Japanese Masa Sumide and Belgian Jacques Stotzem perform at the 1st International Finger Style Guitar Festival last year in Vietnam (Photo from VNFS Facebook page)

Hanoi (VNA) – American and Asian guitarists will perform at the 2nd International Finger Style Guitar Festival (IFSGF) in Hanoi and HCM City this month.

The festival will take place at Hanoi’s Youth Theatre on July 19 and at the HCM City Conservatory of Music on July 20 at 8pm.

The guitarists performing at the festival are American Andy McKee, Taiwanese Huang Chia Wei, Japanese Masa Sumide, the Republic of Korea’s Erica Eunji Cho and Sandra Bae and host Vietnam’s Do Duong Tung.

Guitarist McKee’s appearance at the festival is a surprise for spectators.

“When we mentioned guitarist McKee’s name on the website, many fan pages did not believe this and called us to confirm,” a representative from the organisation board said.

McKee became a world-renowned iconic figure following his song Drifting, which went viral on the Internet and performed exceedingly well on YouTube and MySpace with more than 46 million views.

Till today, it is still rated as the most successful music clip of this genre. Many other songs by McKee have also become famous on YouTube, such as Rylynn with more than 24 million views and his cover Africa with nine million views.

In 2001, McKee independently released his first album Nocturne. That same year, he was placed third at the National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition in Winfield, Kansas.

McKee earned first place at the Miscellaneous Acoustic Instrument Contest of the New Jersey State Fiddling and Picking Championships with a Ron Spillers harp guitar in 2003.

This is the second time that Taiwanese Wei and Japanese Sumide will perform at the festival, while Koreans Cho and Bae will perform for the first time at the event.

The Korean artists are the youngest to perform at the festival. Born in 1995, Cho’s arrangements and covers are highly appreciated on YouTube.

At the age of 26, Bae signed up with record label Namuare in the Republic of Korea. Since her debut in 2010, she has released over 70 cover videos on YouTube.

The only Vietnamese sharing the stage with these international artists is guitarist Tung. He is the founder and president of the Vietnam Fingerstyle Guitar Organisation (VNFS) – the first and currently the only organisation known for playing the fingerstyle guitar in Vietnam.

After 10 months of learning fingerstyle guitar on his own, Tung gained recognition from the community with his tutorial video Sunflower, a huge hit on YouTube, based on a piece by Chinese artist Paddy Sun.

Tung will perform two pieces by a Japanese artist whom he admires tremendously. He is, however, concerned about his new guitar.

“I have never performed at a festival on an international scale such as this. I have bought a new guitar from China,” Tung said. He has not yet received the new instrument, even as the date of the event approaches.

IFSGF, a series of international fingerstyle guitar concerts, is an annual event being organised annually since 2010 in Asia.

This year, 16 concerts in seven countries will be held as part of the event. The first concert was held on June 29 in Japan, followed by the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taiwan and mainland China, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia and the last concert in Singapore on July 23.-VNA