Matt Sellick

Flamenco guitarist Matt Sellick performs Friday at St. Paul’s United Church with Consortium Aurora Borealis. An Evening With Matt is a fundraising concert that also features drummer Jim Differ.

‘MUSICIANS form incredibly strong bonds with their instruments. I think it’s to do with what they represent to us. My guitar is my voice. I’ve spent so many hours using it to communicate my emotions and ideas. Many people who watch my videos or see my shows have never heard me speak except through my instrument. Besides that, I probably spend more time with my Conde than I do with actual people, and when I’m awake it’s usually within a few feet of me if I’m not in fact holding it. It’s no stretch to say that my guitar feels like an extension of my body”.

The musician is Thunder Bay’s Matt Sellick, the instrument, his 2010 Felipe Conde cypress flamenco guitar. Consortium Aurora Borealis presents An Evening with Matt on Friday, as Sellick returns for a third time to perform as its special guest, along with Jim Differ on percussion.

Sellick is a Canadian flamenco guitarist, composer and recording artist, whose work takes a unique approach to traditional flamenco. He has a large, enthusiastic following. His performances are “heartfelt . . . passionate . . . hypnotic.” Toronto’s music magazine The Whole Note says he “obviously has a great feel for flamenco, an outstanding technique – clean, accurate and clearly defined – and plays with a warm rich sound and a lovely range of tone colour and shading . . . Sellick is clearly a huge talent.”

Matt Sellick played guitar from an early age before discovering classical guitar. As a teenager, he played the music of guitarist Jesse Cook, with whom he performed at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium at age 18, also placing third in the Canadian Youth Talent Competition.

He graduated from Lakehead University’s music program, studying composition with Aris Carastathis and classical guitar with Sean Mundy and Joey Roy.

Grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts helped Sellick to produce two solo records (Nocturne and After Rain) and compose orchestral arrangements of his own guitar pieces. His next recording project, North Shore, funded by the Ontario Arts Council, will be composed and recorded in parks around Lake Superior.

The majority of the show will be Sellick’s own music, including one premiere, with a balance between “serious” and just plain “fun”. His style has been evolving lately. He will speak about his experiences in Spain; CD`s will be for sale. His last concert for Consortium two years ago at Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship was memorable, selling out well in advance, with a waiting list. The larger St. Paul’s United Church was chosen this year, to avoid disappointment.

This is a special Consortium fundraising concert. Tickets are $20 at the door. Proceeds after expenses will be directed to two specific Consortium causes, the harpsichord fund, and the funding of its highly ambitious, costly 40th Anniversary Season, during which the magnificent new instrument will be inaugurated.

Elizabeth Ganiatsos is artistic director of Consortium Aurora Borealis.

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