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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Christmas Guitar Summit brings Leon Atkinson, Tonedevil Bros., Mike Johnson to Inland Northwest

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 17, 2019

This year, Friends of the Guitar Hour is gifting fans with four days of concerts during the Christmas Guitar Summit.

The Christmas Guitar Summit features the music of Leon Atkinson, the Tonedevil Bros. and Mike Johnson from Thursday through Sunday at venues across the Inland Northwest.

“Friends of the Guitar Hour” radio host and classical guitarist Leon Atkinson began studying the guitar when he was 8 years old and learned from Albert Valdes-Blain from the ages of 12 to 18.

While attending the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts, Atkinson performed in Greenwich Village four to five nights a week. He eventually made his way to Spain to study with Andres Segovia.

After settling in the Inland Northwest, Atkinson founded the guitar departments at Whitworth University, Spokane Falls Community College and North Idaho College. He currently heads the guitar department at Gonzaga University.

Anthony and David Powell, better known as the Tonedevil Bros., are best-known for designing the modern harp guitar through their company, Tonedevil Guitars.

Onstage, Anthony plays mandolin and sings while David plays the harp guitar. The brothers perform original songs and arrangements of western swing, bluegrass, blues, singer-songwriter and Americana tunes.

Last but not least, the Christmas Guitar Summit will feature Mike Johnson, who began studying classical composition and theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at age 16. He also studied jazz composition and theory at San Francisco State University.

In 2007, he started the 8 Legged Monster, a 10-piece jazz ensemble, which sold out shows in San Francisco. He later went on to form the RayBand, which performed the music of Ray Charles, and the San Francisco Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece big band. Since 2016, Johnson has called Sandpoint home.

On Thursday, the group will perform at the Heartwood Center in Sandpoint, and on Friday the concert will be at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls.

The Christmas Guitar Summit takes the group to Holy Names Music Center in Spokane on Saturday and the Pearl Theater in Bonners Ferry on Sunday.

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