Eric Henderson plays first live Laguna Beach concert in over a year

LAGUNA BEACH, CA — Guitar hero Eric Henderson performs his first live concert in over a year on Saturday at the Women’s Club in Laguna Beach. This “re-emerging” concert will feature selections from Henderson’s “Music for Guitar” album, Spanish composers and rock classics, in addition to his own compositions.

Henderson says his greatest influences on the instrument are classical Spanish master Andres Segovia and Jimi Hendrix, which speaks volumes about the breadth of his repertoire.

His fascination with the instrument began at the age of 4, when he remembers seeing Ricky Nelson perform at the end of the “Ozzie & Harriet Show”. Two years later, it became an obsession when The Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan. At age 8, he was the lead guitarist for a high school band.

Henderson’s family moved to Laguna Beach in 1967 when he was 9 years old. Luckily, his father found a teacher for his son in Laguna when he saw a guitar leaning against a wall at a Cub reunion for Eric’s brother.

This stroke of luck launched Henderson on an international career as a concert guitarist.

The leaning guitar belonged to Antonia Morales. “She was a flamenco dancer,” Eric said in a blog post, “the personal assistant and dance coach of stars such as Rita Hayworth and Tyrone Powers, who have remained close friends with Antonia for the rest. of their life”.

As most longtime Laguna residents know, the young prodigy had the amazing opportunity to study with Segovia, thanks to Morales’ friendship with the famous Spanish concert guitarist.

Morales arranged for Henderson to meet the maestro, and then acted as his tutor during the four years he studied with Segovia in Spain. Here are Henderson’s words about what she meant to him:

“Antonia was my mentor, teacher, facilitator and babysitter. She taught me the basics of technique and musicality. His knowledge and familiarity with Spanish culture and his intellect ran deep. To this day, I still remember and therefore apply the ideas and advice she gave me with such generosity and integrity that in recalling them I feel an immense sense of gratitude. “

The Hendersons were incredibly thrilled for their 13-year-old, but they couldn’t afford to make this opportunity a reality. Until the City of Laguna Beach intervenes:

“The small town of Laguna Beach was a very arts-friendly community,” Henderson said in a blog post. “The Soroptimist Club, the Rotary Club and various successful businessmen in the city came together with humility of support and pride when they realized the possibility that I was studying with Segovia in Madrid… The plan that my parents and the city of Laguna Beach came up with this: once a year I would give a recital with the aim of raising funds and publicizing the financial assistance needed to pay my travel expenses (as well as those of Antonia for acting as my tutor), living expenses, and education and course costs for 9-10 months each year. The concert I provided was a way to show my progress and level of my performance skills to the supporters and the public. It was a good way to be responsible… The Laguna Beach community was really a wonderful extended family, in a way. ”

Henderson has made Laguna Beach his home and is ready to play again for his extended family.

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