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Acoustic Guitar Summit returns to the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts in Hillsboro on May 3.

COURTESY PHOTO: MARK HANSON - Acoustic Guitar Summit is a guitar group featuring Mark Hanson, Tony Robb and Doug Smith. This year's performance features slack key guitarist, Jeff Peterson.The musical group Acoustic Guitar Summit is returning to Hillsboro, with favorite tunes by Queen, The Kinks, Elvis Presley and more.

Acoustic Guitar Summit is Mark Hanson, Tony Robb and Doug Smith, all longtime musicians and close friends.

This year, Smith will be on hiatus, with another special guest taking his place. Jeff Peterson is a Grammy Award winner who specializes in slack-key guitar. He has been honored with nine Na Hõkõ Hanohano Awards in Hawaii, and he received a Grammy nomination for Best Hawaiian Music Album in 2010. He was also featured on the soundtrack for the film "The Descendants," starring George Clooney.

Robb, a top acoustic blues guitarist, is a member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame. He is known for fingerpicking guitar, with his compositions focusing on Delta blues, ragtime, folk music, country music and jazz traditions.

Hanson has lived in West Linn since 1994 and is known nationally as a performer, composer and recording artist. His work has been featured on National Public Radio programs, as well as "Martha Stewart Living" and "West Coast Live." Hanson contributed two tracks, "The Sweetheart Tree" and "A Shot in the Dark," performed with Doug Smith, to the compilation album "Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar," winner of the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

On Friday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m., the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro will host the three guitarists for a night of blues, slack key and fingerstyle guitar sounds.

Performing in Hillsboro is an annual stop for the group, and for The Walters' annual concert series, it has become a staple.

"I didn't have much of a following in Portland specifically, so I thought I would call up a couple of my friends and band together," Hanson said. "It was about getting our relatively small followings together and making a larger audience."

COURTESY PHOTO: MARK HANSON - Mark Hanson is one of the members to perform on Friday, May 3 at the Glenn and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro.Acoustic Guitar Summit began with four members, with its first concert held at the Aladdin Theater in Portland for Christmas. Now, the Aladdin Christmas concert is a yearly event for the band.

And just like that Portland tradition, coming back to Hillsboro is worthwhile for the group because of the people and the sound in The Walters, Hanson said.

"We sell it out every year," Hanson said. "We individually have followings, and we are all soloists, and we bring that. People also like to see us in a band setting, because

we perform very well together."

The acoustic guitar takes on another life when Hanson, Robb and Peterson play.

"We play the guitar like the piano almost, meaning you have a bassline, a melody and some chord notes in the middle," Hanson said. "It is a full, rich sound with different voices. We are picking individual notes and not strumming."

Some songs the group will perform are popular among the music-loving masses, including "Sunny Afternoon" by The Kinks, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder, and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," a jazz classic.

Since tickets do sell out, attendees are encouraged to buy them as soon as possible. To purchase, visit, call 503-615-3485, or stop by The Walters in person at 527 E. Main St. in downtown Hillsboro.

Tickets cost $18 for advance tickets and $22 on the day of the show. Concessions will be available for purchase.

By Janae Easlon
Features Editor
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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