Free Guitars for Future Stars

Jack Wilson – Listening Room @ The Dole Mansion

Jack Wilson, the 2016 International Finger Style Guitar Champion, will be performing a benefit concert for FG4FS on April 28th at the Listening Room at the Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake.

Saturday, April 28, 2018
7:00 pm

Tickets: $20 General/$25 Front Row

2016 International Fingerstyle Guitar champion Jack Wilson will take you on an expedition of instrumental acoustic and electric guitar music. Treating each finger and his thumb on his right hand like a band member, he effortlessly turns the guitar into a band, cranking out rock, R&B, country, jazz, blues and classical music. Expect to see a stand filled with guitars on stage; each patiently waiting their turn to give a textural contribution for this six string manipulator.
Have you ever heard a cowbell sound being coaxed out of a guitar? That is exactly what you will hear on the opening track from Jack’s CD Fidgety Digits covering the song “Low Rider” by the group War. This feat even stumped the judges and other contestants when competing in guitar competitions. Not only does he recreate the cowbell, he weaves his way through the complex counterpoint between the bass line, vocal melody, and flute break, all while keeping a backbeat on 2 and 4. His CD includes covers from Steely Dan, Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Billy Joel, some of which are performed as faithful recreations and others reinvented. There are also four original compositions and a couple of theme songs. His new CD, due to be released June of 2018, will continue in the same vein.It will include his show stopper arrangement of “Black Magic Woman,” by Santana, complete with the organ intro, bass line, vocal melody, guitar solo and percussion breaks.
His kitchen sink approach to music can be attributed to a variety of sources from listening to his mother’s R&B collection, learning country and bluegrass standards from his guitar playing grandfather, playing in hard rock and heavy metal bands in high school, and as a jazz and classical guitar major in college. So driven to play music, he once played guitar one handed
temporarily because of a broken right hand. When the cast came off, he flipped the guitar around and played left handed for a couple of months to get the dexterity back in his right hand. This type of perseverance has paid off with 8 guitar contest wins and a bass contest win. Though being recognized for his skill as a guitar player, it has not slowed down Jack’s passion to push his musicianship even further to enhance his color palette for his “sonic kaleidoscope.”

Illinois Arts Council Agency and The National Endowment for the Arts Grant



We are pleased to announce that Free Guitars for Future Stars will be receiving a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency through the National Endowment for the Arts. All the work that was put into getting this grant is finally going to pay off! We are grateful to the agency for awarding us this grant.


The name Les Paul is about as big as it gets in the guitar playing world.

Les Paul Foundation

An amazing guitarist, inventor, and innovator, Les Paul was a special person. The more I learn about Mr. Paul, the more respect and admiration I have for him. The talent he possessed, his sense of humor, his drive to learn and discover, and his willingness to share himself with his fans, was truly inspiring. We are so grateful to the Les Paul Foundation for adding Free Guitars for Future Stars to the list of organizations they support.

Willow Springs Charitable Trust supports FG4FS

We want to thank the good people at the Willow Springs Charitable Trust for joining our list of supporters. Along with their grant, we received a very inspiring letter sharing the belief of music’s importance in a child’s education.
Thank you Willow Springs Charitable Trust. We appreciate your help and support, and that you share the same understanding of the importance of music!

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