraine perhaps making it by sheer numbers the harp guitar capital of the world someday!

 

 

European Tour Concert Addition: John Doan in Tennisheim Nassenfels June 10, 2012

John Doan’s European tour is so popular, they’ve added another show to the schedule. John will be performing at Tennisheim Nassenfels at 1900 (7PM) on June 10, 2012, in Nassenfels, Germany. Details on the concert are available in German. The public is welcome and tickets are by donation. Continue reading