Nicholas Gunn, Susan Werner at Charlotte’s Web this weekend

Nicholas Gunn, Susan Werner at Charlotte’s Web this weekend


Two crowd-pleasing performers return to entertain Charlotte’s Web audiences this weekend. With two different styles of music, Nicholas Gunn and Susan Werner are sure to wow them again!

Nicholas Gunn

Catch Nicholas Gunn at 8 p.m., Friday, October 25 at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main Street. Classically trained at the prestigious Royal School of Music in London, flautist Nicholas Gunn has sold nearly 2 million CDs worldwide with four of his releases hitting the Billboard charts (Music From the Grand Canyon was on the chart for 32 weeks). This one, plus the sequel, Return to Grand Canyon, have been widely acclaimed. His most recent album, Through the Great Smoky Mountains, is #22 on their New Age chart. Describing his music as “contemporary instrumental, structured like a pop song but based on instrumentation rather than vocals or lyrics,” his eight albums reflect his intense respect and love for nature’s beauty and harmony. For his CDs based on the national parks, Nicholas donates 10 percent of his sales back to the parks—so far raising $130,000 for the Grand Canyon Association alone.

For those who would like to see as well as hear the inspiration, an enhanced screen saver of this CD contains the beautiful photography of Michael Morve found on the cover and CD booklet. “One listen will transport you to this magnificent place,” says Gunn. “Simply close your eyes and visualize.” Joined by some of Rockford’s most talented musicians—John Bishoff on guitar, Jon Brant on bass and percussionist Kurt Weisand, Nicholas’ music will take you on a magical and mystical journey.

On his recordings, Gunn, who handles the arrangements and production, performs primarily on the concert classical C flute, but also plays bamboo flutes, wooden and tin whistles, synthesizers and a wide variety of drums and percussion instruments (with occasional background singing or chanting). He also brings in guest musicians and sometimes includes sounds of nature to help capture the spirit and mood of a place.

While the Crossroads album expanded beyond the Southwest to include sounds from Latin America, Gunn stretched his music to encompass more universal themes with his Passion In My Heart recording. He journeyed to Arizona again to create Return to Grand Canyon. For his album The Great Southwest, Gunn re-recorded 11 of his favorite tunes from his earlier albums, sometimes expanding and re-arranging them.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Susan Werner

Susan Werner will appear at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 26 at Memorial Hall. Reviewing her latest album, New Non-Fiction, the Boston Herald claimed, “If the Grammy folks knew what they were doing, it would be near the top of the list in next year’s Contemporary Folk category.” From the Ottawa Citizen, “Her lyrics combine the journalist’s eye for fact and detail, and the novelist’s eye for character and unexposed motive. When the often riveting images are welded to strong melodies, inventive harmonic progressions, and stellar vocals, guitar and piano chops, her songs become the audio equivalent of gleaming gems.”

Although Susan Werner majored in opera performance, about 10 years ago she felt the need to express herself more personally and began writing and performing her own songs to critical and popular acclaim. “… One of the smartest, strongest voices, and most musically adept singer/songwriters plowing the pop/folk field.” (Philadelphia Daily News).

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; Canterbury Books, Highcrest Center, 398-1454; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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