Virtuoso double-neck guitarist Mark Kroos will bring his considerable talents to the Nicolet College Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, for an explosive and energetic performance that is sure to be as entertaining to listen to as it is to watch.
“Mark is a true performer and simply amazing on the double-neck guitar,” said Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall, who booked Kroos as part of the college’s Nicolet Live! Performing Arts Series. “He manages to sound like a full-blown band all on his own. People are sure to groove on his high-energy, charismatic stage presence. He truly is a rising star in the guitar world.”
As a testament to his talent, Kroos won Guitar Player magazine’s Guitar Superstar Competition in 2011.
His music, described as extreme folk guitar, draws upon a variety of genres, from country to Celtic, to bluegrass and funk, and has a primarily instrumental style that is characterized by open harmonies, rich textures and a mesmerizing tapping technique. His performances take him around the country to college campuses, concert halls and churches. Kroos has shared the stage with guitar greats such as Phil Keaggy, Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour.
Kroos’ 2010 debut solo instrumental album, And Grace Will Lead Me Home, received rave reviews. This fall Kroos released his second solo instrumental album, Down Along the Lines of Joy, featuring original compositions for the double- and single-necked guitar. The new album, Kroos said, “is based on the idea that while happiness is a fleeting feeling that comes and goes with outside influence, joy is something that remains in the heart no matter what. It’s something put there by God, and you feel it in the happy times, and in the sad times as well.”
The tune “Kroos on the Loose” “is one of most difficult pieces I’ve ever tried to play,” he added. “It has two completely separate 16th-note lines that run through the whole thing. It’s pretty crazy. It took me about eight months from the time I started writing it until I was able to record it.”
Originally from Lansing, Mich., and currently based in Williamsburg, Va., Kroos majored in jazz studies and guitar performance in college, and then toured with his ska/punk band, The Argonauts, until 2009. At that point he picked up the acoustic guitar and started teaching. He also taught himself how to play and write music for the double-necked guitar.
Tickets are $13 and may be ordered online at nicoletlive.com or by calling Nicolet at (715) 365-4646.