FLORIDA KEYS — Classical and jazz guitar concerts are to take center stage during the Florida Keys' summer season, providing music lovers a melodious contrast to the island chain's more typical trop-rock soundtrack. The Florida Keys Guitar Festival is to present six guitar virtuosos in seven concerts between June 4 and Aug. 7.

The festival is the creation of internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Mateo Jampol, a longtime Florida Keys resident who performs as Mateo. As well as his own artistry, the concert series features the talents of classical master Steve Ramos and jazz greats Bob Hanni, Larry Baeder, Michael Gillis and Mike Emerson.

Initial performances are scheduled in Marathon and Key Largo, leading up to a three-day Key West schedule highlighted by a Guitar Summit featuring all six musicians.

The festival is to begin Saturday, June 4, with Mateo's 8 p.m. concert of classical guitar highlights and original works at the Florida Keys Country Club, 4000 Sombrero Blvd. The following evening he plans to present a 6-9 p.m. show at the amphitheater at Marathon Community Park, mile marker (MM) 49.

A maestro of the Spanish guitar, Mateo next will perform for Key Largo audiences in an evening exploring the musical heritage of Spain. The concert is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center, MM 102.

The festival's three-day Key West showcase begins with "Jazz Guitar Trio" celebrating the talents of Keys musical legends Baeder, Gillis and Emerson at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Little Room Jazz Club, 821 Duval St.

Mateo is to present a 3 p.m. Saturday matinee at Key West's Old Stone Church, 600 Eaton St.; while Ramos and Hanni are scheduled at 10 p.m. for a classical and jazz guitar medley at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The festival's climax is Sunday's Guitar Summit, presenting all six performers in a richly nuanced evening that blends individual musical stylings with dynamic collective artistry. Titled "Cool Jazz & Hot Summer Night," the concert is set for 6:30 p.m. in the shaded grounds of The Gardens Hotel, 526 Angela St.

Tickets for most Florida Keys Guitar Festival performances are $25 per person and can be purchased at KeysTix.com.

Event information: floridakeysguitarfestival.com

Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS

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