Australian guitarist Slava Grigoryan presents his 10 favourite guitar moments (as preserved on YouTube).

The Adelaide Guitar Festival Tsar talked to Limelight recently about the challenges of curating his third Festival and revealed to us some of his guitar heroes:

“From an operational perspective the first Festival for me was an absolute minefield with an incredible amount of learning”, he told us. “I was so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people at the Festival Centre. They’re absolute pros. It was easy for me to learn from them that first year. And then the second was a breeze – and this one’s going really, really well.”

So who are your all-time guitar heroes, we asked?

“Classically speaking, Julian Bream was always the big one,” he told us. “Probably from a musical and a character perspective. I was always drawn to his playing. Of course, John Williams was a big influence. I grew up listening to the usual suspects, you know, Segovia, and of course Pepe Romero. In terms of other genres, people like Paco de Lucía, Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny – lots of great jazz players.”

Taking it to the next level, we asked him if he’d give us a ‘Top 10’ list of his favourite guitar moments to be found on YouTube. And this is what he came up with. We hope you enjoy:

Assad Brothers and Yo-Yo Ma


Slava says: “A very special concert moment shared between the worlds greatest classical guitar duo, the Assad Brothers and cellist Yo Yo Ma. An original composition by Sergio, this clip showcases the brothers complete command of their craft and Yo Yo Ma’s incredibly lyrical musicianship.”

Derek Trucks Band

Sahib Teri Bandi

Slava says: “Slide super-star Derek Trucks evokes saw much energy and emotion whenever he performs. So humble and respectful. This clip is just one example of his brilliance and the wonderful ensemble that is his band.”

Wolfgang Muthspiel and Brian Blade

Friendly Travellers Live

Slava says: “One of my favourite guitarists teaming up with one of the most musical and sensitive drummers. Muthspiel and Blade are such a wonderful duo – this concert footage perfectly captures how special their partnership is.”

Yamandu Costa

Samba pro Rafha

Slava says: “The genius of Yamandu Costa at it’s best. Live on Brazilian TV, this super short clip says everything about his playing. Absolutely incredible groove and chops.”

Jeff Beck

Crossroads 2007: Cause we’ve ended as lovers

Slava says: “One of my personal electric guitar heroes. The incredibly lyrical and textural Jeff Beck teaming up with drum royalty, Vinnie Collaiuta and the extraordinary young Australian bassist Tal Wilkenfield. Beautifully captured footage from the Crossroads festival.”

Jimi Hendrix

12-String Blues

Slava says: “Such a special bit of footage. Jimi, outside of his comfort zone, but so relaxed and soulful.”

Pat Metheny Group (feat. Richard Bona)

Song for Bilbao

Slava says: “Song for Bilbao, one of the Metheny Groups most popular hits, always played at the end of their shows and a great vehicle for highlighting each one of the incredible band members. This particular version has ridiculous solos from Lyle Mays, Cuong Vu, Antonio Sanchez, Richard Bona and of course the incomparable Pat Metheny. Try sitting through this without smiling…”

Stochelo Rosenberg  and Tommy Emmanuel


Slava says: “Australia’s own guitar king, Tommy Emmanuel jamming with one of the pinnacles of the gypsy swing world Stochelo Rosenberg. Their enthusiasm is so infectious!”

Julian Bream

Seranata Española

Slava says: “Bream had such a unique and special flair with Spanish music. This clip highlights the perfect mix of grace and colour.”

Paco de Lucia and Camaron de la Isla

Slava says: “A brilliant example of what this great duo was capable of. Extraordinary spontaneity and emotion.”


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