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Hard work pays off for festival organisers

"A wonderful experience" says volunteer

More than a dozen volunteers are preparing for July’s Inter­nation­al Guitar Festival in Puy l’Evêque, Lot, and are starting to see the benefits of their hard work over the past two years.

Artists are getting in touch keen to perform in the medieval village which cascades down towards the River Lot.

This year will include Franco-Israeli guitarist Liat Cohen; Australian Stephanie Jones, Egyptian Joseph Tawadros, a virtuoso on the oud Arabic stringed instrument; French and American guitar duo the Jellyfish Brothers, and Ballaké Sissoko, a Mali kora player.

Susan Harrison, who has lived in the area for 19 years, is responsible for international relations at Le Temps des Guitares festival. She was asked by artistic directors Cécile Cardinot and Oliv­ier Bensa, who are well-known guitarists, to get involved as she had previously worked in marketing.

As well as the concerts at 21.00 there are activities for both children and adults: “There are guitar lessons, a guitar maker demonstrating his craft and, as we are in the Cahors wine area, we link music and wine with a different wine-maker each evening. It’s a wonderful atmosphere.”

As a classical guitar festival it has no electric guitars, “but the music is very varied, from all round the world”.

Ms Harrison says being involved “is a wonderful experience, especially as it is something that is being done to a very high standard.”

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