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McNally Smith College of Music Presents 4th Annual Lowertown Guitar Festival: Saturday, August 6

McNally Smith College of Music is pleased to present the 4th Annual Lowertown Guitar Festival — another fun-filled day of FREE live music — on Saturday, August 6. Last year’s Fest doubled in size from its inaugural showing, drawing well over 4,000 attendees, and this year promises to be the biggest and best installment yet, with artists performing in three distinct venues: Vieux Carré (formerly the Artist’s Quarter), Wild Tymes and the outdoor Palace Music Stage — all centrally located at the 7th Place West pedestrian mall in downtown St. Paul.

MORE INFO: For a full artist line-up and schedule visit

Unlike other music festivals, which often cater to a specific genre, Lowertown Guitar Festival celebrates one of America’s most beloved instruments — guitar — and the diverse artists who play it. Offering something for all tastes, this year’s eclectic line-up features prolific blues rock guitarist/producer Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Calexico, Pieta Brown, The Pines, Charlie Parr), renowned bluegrass legend David Grier (named “Guitar Player of the Year” three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association), African-born soukous sensation Siama Matuzungidi (a McKnight fellow now working and living in Minneapolis) and one of the world’s preeminent finger pickers, Peter Lang. Beloved St. Paul-based singer/songwriter Molly Maher will reprise her role as festival emcee for a fourth straight year.

“This year’s Lowertown Guitar Festival is unique in that it highlights 7th Place West and the soon-to-be open Palace Theater,” says Fest co-organizer and McNally Smith VP of Community Relations Chris Osgood. “This 3,000 seat venue will be coming online in early 2017 and promises to bring new vitality and audiences to downtown St. Paul. McNally Smith is excited about the opportunities this new music theater will bring to our community and our students and we wanted to do our part to showcase and preview this great new addition to downtown St. Paul!”

Twin Cities Acoustic Guitar Show

In another Fest first, Lowertown Guitar Festival is partnering with the Twin Cities Acoustic Guitar Show, taking place at McNally Smith’s nearby campus from 10:00 AM–3:00PM both Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 ($5 admission; FREE w/ student ID). Don’t miss this amazing chance to meet regional luthiers as they present an array of hand-crafted acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments — featuring performances by Tim SparksPhil Heywood and many more! For a full list of vendors and performance schedule, visit:

Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition

Guitarists aged 15–19 are encouraged to enter the Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition — a fun and friendly contest taking place on the Palace Music Stage at 1:30 PM. A panel of esteemed judges will award prizes to a few talented teens — including a Telecaster courtesy of Fender Musical Instruments and a LXM acoustic guitar courtesy of Martin & Co., as well as free studio time and Summer Workshops scholarships courtesy of McNally Smith! All styles welcome! For complete Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition details and registration visit: