There is much good news about the future of acoustic music. Quentin Callewaert is one of the most exquisite guitarists I’ve heard in a long time; his mastery of the instrument is inspired and inspirational. Music lovers young and old alike need to listen to him. If you’ve ever tried to play the guitar yourself, watch and be amazed. If you are currently playing the guitar, watch and learn from him. He’s that good.
To learn a bit more about Quentin, check out his website.
Here is a video of Quentin playing “Little Martha.”
When did you first get interested in playing the guitar?
I first picked up the guitar when I was about eight and a half, although even before then, I always loved listening to the guitar work of virtuosos like Jimmy Page, George Harrison, and Jimi Hendrix.
What is it about the guitar that grabbed your attention and your dedication?
Something about the inherent “coolness” of the guitar really grabbed my attention as a young kid, and even still! The guitar is also such a versatile instrument, and exploring all of its different aspects is something that amazed me back then, and continues to amaze me today.
Did you take lessons or are you self-taught? How much do you practice?
I take lessons from a wonderful classical guitarist by the name of Adam Levin. Adam is a Boston-based performer and teacher, and one of the kindest people I have ever met. I like to practice over an hour a day, although school and other things can get in the way.
There are a lot of videos of you on YouTube and they clearly show that you do not shy away from very difficult pieces like “Classical Gas” and other tunes where your fingers are flying all over the fretboard! On one of your videos you mention that Leo Kottke once said that Duane Allman’s “Little Martha” was the perfect guitar song. Do you agree with that or do you have other songs that would vie for that description?
I completely with Kotke! “Little Martha” is an absolutely beautiful piece of music, and is also one of my favorites to play. Of course, I have my fair share of favorite pieces, including “Classical Gas,” as you mentioned.
Tell us about your original pieces. There’s a video of your piece called “Clockwork” that is quite extraordinary. What’s the story behind that piece?
“Clockwork” was written by myself with the help of my dad, and was really just something that we put together. I vividly remember us sitting together with two guitars and suggesting musical ideas and bits of phrases to each other. After a while, we had a song!
You’ve gotten to meet many great musicians and have played with many of them too. Do you have any favorite memories?
I will always cherish the memory of the first time I met and played with Tommy Emmanuel. We met him before a show, and I brought my guitar hoping he’d ask me to play. Sure enough, he did, and I played his piece “Little By Little” while he sang along!
Are there other living guitarists that you’d like to meet one day?
I would absolutely love to meet the great John Knowles, one of Tommy’s good friends and one of the finest guitarists alive. His guitar work and technique have been major inspirations for the way I play.
What are your plans moving forward with your career? Do you plan to attend college to study music or surprise us all and do something totally different?
With a little bit of luck, I’ll be able to attend music college, where I hope to study jazz guitar, as well as continue my study of classical and contemporary guitar. After that, I hope to start playing shows more regularly, and try to get my name out as much as I can!
Do you have other pastimes that you enjoy other than playing music?
I really love to run competitively on my high school cross country team, and I also have a love for films.
Quentin Callewaert will be opening for Bill Staines at the me&thee coffeehouse in Marblehead, MA on February 10, 2017.