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Arts & Life


Video: Tony Furtado Makes a Bottleneck Slide

Banjo virtuoso Tony Furtado thinks of his music as an exploration.

“I think when I’m writing a song I’m crafting it… There’s not one way a song has to go. There’s not one way a tune has to go. You’re crafting it. You’re going whatever direction you’re exploring,” Furtado says.

Beginning at age 12, Furtado practiced his banjo 6-8 hours a day after school. When he was 18 years old Furtado entered the National Banjo Contest on a whim — and he won it.

“I went to college as a fine arts major, but I snuck in to a lot of the music classes cause I kinda knew I wanted to be a musician for a living,” Furtado says.

For the last two decades Furtado has been playing music all over the world. When he needs to escape the intensities of the music business he sculpts clay. Yet, whether he’s sculpting or writing music, Furtado approaches both jobs with the same type of attitude.

Go See It!

Tony Furtado Performance & Workshop

“If I can explore avenues of something, either with an instrument or with clay, that’s something that’s just the root of what I love doing,” Furtado says.

Catch a live performance by Furtado at the Unitarian Fellowship in Ashland on Saturday, February 25th. The following morning Furtado will host a Banjo and Bottleneck Slide Guitar workshop for aspiring musicians at the Ashland Food Co-Op Community Classroom. Participants will receive a custom-made bottleneck slide from Furtado.

Learn more about Furtado’s music and sculpture this week on Oregon Art Beat.

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