Friday, December 01, 2006

News: International Guitar Festival comes to Adelaide

Hon MIKE RANN MP, Premier
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Social Inclusion
Minister for the Arts
Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change
Contact details

July 9, 2006

Adelaide has won a new prestigious annual international arts event – a guitar festival inspired and assisted by the New York Guitar Festival.

Premier and Arts Minister Mike Rann says securing this annual two-week event is as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s commitment to a bolder, more extensive program of festivals, events, performance and activities under the leadership of the Centre’s new CEO, Douglas Gautier.

The first Adelaide International Guitar Festival, expected to attract world-wide audience, will be held at the Adelaide Festival Centre in Adelaide in November 2007.

“The guitar is one of the world’s most recognised, accessible and identifiable instruments in the world,” Mr Rann said.

“This new annual event will feature performances by local, national and international artists across a variety of genres including rock n roll, classical, Spanish, blues, roots and jazz and experimental.

“It will expand the public appreciation for the guitar as well as foster young and emerging Australian talent. The program will also include artist forums, a visual arts component and an artist in residence throughout the festival.

“The Festival will feature the curatorial expertise of David Spelman, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the New York Guitar Festival, an event considered one of the most high calibre and respected specialist guitar festivals of its kind in the world.

“This year’s New York Guitar Festival featured Pepe Romero, Daniel Lanois, Jorma Kaukonen, Bill Frisell, Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar, Taj Mahal, and surprise guests Bruce Springsteen and Emmylou Harris.

“I met with Mr Spelman in New York in April to discuss plans to bring the festival to Adelaide,” Mr Rann said.

Mr Gautier said this new festival epitomises what the Adelaide Festival Centre is all about.

“This is about supporting innovative collaborations between outstanding international and local artists, facilitating new and exclusive works and artistic partnerships and developing new audiences,” said Mr Gautier.

Mr Spelman said he was thrilled that Adelaide would be holding this new international festival.
“There may be people who call New York City the centre of the cultural universe, but I believe Adelaide is one of the most intellectually dynamic and artistically sophisticated communities I've ever visited,” Mr Spelman said.

“The people of South Australia have a wonderful appetite and openness to art and new ideas. The success of Womadelaide and the Thinkers in Residence program are two great examples of what I think is possible in this community.

"It's my hope that this festival will tell the story of the guitar itself - where it originated, what countries it has visited, which genres it has impacted, and, to some degree, where it is heading.

“The story of the guitar is far too complex and interesting to tell in just 10 days, but this will be a wonderful start,” Mr Spelman said.


Singer-songwriter Jeff Lang, described by Rolling Stone as “Australia’s best roots-music artisan" will feature at the new Adelaide International Guitar Festival. Jeff has just returned from a two and a half month world tour including 24 dates with Jon Butler in the United States, as well as headlining shows in Arts Centres across the UK and showcases through Belgium, France and Ireland. He will be releasing a new album 'Dislocation Blues' through ABC in August.

Blade's Dahl recipe

Blade's Kickarse Dhal
adapted from a recipe in Charmaine Solomon's Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
This recipe uses red lentils which don't need soaking like some other varieties - so excellent for those of us who aren't organised enough to think about dinner the night before.

1 cup (6 oz) dried red lentils
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil - I usually use canola oil
1 large onion, finely sliced - this usually ends up either being sliced or chopped depending on whether I remember the recipe doesn't say dice
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic - or to taste, I probably use about twice this amount ... coz I like garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger - or chopped because I like my fingers un-grated, plus see above comment about garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric - again, I use at least twice this amount ... a few good shakes with the widest 'mouth' shaker so everything starts getting a lovely dark yellow colour
3 cups (24 fl oz) hot water
salt, to taste
garam masala, to taste - recipe says 1/2 teaspoon but I probably put at least 2 teaspoons or more in because, after having had dhal at a Northern Indian style food establishment, I am of the opinion that dhal should be a much darker brown than the 1/2 teaspoon produces

Blade's additional ingredients:
enough of a hard vegetable for the number of people you're serving, chopped into approx 2 - 3 cm cubes - potato and sweet potato/kumera have proved excellent, haven't tried pumpkin yet
broccoli sufficient for the number of people you're serving, cut into smallish florets
any other veggies you feel like!

n.b. your choice of saucepan will need to consider the volume of water as well as the lentils and other ingredients - better to go too big than too small!


Wash lentils thorougly, removing any bits that float on the surface of the water. Drain well. Heat ghee or oil in a saucepan and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is golden. Add turmeric and stir well. Mix in drained lentils and fry for 1 - 2 mins. Add hot water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

Cover and simmer for 15 - 20 mins or until lentils are half cooked (what does a half baked cooked lentil look like?? I hear you cry - 20 mins is probably the go if you've got it on a nice slow simmer). Add salt and garam masala, mix well (and carefully - it can spit at you) and continue cooking. Throw your hard vegetable about this point so it gets a chance to cook through while the lentils are still cooking. Cook until the lentils are soft and about the consistency of porridge and your hard vegetable passes the fork test. If you've ended up with too much liquid, leave the lid off to allow evaporation. Chuck the broccoli (and other veggies) in a microwave dish and nuke until the equivalent of lightly steamed. Throw the lot in and mix well.

Goes well with rice, naan, pappadums, as a side dish or as a meal on its own. I usually make double the quantity above (2 cups lentils, 6 cups water) and it makes a decent amount of leftovers. It reheats spectacularly well and like many curries and stews, can even improve the next day or after freezing.