Real Life Guitar Heroes

The Classically Yours concert series will feature the world-renowned Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGC) this week in Whitehorse.

The LAGQ has been performing its soulful music all over the globe for the past 34 years. This will be the group’s first time in Whitehorse, and quartet founder Scott Tennant couldn’t be more thrilled.

“I am super excited to play in Whitehorse and experience the city,” he says. Tennant, alongside fellow quartet members John Dearman, Matthew Greif and William Kanengiser play at the Yukon Arts Centre on Saturday, April 26.

Tennant’s love of the guitar began in his early childhood.

“I got my first guitar when I was six. Since then, I have never been able to put it down.”

Tennant’s expertise in guitar music has paid off. In 2005, he and his fellow musicians won a Grammy for their album Guitar Hero in the classical crossover category.

“It was a truly remarkable experience. I still can’t believe I have a Grammy award sitting in the house,” he says.

The LAGQ was founded in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1980.

“We actually started out as a class project, he says. “We liked the way we sounded and from there we started to put out albums. I like to think of it as a homework assignment which has never ended.”

The quartet has an impressive 13 albums that have been released commercially. Each compellation has its own unique sound.

“One of my favorite albums to work on was Brazil. The music from Brazil is different from other Latin music in the sense that it has its own distinct sound,” Tennant says. “We were fortunate enough to work with Grammy winner Luciana Souza, and we learned a great deal from her about Brazilian music.”

The LAGQ has also experimented with other genres, but one musical type it has not yet dipped its strings in is East Indian.

“I think it would be really neat to blend East Indian music with our own sound. We are always open to experimenting with world music. To create music with an Indian influence would be a really fun experience.”

When Tennant is not making music, he teaches it at USC.

“I enjoy teaching. Some of the things I focus on are helping students to better their musical skill, repertoire, and how to apply what they have learned to guitar,” he says.

“It is also important to make sure my students are well balanced in all core areas of music.”

Tennant acknowledges that some people have observed that the music the quartet plays could actually be handled by a single piano player.

“Piano has a great sound, but with a quartet, I feel the different notes are played with a larger range, which gives it a distinct sound,” he explains.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet plays at the Yukon Arts Centre on Saturday, April 26. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults and seniors, $25 for youth. For more information visit

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