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Sedona concert promises magic from ‘the best musical instrument you’ve never heard of’


Michael Kollwitz

Michael Kollwitz


Originally Published: January 14, 2019 10:03 a.m.

Friday, Jan. 18, Billboard-charting Chapman Stick musical artist Michael Kollwitz is performing live in concert to celebrate the worldwide release of his latest album, “Serenity III- More Peaceful Music on The Chapman Stick.”

The show is from 7-8:30 p.m. and takes place at the Sedona Hub in Posse Grounds Park located at 525-B Posse Grounds Road, Sedona. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free to the public.

Kollwitz is one of the original pioneer players of a little-known contemporary American stringed instrument known as the Chapman Stick.

Capable of astounding expressiveness and simultaneous multi-part arrangements, ‘The Stick’ combines elements of guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion; all into a single instrument that is played with both hands lightly tapping the strings.

The technique used to play The Stick is much more like a piano than a guitar, and it yields a full, rich sound all it’s own that is unlike any other instrument.

One of inventor Emmett Chapman’s first students, Kollwitz is one of the instrument’s strongest advocates, and one of its most prolific recording artists.

A Sedona resident who gains inspiration from the natural beauty of the area, Kollwitz composes and records soothing, relaxing contemporary instrumental music exclusively on The Stick -- which he jokingly refers to as “the best musical instrument you’ve never heard of.” Seeing Kollwitz perform in Hawaii, Carlos Santana was impressed by his performance and described Kollwitz’s music as “a gift of the heart.”

His last two albums, ‘Serenity’ & ‘Serenity II,’ have received significant international airplay in over 25 countries around the world. His music has received numerous prestigious nominations and is playing on the Spa channels of seven international airlines.

The music also plays in hundreds of hospitals across the United States on the CARE Channel. ‘Serenity II’ made the Billboard Top Ten New Age albums chart one week after its release in April 2018 and received Grammy nomination consideration.

“Serenity III” is Kollwitz’s 23rd release and the last album in his popular Serenity trilogy. At the concert, he will perform songs from all three of the Serenity albums in addition to songs from his wide repertoire from multiple genres including classic rock, jazz, flamenco, and even Hawaiian music. One of The Stick’s first professional players, Kollwitz likes to share humorous stories and anecdotes from his colorful career and keeps audiences laughing between songs. Autographed copies of all three ‘Serenity’ albums will be available at the concert.

Advance reviews of “Serenity III” have been overwhelmingly positive and another appearance on the Billboard Top Ten New Age album chart would be no surprise. Music critic Jonathan Widran of Los Angeles, had this to say about the album: “Entering into the mystically melodic, soul transporting musical world of Michael Kollwitz via his exquisite new collection ‘Serenity III’, the feeling is one of a cool and calm euphoria. While the rich and compelling compositions he plays on the unique stringed instrument are designed for gentle reflection and meditation, these chill vibes are balanced by the extreme joy of discovery of a wonderful artist whose music I wish I had been introduced to much sooner.”

You may feel the same way at this free concert by a rare, local talent who is known internationally for his compositions on “the best musical instrument you’ve never heard of.”

The Hub is an intimate venue with spectacular red rock views so come early for the best seating. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free to the public.