Portland Classic Guitar was founded in 2001 by classical guitarist William Jenks. Since then, Portland Classic Guitar has developed a classical guitar shop offering some of the finest classical guitars in the nation, launched a guitar school with hundreds of students ranging from beginning to professional, and has presented over 100 classical guitar concerts of some of the greatest guitarists in the world including: John Williams, The Romeros, David Russell, Ana Vidovic and many more.
Portland Classic Guitar Proprietor William Jenks Bio:
William Jenks is a standout talent from a new generation of classical guitarists, and an invaluable addition to the music community of the Pacific Northwest. As a performer, he has been heard in a wide range of venues around the world, by thousands of music lovers. He has recorded four widely praised CDs, and is working on a fifth, to be released later this year. Jenks is also the founder of Portland Classic Guitar, a teaching studio and guitar shop through which he directs an acclaimed concert series that has become the envy of the nation for its quality and scope.
From the beginning, Jenks’ concert career has been one to watch. He began performing choral music at age six, and as a youth participated in a memorable Carnegie Hall performance of the Magnificat, under the world-renowned composer and maestro John Rutter. After switching to guitar as a young man, Jenks received favorable notices for a series of solo concerts in France, Germany, and Italy. He has since established a strong presence on the festival circuit, with compelling performances at the Colorado Guitar Festival, the Portland Wine and Arts Festival, and the Festival Internacional de Guitarra in the Dominican Republic (where he will be returning in 2013). The Boulder Colorado Classical Guitar Society, the Newport Performing Arts Center, and Cycle Oregon have all featured Jenks. He has worked with the local Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, was selected to provide the music for a special reception in honor of Portland Mayor Vera Katz, and was the first performer to play at the renovated Elgin Opera House, where, the Elgin Times noted, "he put on a tremendous show."
An impressive testament to Jenks’s talent came recently in the form of a gorgeous classical guitar, made by Jeffrey Elliott gifted to Jenks by an anonymous benefactor of his concert career. (One of the finest luthiers in the world, Elliott has produced guitars for such renowned players as Julian Bream, Ralph Towner, Leo Kottke, Earl Klugh, and many others.)
In 2005 Jenks created the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series, the only entity of its kind on the West Coast. Among the first featured performers was the renowned guitarist Ana Vidovic, who quickly predicted that Jenks’s series would become "one of the most prestigious in the country"—a promise it has since fulfilled, as recently attested by a leading artist management company. Jenks now presents ten concerts annually—often in tandem with master classes—and has earned a loyal following among professional musicians and casual music lovers alike. Most of these concerts sell out, and no wonder: past performers have included many legends of the guitar, some of who were visiting Portland for the first time. John Williams, David Russell, Eliot Fisk, and the Romeros have all performed for the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series—the latter drawing a record-breaking audience of 2300. But Jenks is equally supportive of the next generation of legends, presenting the US debuts of such artists as Dimirtris Kotronakis (from Greece), Gerard Abiton (from France), and Ruben Gonzales (from Cuba), as well as some of the best local up-and-coming guitar talent.
In addition to his own performing, and his stewardship of the classical guitar series, Jenks is the founder of Portland Classic Guitar, a guitar shop and teaching studio that since 2001 has provided invaluable instruction for hundreds of students of all ages and skill levels, many of whom have gone on to their own music careers. Indeed, Jenks is a much sought-after guitar instructor in the Portland area, both in his own studio and as a staff member at Portland Community College and Marylhurst University. His approach has been informed by some of the best teachers in the world, including David Franzen, Bryan Johanson, Scott Kritzer, and Ken Johnson (with whom Jenks studied at Colorado Christian University, where he graduated magna cum laude). As a teacher, Jenks generously shares wisdom gained in the master classes of celebrated classical guitarists Christopher Parkening, Scott Tennant, Ricardo Iznaola, David Russell, Eliot Fisk, Angel Romero, Pepe Romero, and John Williams.