John Doan on Aran Isle with his Harp GuitarJohn Doan is a pioneer of a new way of playing the guitar as a master of the twenty-string harp guitar. He is also an Emmy-nominated performer, composer, public speaker, historian, instrument collector, and university professor.

He has performed with a diverse range of artists including pop star Donovan, folk legend Burl Ives, Muriel Anderson, jazz ace Larry Carlton, Mason Williams (of “Classical Gas” fame), as a member of the The New Christy Minstrels® with Randy Sparks, among others and his virtuoso playing and arranging has attracted praise from no less a guitar luminary than Chet Atkins.

john doan and murial anderson harp guitars in gardenPerformances by John Doan are hailed as a magical and musical storytelling adventure filled with songs that sweep you away with laughter, tears, and dreams. He has performed internationally and throughout North America in concerts and at festivals including Primal Twang, Faerieworlds International Faerie Festival, Northwest Folklife, The Nordic Guitar Festival in Sweden, Lewes Guitar Festival and Brighten Festival in England, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, The Atkins-Dadi Guitar Players Association and the Six Bars Jail Festival in Italy, and Kirchenfest in Dresden, Germany.

John Doan is an author of various articles and lecturer on music, the music business, entrepreneurship, classical guitars, music history, and harp guitars. He is a frequent contributor to books on classical guitars, specifically the harp guitar and harpolyre. John contributed a chapter to “Between the Strings – the Secret Lives of Guitars” a veritable compendium of the world’s greatest guitarists with introduction by B.B. King. His upcoming article “The Muse in Music and Amusement” will be featured in “A Musical Life” published by Columbia University Press.

John has appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post and Billboard Magazine as well as staring in two much-loved television specials produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting: “A Christmas to Remember With John Doan” (seen on PBS) and his Emmy nominated “A Victorian Christmas With John Doan.” His recordings on Hearts of Space Records have been nominated for “Best Celtic Album of the Year” with Eire – Isle of the Saints winning that title. His music has also been featured on numerous prime-time television and movie productions including Walt Disney, among others.

He has produced videos “A Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan” and a 90 minute documentary that he wrote and starred in titled “In Search of the Harp Guitar.” John hosted an International Harp Guitar Festival at Willamette University where he was an Associate Professor of Music as well as conducted numerous Harp Guitar Retreats at his home in Salem, Oregon.

As a public speaker, John Doan’s inspirational presentations often include his music as he shares motivational lessons learned as an entrepreneur, music historian and researcher, and specialist in creative expression, development, and problem-solving. He’s spoken to businesses, business conferences, leadership conferences, and technology conferences on creativity, entrepreneurship, and the music industry today.

In 2014, he was honored with the International Brand Personality Award by The BrandLaureate:

It is whispered that blissful music found on Earth is in fact divine in origin, with the musician having paid the price to be inspired to siphon it Earthward for the benefit of all. John Doan represents such a talent; one who adorns his own creative pursuits with his instrument of choice being the seemingly ‘lost-in-time’ harp guitar.

John is truly honoured to be invited to share his musical perception and to reflect upon his experience in melody making and is grateful to have received the prestigious BrandLaureate International Award last August – a catalyst that motivates him to expedite his work whilst encouraging others to pursue their tuneful aspirations.

He and his wife Deirdra live in San Diego, California in a canyon that looks out to the mountains of Mexico on one side and the city center and ocean on the other.

You can also learn more about John Doan on Wikipedia.

About John Doan

Special Appearances

  • Performed and recorded with Burl Ives
  • Toured with Mason Williams for his “Classical Gas” Tour
  • Performed and recorded with The New Christy Minstrels
  • Opening act for Donavon
  • Opening act for Larry Carlton
  • Recorded with Ricki Lee Jones
  • Recorded and performed with Muriel Anderson


  • Emmy-Nomination for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” for “A Victorian Christmas with John Doan”
  • Best Celtic Album of the Year” – NAV Awards – “Eire – Isle of the Saints”
  • Nomination for “Best Celtic Album of the Year” – NAV Awards for “Wayfarer – Ancient Paths to Sacred Places”
  • “Visionary Award” for “Farewell” on “Celtic Twilight” on Hearts O’Space Records
  • “Salem’s Favorite and Best Musician Award” – Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon
  • 2014 International Brand Personality Award by The BrandLaureate


  • 2016 Into the Quiet (Tapestry Productions)
  • 2012 Homage to Sor (Tapestry Productions)
  • 2010 Harp Guitars Under the Stars (CDG Music/Tapestry Productions)
  • 2010 A Celtic Pilgrimage (Akoustic Music)
  • 2008 The Lost Music of Fernando Sor (Tapestry Productions)
  • 1999 Wayfarer: A Celtic Pilgrimage (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1997 Eire: Isle of the Saints (A Celtic Odyssey) (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1994 Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past (Tapestry Productions)
  • 1993 Remembrance: Melodies from a Forgotten Era (Tapestry Productions)
  • 1988 Departures (Narada Records)
  • 1986 John Doan – Harp Guitar (Tapestry Productions)
  • 1985 Tremblelin (Tapestry Productions)

Recording Samplers

  • 2012 Portland Guitar Society (PGS Special Project)
  • 2012 World Beat Festival (WBF Special Project)
  • 2011 Christmas Present (Harp Guitar Music)
  • 2009 Together Alone (Harp Guitar Music)
  • 2008 Harp Guitar Dreams (Harp Guitar Music)
  • 2006 Friends of Fahey Tribute (Burnside Records)
  • 2006 Christmas Past (Harp Guitar Music)
  • 2005 Merry Christmas Volume II The New Christy Minstrels (Minstrelz Music)
  • 2004 Beyond Six Strings (Harp Guitar Music)
  • 2003 American Roots Songbook
  • 2003 Americana: The Genuine Original
  • 2002 Americana Roots Songbook: Man of Constant Sorrow
  • 2002 Nature of Narada (Narada Records)
  • 2001 Slow Music for Fast Times
  • 2000 Communion with God
  • 2000 Spirit of America: Heartland
  • 1999 Celtic Twilight, Vol. 1 (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1999 Celtic Twilight, Vol. 2 (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1999 Celtic Twilight, Vol. 3 (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1999 Celtic Twilight, Vol. 5 (Hearts O’Space)
  • 1999 Moonlight Moments
  • 1999 Song of the Hills (Shanachie records)
  • 1999 Sweet Burning Light
  • 1999 World Festival Sacred Music: Europe
  • 1998 Best of New Age [Columbia River]
  • 1998 Moonlight Reflections [BMG Special Products]
  • 1998 Narada Guitar: 15 Years of Collected Works (Narada Records)
  • 1998 New Visions: The New Acoustics
  • 1998 Quiet Moods: Romantic Reflections
  • 1998 Thanksgiving: A Windham Hill Collection (Windham Hill Records
  • 1994 Beth – Purest Heart
  • 1990 Windham Hill Renaissance Collection (Windham Hill Records
  • 1990 Narada Christmas Collection (Narada Records
  • 1988 Narada Records Sampler 2 (Narada Records
  • 1987 Windham Hill Guitar Collection (Windham Hill Records

Movie and DVD Credits

  • Primal Twang – The Legacy of the Guitar
  • Tapestry Productions “A Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan”
  • Fisher-King Productions “In Search of the Harp Guitar”
  • HBO Movie Special “Baby”, music by Jeff Dana, John Doan harp guitar
  • PBS “Rufus Jones a Luminous Life” – a PBS DVD and television production
  • OPB “A Christmas to Remember with John Doan” seen on PBS
  • OPB “A Victorian Christmas with John Doan” seen on PBS
  • John Doan Live in Concert (CCTV Salem, Oregon)
  • Vestron Video “Inner Workout” starring Shirley McClaine

Live Television Performances (highlights)

  • OPB “A Christmas to Remember with John Doan” seen on PBS
  • OPB “A Victorian Christmas with John Doan” seen on PBS
  • Cable Network “John Doan Live” – at Deepwood Estate, Salem, Oregon
  • CBN Featured Interviews and performance, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • KOMO Ch. 4 Front Runners” Featured interview, Seattle, Washington
  • Tra Amici – Featured interview, National Broadcast, Italy

Music on National Television (highlights)

  • Walt Disney’s “Dreams on Ice – The Nancy Kerigan Special.”
  • HBO Movie Special “Baby”, music by Jeff Dana, John Doan harp guitar.
  • PBS “Rufus Jones a Luminous Life” – a PBS DVD and television production.
  • OPB “A Christmas to Remember with John Doan” seen on PBS.
  • OPB “A Victorian Christmas with John Doan” seen on PBS.
  • Discovery Channel
  • HBO
  • PBS
  • Celebrity Profile
  • E True Hollywood Story
  • Home Matters
  • Interact Atlanta
  • Mysteries and Scandals
  • Hometime
  • Vins Et Fromages (Canadian Television)
  • Harry’s Practice (Australian Television)

Interviews on National and International Radio (highlights)

  • NPR “All Things Considered – Evening Edition” Interview with Noah Adams
  • NPR “Echoes” Interview and performance with John Diliberto
  • NPR “History of the Lute” – Performance and original lute music
  • NPR “Hearts of Space” – Featured artist
  • NPR “Performance Today” Interview with Fred Childs
  • FM 97 Radio Kerry, Tralee, Ireland Interview with Moira Begley
  • BBC Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Radio France “Evening Show” – performance and interview
  • KSOR and KDOV in Ashland, Oregon
  • KRVS Public Radio, Lafayette, LA
  • KALW San Francisco, CA

Published Interviews in Print (highlights)

  • Akoustic Guitar, Germany
  • Six Bars Jail, Florence, Italy
  • Guitar Dream Magazine, Japan
  • Music Making Magazine, London, England
  • “Hybrid Guitars” Fingerstyle Guitar
  • “In Tune With The Past” Victoria Magazine (Hearst Corp.)
  • Acoustic Guitar Magazine, San Anselmo, CA
  • “Musical Instruments From Another Time” The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Christianity Today, Carol Stream, IL
  • Brigits Feast, Celtic Journal of Thought Culture, History and Folklore
  • West Side News, Salem, Oregon
  • Statesman-Journal, Salem, Oregon, feature article of Life Section
  • Sforzando Music Magazine, Portland, Oregon
  • “Windows In Time” American Lutherie (The Guild of American Luthiers)
  • Portland Guitar Society Newsletter, Portland, Oregon

Published Articles

  • “The Muse in Music and Amusement, Telling Music’s Story to a Modern World” in “A Musical Life” – Columbia University Press
  • “Lyre-guitar: Etoile Charmante, between the 18th and 19ths Centuries” Review – American Lutherie (The Guild of American Luthiers)
  • “The Expanded Harp Guitar – Adding Possibilities with Super-Treble Strings” – Harpguitars.net
  • “The Inevitable Harp Guitar- Recurring Cycles in Guitar Evolution” – Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
  • “Between the Strings – the Secret Lives of Guitars” with introduction by B.B. King
  • “The Renaissance of the Harp Guitar” – Frets Magazine
  • “Exploring Guitar Notation” – Soundboard Magazine (GFA)
  • “Teaching Guitar” – Portland Guitar Society Newsletter

Record Reviews in Print (highlights)

  • Washington Post
  • Billboard Magazine
  • Jazziz Magazine
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Pulse Magazine
  • The All Music Guide
  • The Globe-Times, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
  • Statesman-Journal, Salem, Oregon
  • Daily Star-Progress, La Habra, California

Performance Reviews (Highlights)

  • The Globe-Times, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
  • Daily Star-Progress, La Habra, CA

International Performances

  • China: Oregon’s First Cultural Ambassador to the Fujian Provence
  • Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo International University-Kawagoe, Misawa
  • Canada: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal
  • Germany: Berlin, Munich, Gefrees, Schwerte, Olpe, Dresden, Maineck, Essing, Ahorntal, Speyer, Witzenhausen, Ammerbuch, Engerwitzdorf, etc.
  • Austria: Vienna, Wels, Linz, Wildenhag Attergau
  • Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg
  • Ukraine: L’viv, Kiev
  • France: Paris, Aubusson, Honfluer, Agen
  • Spain: Barcelona, Can Serrat
  • Italy: Venice, Rigomagno
  • Belgium: Brussels
  • Sweden: Goteburg
  • Denmark: Frederikshavn
  • England: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Lindisfarne, Bruton, Glastonbury, Shaftesbury, Brighton, etc.
  • Wales: Wrexham, Abergavenny, Risca
  • Scotland: Edenburgh, Glasgow
  • Ireland: Dublin, Cashel, Dingle, Drogheda, Tara, Glendalough, Kildare, Portmagee, Tralee, Aran Islands, Clonmacnois, etc.

National Performances (highlights)

  • St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York, New York
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wicconsin
  • Fairbault Arts Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Harp Guitar Gathering, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Sandpoint Arts Association, Sandpoint, Idaho
  • MCT Center for the Performing Arts, Missoula, Montana
  • Pensacola Arts Center, Pensacola, Florida
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Lousiana
  • University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Lousiana
  • Doane College, Crete, Nebraska
  • New England Arts Center, Cape Cod, Maschachusetts
  • Las Vegas Community Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • McCabes, Santa Monica, California
  • Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, California

Regional Concerts (highlights)

  • Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
  • University of Portland, Portland, Oregon
  • Willamette University, Salem, Oregon
  • Maryhurst University, Portland, Oregon
  • University of Seattle, Seattle, Washington
  • Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon
  • Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
  • The Hult Center, Eugene, Oregon
  • The Rogue Theater, Grants Pass, Oregon
  • The Liberty Theater, Astoria, Oregon
  • Deepwood Estate, Salem, Oregon
  • Hillsboro Arts Council, Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Roseburg Folklore Society, Roseburg, Oregon
  • Newport Center for the Performing Arts, Newport, Oregon

Music Festivals (highlights)

  • Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Canada
  • The Atkins-Dadi Guitar Players Association, Italy
  • Lewes Guitar Festival, England
  • Nordic Guitar Festival, Sweden
  • S. Florida Folk Festival, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Folklife Festival, Seattle, Washington
  • Bumpershoot, Seattle, Washington
  • Bethlehem Folk Festival, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Port Jefferson Irish Festival, Port Jefferson, New York
  • Whole Life Festival, Chicago, Illinois
  • American Music Festival, Turner, Oregon
  • Dancing Oaks Music Festival, Falls City, Oregon

Classical Guitar and Lute Studies

  • California State University at Northridge B.A. Music/Performance Guitar
  • Western Oregon State University M.Music Ed.
  • Master Class – Alirio Diaz – California State University at Northridge
  • Master Class – John Duarte – California State University at Northridge
  • Master Classes – Oscar Ghiglia – California School for the Arts
  • Master Class – Alice Artz – University of Oregon
  • Master Class – Ray Ruesner, Willamette University
  • Master Classes – Michael Lorimer, UC Berkeley and PSU
  • Private Instruction on Ren. lute – Frank Eyler, Paris, France
  • Master Classes – baroque lute – Toyohiko Satoh
  • Master Classes – renaissance lute – Paul O’Dette
  • Master class – renaissance lute – Catherine Liddell
  • Private Instruction – Ron Purcell
  • Private Instruction – John Scammon

Professor of the Year Awards

  • Willamette University All Greek Awards April 29th, 2018
  • Willamette University Bearcats the Julie Abendroth 2019