Spa City Guitar Festival Taking the Stage at Universal Preservation Hall 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — It was announced today that the inaugural Spa City Guitar Festival will be held at the Universal Preservation Hall from March 18th through to the 20th. The event is presented by Proctors Collaborative and co-produced by Unbound Artists. Whether you were born to shred, or just curious to experience; whether the guitar plucks at your heartstrings, or whether you want to learn new guitar techniques, don’t miss this three-day homage to all things guitar featuring concerts, masterclasses, workshops, guitar displays, and vendors. 

The first in a series of performances will be world-renowned Brazilian guitarist Badi Assad, who will perform at 8 pm on Friday, March 18th. With the worldwide PolyGram release of Chameleon, Badi Assad (pronounced Bah-Jee Ah-Sahje) transcends styles of her native Brazilian music with an exotic mixture of ethnic sounds from around the world. As a result, the extraordinary singer, guitarist, and percussionist is successfully forging an exhilarating genre of music that quite literally defies categorization. As a singer, Assad is vibrant and electric, responding to her inner passion with deft creativity. As a guitarist, she has inspired audiences and critics worldwide with a unique combination of technical mastery and innovation that has caused many to reexamine their notions about the instrument.  

Spanish folk guitar duo Germán López featuring Antonio Toledo will perform at 2 pm on Saturday, March 19th. López shines on the world stage as one of the most brilliant and prolific young timple players. He touches audiences with original, instrumental music honoring Canary folk music traditions, embracing Spanish Flamenco, West African rhythms, the flourishing spirit of jazz, and an innovative 21st-century approach to performing “island music.” He has performed nearly 100 performances in multiple tours of North America, Spain, China, South Korea, Norway, the Czech Republic, North Africa, and elsewhere. Recent North American highlights include the Savannah Music Festival and the Ellnora Guitar Festival. 

Grammy-nominated guitarist Mark Lettieri will be the next performance at 7 pm on Saturday. Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, producer, and instructor based in Fort Worth, TX.  Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name. Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as a guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. His work with the group has resulted in four Grammy Awards. Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released six albums as a leader: KnowsFuturefunSpark and EchoThings of That Nature, and most recently, Deep: The Baritone Sessions. 

The last of the festival performances is chart-topping guitarist Gary Hoey who will perform at 7 pm on Sunday, March 20th. With a collection of 21 albums, it’s no wonder Gary Hoey is listed as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.  The world-renowned rock guitarist’s first break came in 1987 when Ozzy Osbourne liked Hoey’s tape enough to fly him to LA for an audition and encouraging him to move to the West Coast. Hoey’s release in 2016, Dust & Bones displayed an exuberant fusion of blues and rock. But whatever style he plays, one thing is certain, Gary Hoey is a fiery, charismatic player who connects with the crowd. Whether he’s playing scorching originals or classic rock covers, his solos are thrilling and reminiscent of Clapton or Stevie Ray in their fiery youth. One thing that remains consistent is Hoey’s impassioned command of the guitar. He can attack his instrument with feral intensity and then play something very soft and achingly beautiful. This ability to mix feeling, phrasing, technique and tone is the true mark of a master guitarist. 


Various passes are available for purchase: 

  • VIP Pass $150 includes access to all concerts and masterclasses, invitation to Rock n’ Roll Brunch on Sunday at the Adelphi Hotel with Gary Hoey, a ticket to the Eddies Regional Music Awards on April 24, access to artist merch tables, a lanyard, and an invitation to the red-carpet event 
  • Festival Pass $75 includes access to all concerts and masterclasses, access to merch tables, and a lanyard 
  • Single Day Pass + Masterclass $45 includes access to one concert and one masterclass as well as access to artist merch tables 
  • Single Day Pass $35 includes access to one concert and access to artist merch tables 

Tickets for the Spa City Guitar Festival range from $35 to a $150 VIP pass and are on sale now. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at Proctors 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday at 518.346.6204 or visit

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