LEWISTON — A star-studded “Celebration of the Guitar” and tribute to Lenny Breau will take place Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Franco-American Heritage Center.

This third annual event pays tribute to Lewiston’s legendary jazz guitar master and raises money for the Lenny Breau memorial scholarship fund.

Betty Cody, mother of Breau and a pioneering country-western star, will appear along with Denny Breau, younger brother of the jazz great and a leading guitar artist himself. He is a principal organizer of the annual tribute show.

The program includes appearances by Brad Terry, Mark “Guitar” Miller, Arlo West and the Pinecasters, Kevin Kimball and the Blue Steel Express, Ken Goodman, Fire Water Creek and other special guests.

Breau said Maine humorist Robert Skoglund, known as “The Humble Farmer,” will be on stage “to do some yakking.”

Peter Herman, a music student at the University of Maine at Augusta, will play a number of songs with Terry, an acclaimed jazz clarinetist who recorded with Lenny Breau on “The Living Room Tapes.”

“Peter has studied and practiced Lenny’s guitar playing to the point that, when you close your eyes, you would believe it’s Lenny,” Breau said.

The annual event “raises awareness that we had one of the best on the planet,” Breau said of his brother’s talents. Guitarist and Lifetime Grammy Achievement Award winner Chet Atkins described Lenny Breau as one of the world’s best guitarists.

A native of Auburn, Lenny Breau started playing guitar at age 8. By age 15, he was lead guitarist for a band formed by his mother and father, Harold “Hal Lone Pine” Breau, both of whom gained national recognition. It was during the later years of his life that Lenny’s genius for innovation developed as he melded classical, flamenco and country styles with jazz.

He performed with many jazz greats and appeared on the Jackie Gleason and Joey Bishop television shows.

Lenny’s stellar talents also had a tragic side of drug addiction. He died in 1984 at age 43, the victim of a still-unsolved murder.

“We were able to procure some special Lenny memorabilia and we will be raffling it off to benefit the scholarship fund,” Breau said. Randy Bachman of the rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive has donated a box-set collection of Breau recordings.

There will also be copies of chord charts that Lenny wrote out for some of his arrangements and recordings, Breau said.

“It has been a building process,” Breau said of the Lenny Breau memorial scholarship fund launched two years ago. The goal is to establish a $10,000 fund to sustain two annual awards of $250 each to music students in Auburn and Lewiston.

Breau said announcement of the first two recipients is expected in the next few months. He also said plans have been made for a website where people worldwide can make contributions.

Go and do

WHAT: “Celebration of the Guitar” for Lenny Breau memorial scholarship fund

WHEN: 1 to about 5 p.m.

WHERE: Franco-American Heritage Center, Cedar Street, Lewiston

TICKETS: $15, available at Main Street Music Lessons, Auburn, 376-3376; Creative Media/Tucker’s Music Pub, Norway, 739-2200; and Musicians 1st Choice, Augusta, 623-0400

MORE INFO: Call 577-3974


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