TACOMA GUITAR & DRUM FESTIVAL

The Largest Guitar and Drum Event Ever Held in the NW!

Artists that will be playing | The Tacoma Guitar Festival


SATURDAY SCHEDULE (MAY 21)
Doors open at 9:30 AM
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM // Mark Lettieri / Jason “JT” Thomas
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM // Will McFarlane / Andy Stoller / Aaron O’Neil
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
// Andy Timmons 
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM // Tomo Nakayama
SUNDAY SCHEDULE (MAY 22)
Doors open at 10:00 AM
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM // KJ Sawka
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
// Larry Mitchell
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM // Kazuki Tokaji
2:45 PM – 3:30 PM // Stephanie Ann Johnson

* Show times and artists are subject to change.


Andy Timmons

Stacks Image 84663
As guitarist for pop-metal band Danger Danger, he toured the world opening for Kiss and Alice Cooper, sold over a million records worldwide, and had two #1 videos on MTV, plus amassing a discography that includes 7 solo releases that range from blazing guitar instrumentals, to blues, and even a Beatles/Elvis Costello-inspired collection of pop tunes.
As guitarist for pop-metal band Danger Danger, he toured the world opening for Kiss and Alice Cooper, sold over a million records worldwide, and had two #1 videos on MTV, plus amassing a discography that includes 7 solo releases that range from blazing guitar instrumentals, to blues, and even a Beatles/Elvis Costello-inspired collection of pop tunes.

As a session player, he’s been highly featured on CDs by drumming legend Simon Phillips, a live CD with Olivia Newton-John (Andy has been her music director/guitarist for several U.S. tours), two internationally acclaimed CDs by Kip Winger, recording sessions for Paula Abdul, Paul Stanley, and countless radio and television jingles. He has also played alongside many of his heroes such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani (as a regular guest on their G3 tours in Dallas), Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Mike Stern, Ace Frehley, Ted Nugent, and Pierre Bensusan, as well as some of his fave ’60’s singing stars such as the Beach Boys, Lesley Gore, and Gordon Waller (of Peter and Gordon fame!)

Andy’s musical career began in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana at the age of 13 with his first band, Taylor Bay. “Early on, I realized that making it in a rock band was such a long-shot, that I better figure out other ways of making a living playing guitar. I began reading about players like Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton who made their living as session musicians. This really appealed to me, since I really loved a wide variety of musical styles.”

The decision to pursue the studio scene led him to more serious music studies. He studied classical guitar for two years before moving to Miami to study jazz guitar at the University of Miami (largely because the Dixie Dregs, Pat Metheny, and Jaco Pastorius had all gone there). He eventually ended up in Dallas where he was very fortunate to get a foot in the door of a very good studio scene. In 1988, the Andy Timmons band was formed and he quickly gained a following in Texas. Around that time, Epic recording artists Danger Danger recruited him to finish their debut record, film several videos, and begin touring.

After 4 years in New York with Danger Danger, Andy returned to Dallas in 1993 to resume his studio career and the Andy Timmons Band. His first solo release, ear X-tacy, was released in 1994 to critical acclaim followed 1997’s ear X-tacy 2. He then released Pawn Kings (1997), Orange Swirl (1998), The Spoken and the Unspoken (1999), and And-thology 1 & 2 (2000). In 2001 Andy signed with Favored Nations and released his first international record, That Was Then, This is Now, a compliation of the first two ear X-tacy records and and five new tracks. Resolution (2006) marks Andy’s first full-length new release for Favored Nations.

Andy has been consistently voted a “Top 20 Favorite Guitarist” in most of Japan’s rock music magazine’s reader polls, as well as being voted “Musician of the Year” four years in a row in the acclaimed Dallas Observer Music Awards. He also has become one of the most respected and sought after clinicians representing Ibanez Guitars, touring the world on their behalf.
Close

Jason “JT” Thomas

Stacks Image 84790
JT is a 4 time Grammy Award winning drummer hailing from Weatherford TX. Known for his ability to authentically adapt to whatever genre or style of music he’s put in. JT has become highly sought after by an array of different artists such as the late great Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Snarky Puppy, Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans, Marcus Miller, Mark Lettieri, FORQ, and Phillip Phillips…
JT is a 4 time Grammy Award winning drummer hailing from Weatherford Tx. Known for his ability to authentically adapt to whatever genre or style of music he’s put in. JT has become highly sought after by an array of different artists such as the late great Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Snarky Puppy, Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans, Marcus Miller, Mark Lettieri, FORQ, and Phillip Phillips too name a few. His high level of preparation for each artist he works with, along with being a consummate professional on and off stage, is what continues to keep him busy performing on stages and in studios all over the world. JT proudly endorses Yamaha Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Low Boy Beaters, Big Fat Snare Drum, Zoom Sound Lab, Warm Audio, and MatTea Inc.
Close

Mark Lettieri

Stacks Image 84460
Mark Lettieri is a multiple Grammy Award winning guitarist, composer, producer, and instructor based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.
Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, producer, and instructor based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lettieri came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU), studying advertising and public relations, and competing in track and field. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area upon graduating from TCU.
Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. His work with group has resulted in four GRAMMY Awards: Best R&B Performance for "Something" feat. Lalah Hathaway in 2014, and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Sylva in 2016, Culcha Vulcha in 2017, and Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2021). Snarky Puppy tours constantly, having performed on every continent except Antarctica.

Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released five albums as a leader: Knows (2011), Futurefun (2013), Spark and Echo (2016, #2 on iTunes Jazz and #11 on Billboard Jazz) Deep: The Baritone Sessions in (2019, #21 on Billboard Jazz), and most recently, Things of That Nature (2019, #1 on iTunes Jazz). Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs this music live with the Mark Lettieri Trio, featuring Wes Stephenson (Funky Knuckles) on bass and Jason “JT” Thomas (Snarky Puppy, Forq) on drums.

In 2018, Lettieri joined up with Vulpeck-produced group The Fearless Flyers, featuring Cory Wong and Joe Dart of Vulfpeck on guitar and bass respectively, and drummer Nate Smith (Chris Potter, Pat Metheny). The quartet has released two EPs, The Fearless Flyers in 2018, and The Fearless Flyers II in 2019.

As an in-demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri has logged miles with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He's also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N'dambi, Bilal, and even comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer.

Recent recording work includes David Crosby, 50 Cent, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. Lettieri is also a member of SKP, a production collective led by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Beyonce).

He can also be seen on television, in the house band for the Marcus & Joni Show, a Christian morning talk/variety show broadcast in over 200 countries Daystar Television Network.
Lettieri teamed up with Paul Reed Smith Guitars to create his signature model electric guitar, the Fiore, released virtually during Winter NAMM 2021.

He resides with his wife, daughter, and two cats.
Close

Will McFarlane

Stacks Image 84569
Will McFarlane spent six years playing guitar with Bonnie Raitt, from 1974 to 1980. Born on a Navy base in California, McFarlane started voice lessons at age 6, adding piano a year later. Seeing the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan Show when he was 12 inspired McFarlane to take up guitar.


Will McFarlane spent six years playing guitar with Bonnie Raitt, from 1974 to 1980. Born on a Navy base in California, McFarlane started voice lessons at age 6, adding piano a year later. Seeing the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan Show when he was 12 inspired McFarlane to take up guitar. He developed a taste for R&B in high school, focusing on Motown material while developing as a rhythm guitarist.
McFarlane attended college in Denver, but soon dropped out and had been playing gigs in bars and clubs across the country when Raitt found him in a club in Cambridge, Mass.

McFarlane learned how to listen as well as play while in Raitt's band. His musical education was a versatile one, encompassing straight blues, country blues, folk, country, rock 'n' roll, as well as singer-songwriter material. Raitt was sharing stages with living blues legends, and McFarlane soaked up as much as he could from them before and after the gigs.

McFarlane left Raitt to move to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, playing on records for Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Etta James and Johnnie Taylor as part of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

He parted company amicably from Raitt in 1980, because he and his wife, Janet, wanted a change of lifestyle and didn't want to raise two kids in L.A. Soon after relocating to Muscle Shoals, he had a spiritual awakening. His younger brother was murdered while McFarlane was still with Raitt, and he says he reeled for three years afterwards.
He became a Christian, but continued to make his living playing secular music at Muscle Shoals Sound, as well as traveling in ministry. During this time his floundering marriage was restored, and he and Janet, now married 35 years, also travel together.

McFarlane has continued to work in secular and gospel music, both traditional and contemporary styles. He has moved back to Muscle Shoals, and plays there, as well as in Nashville, and other places around the country and world, doing sessions and live performances. He was just recently inducted into the Musician's Hall of Fame in Nashville as a friend of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (The Swampers).
Close

KJ Sawka

Stacks Image 84720
Widely recognized for his work as a member of renowned electronic music super-groups, Pendulum, and Destroid, KJ Sawka is undoubtedly one of the most illustrious, and respected figures in the industry today, with a unique ability to push the boundaries of dance music and foster innovation in the scene.


KJ Sawka

"Widely recognized for his work as a member of renowned electronic music super-groups, Pendulum, and Destroid, KJ Sawka is undoubtedly one of the most illustrious, and respected figures in the industry today, with a unique ability to push the boundaries of dance music and foster innovation in the scene.”
KJ Sawka, a grammy nominated, platinum recording artist has been playing drums, producing and teaching for over 30 years. He has done extensive work with countless artists such as BT, Amon Tobin, Illenium, Excision, Andy Summers of the Police, Michael Shrieve of Santana, and created the first contestant-band to perform on American Idol with 2010 runner-up Blake Lewis; he has played numerous TV shows such as Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres to name a few. With almost 100 releases and multiple number one records and sample packs, he has been at the forefront of music production, drum technology and taken many producers to main stages with electronic/live technology and connectivity.

2018 - present: KJ Sawka is currently on tour with the new EDM megastar ‘Illenium’, playing sold out summer/fall tour dates all over the US. KJ Sawka is back in the studio and on tour with Pendulum, just headlining Ultra Music Festival in Miami.

KJ Sawka Music : Spotify https://spoti.fi/2LpTbVO
SoundCloud.com/KJSawka
YouTube.com/user/KjSawka
Facebook.com/KJSawka
Twitter.com/KjSawka
Instagram.com/KJSawka

KJ Sawka is proudly sponsored and partnered with Tama Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Roland Drums & Electronics, Evans drumheads, Vater sticks and Hammerax hybrids Exclusively.
Software & Hardware Partners: Ableton, PreSonus, Mackie, Roland Cloud, Plugin Alliance, Plugin Boutique, WAVES, Zynaptiq, Kilohearts, iZotope, FabFilter, Eventide, Drumforge, Arturia, Newfangled Audio, Oeksound, Sonoaurus, Synchro Arts, Loopmasters, Slate Digital, Toontrack, Soundtoys, Sugar Bytes, and others.

KJ Sawka's social reach
Spotify - 40,067 monthly listeners / Millions of plays (Pendulum 2,202,695 monthly)
Instagram - 30,000 Followers (Pendulum 100,000)
Facebook - 63,000 Followers (Pendulum 1,822,800)
YouTube - 14.3k Subscribers (Pendulum 349,000)
Close

Larry Mitchell

Stacks Image 84540
Larry Mitchell is a Grammy award-winning producer, engineer and performer who has toured the world playing guitar with well-known artists including Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek and Miguel Bosé. In his original compositions, Larry skillfully weaves guitar textures that showcase his virtuosity as a solo artist and ensemble player.

Larry Mitchell is a Grammy award-winning producer, engineer and performer who has toured the world playing guitar with well-known artists including Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek and Miguel Bosé. In his original compositions, Larry skillfully weaves guitar textures that showcase his virtuosity as a solo artist and ensemble player.

As an artist, he has released 8 solo records and won a San Diego Music Award for best pop jazz artist. Larry is currently touring promoting his 2018 release "Deja Vu" 

As a producer-engineer, Larry has won 26 New Mexico Music Awards in various categories from pop, adult contemporary, rap, rock, country World music and Native American. He won a Grammy Award for producing, engineering and performing on "Totemic Flute Chants" by Native American artist Johnny Whitehorse, who is better known as Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo.

Larry is currently touring with his own trio as well as solo shows in support of "Deja Vu"

He has many long-standing endorsements and relationships with companies such as Ibanez Guitars, D'Addario Strings, D'Marzio Pickups, Tech 21 NYC, Cord-Lox, Dava Picks, Antares tech, Sennhieser Wireless systems, Pro Bag gig bags, Ultimate Ears, Peavey, Majik Box, Fractal Audio and now with Knaggs guitars and Godin Acoustic guitars, Morrow Audio cables. 
Close

Tomo Nakayama

Stacks Image 84838
Born in Japan and raised in Seattle, Washington, Tomo Nakayama is an artist whose melodic, complex and emotionally compelling music has been praised by NPR, New York Times, and The Stranger. After two critically acclaimed indie-folk albums “Fog on the Lens” and “Pieces of Sky” (named "Best Folk Act" by Seattle Weekly), he surprised his fans by releasing the synthpop album "Melonday"…
Born in Japan and raised in Seattle, Washington, Tomo Nakayama is an artist whose melodic, complex and emotionally compelling music has been praised by NPR, New York Times, and The Stranger. After two critically acclaimed indie-folk albums “Fog on the Lens” and “Pieces of Sky” (named "Best Folk Act" by Seattle Weekly), he surprised his fans by releasing the synthpop album "Melonday" (on Seattle label Porchlight Records), which was named one of the Top Albums of 2020 by Seattle Times, KEXP, and Seattle Met. and debuted at #1 on KEXP's NW Charts.
Close

Stephanie Anne Johnson

Stacks Image 84628
A singer’s talent is complete when they can bring a crowded dive bar to a collective hush and also get one of the biggest audiences on the planet to a collective standing ovation. Stephanie Anne Johnson is that special singer who can don a cowboy hat and sing over a slide as old timers weep. And they have wowed judges on the immensely popular NBC TV series, The Voice, showcasing their gifts.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Johnson is so affecting. Their mantra, after all, is “Find your joy and go there.” Their prowess exudes whether they are singing the Black national anthem - “Lift Every Voice And Sing” - to a packed auditorium or whether they're cooing acoustic lullabies to Saturday night tavern regulars. Their music, which is rooted in all that’s American, expresses the pain of the past, the roots of the down home and the hope that hard work will lead to proper reward.

The latest LP, Take This Love, is a blend of Loretta Lynn and Valerie June. It’s a stunning catalogue of surprise and satisfaction. Stephanie Anne Johnson has opened for acts that include political figure Bernie Sanders, and artists such as Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Ani DiFranco, Cedric Burnside, and Black Joe Lewis.
Close

Kazuki Tokaji

Stacks Image 84642
KAZUKI was born in Japan in 1995. Best known as pop rock guitarist of Alternative rock band CIRCLE THE EARTH & Post metal hardcore band DYLAN’N’ALICE. He started playing guitar when he was 7 years old, and drums age at 10. He graduated from the Musicians Institute in 2018. Having a traditional Japanese childhood before an American adolescence certainly gave his influences and musical ear a unique twist.

KAZUKI has already performed with many talented artists, including STEVE VAI (2018), MARTY FRIEDMAN (2018), Performed with CHUCK WRIGHT ( QUIET RIOT ) in 2019, which featured DEREK SHERINIAN (EX DREAM THEATER, STEVE VAI) on his solo single At the Helm of Despair (2020).

KAZUKI is endorsed with ESP Guitars, Hughes & Kettner Amplifiers and EMG Pickups.
Close