American Roots, Blues & Jazz

IGS History

IGS logo

This page commemorates the history of International Guitar Seminars: what it was all about and who was involved. Below are excerpts from past brochures. Enjoy.

IGS has been an incredible journey for me and co-directors Bob Brozman and Trevor Laurence. From the very first seminar at Columbia University in NYC, IGS has far surpassed our initial expectations. Each year, we expanded our program, keeping the focus on what was important; creating a place where people of like-minded interests could learn, take chances and deepen their experience of playing music. Thanks to all the students, the incredible staff of teachers, and the companies who provided scholarships, IGS came together as a synergistic and remarkable place – enriching all of our lives in so many ways.

Woody, Trevor and BobWe started IGS to create “safe” place where beginners as well as advanced players can learn from each other, expand their musicianship, and take musical chances.  Through our travels we have met guitarists from all over the world who are looking for a sense of direction and a fresh input of ideas and new repertoire.  Now in the planning stages of our seventh year, we have realized our dream, creating along the way an enthusiastic community of alumni joining us on the lifelong adventure of music making.  Several of our students are pursuing careers in music and have gone on to become performers and teachers.  Many IGS alumni have taken their music in new directions, are playing with other musicians on a regular basis, and are simply enjoying their playing more.  Student jam sessions are popping up more and more often at our Guitar Forum and reports of both staff and student reunions are coming in from all corners of the world. It seems that no matter where we travel to, there are at least a few familiar faces in the audience from IGS.We’re pleased with the way the community has grown and taken on a life of its own.

Woody Mann , Bob Brozman , Trevor Laurence

The Teachers

Woody Mann

Bob Brozman

Jorma Kaukonen

John Cephas

John Renbourn

Happy Traum

Martin Simpson

Pat Donahue

Robert Tilling

Mike Dowling

Tony Marcus

Orville Johnson

Trevor Laurence

Tim Sparks

Dave Mullany

Jennifer Scott

Rene Worst

Mary Flower

Lasse Johansson

Steve James

Banning Eyre

Our Sponsors


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2003 IGS Faculty

2003 IGS faculty

Robert Tilling, Orville Johnson, Happy Traum, John Renbourn, Bob Brozman, Mike Dowling, Woody Mann, John Cephas, Piper Heisig, Bob Wolstien

2004 IGS Faculty

2004 IGS Faculty

Left to right, top row: Dave Mullaney, Steve James, Rene Worst, Ray Piper, Robert Tilling, Mike Dowling, Woody Mann

Bottom row: Tim Sparks, John Renbourn, Mary Flower, Trevor Laurence, Bob Brozman, Orville Johnson, Jennifer Scott

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” Bob, Woody, Trevor – Just a quick note to thank you all once again for a spectacular week. I feel that I got more out this past week than in my entire last year of playing. Your complete dedication to making sure that each student gets the maximum out of the IGS week is truly amazing. After the IGS week it’s a damn good thing that I can’t even pretend that I could make a living playing guitar because mentally I would be the first to bail out on the regular 9-to-5 job. This reassimilation into society thing is a nightmare… I’ve got my deposit ready for next year…

Thanks again! “

James Allard

” Dear Woody, Greetings. Blessings to you this 4th of July weekend. I’ve just returned Saturday evening from my east coast adventure visiting family and friends following my extraordinary experience with you, Bob and the rest of the IGS staff and community.

I’ve had some amazing experiences in my life. The camp was without a doubt one of the most wonderful learning adventures I’ve ever had. Thank you.I’ve been beaming and singing IGS praises to all my friends and family.

The generosity of spirit, kindness and overall nurturing environment shared and cultivated by you and the IGS team was inspiring,uplifting and even healing. Thank you. Thanks again for your patience, and gentle manner of encouraging. I had been a little bit anxious about my relative inexperience with the guitar but from the moment I arrived I felt welcomed, reassured, and supported.

As I said at the meeting, Trevor was extremely gracious and helpful answering questions in the months preceding the seminar. He also gave me a good idea of what classes would be most appropriate for me.

In addition to being most appreciative for your organizing of the event and the individual time I had to work with you, Woody. I wanted to thank you for your dedication to this gift that you have as a musician. I wanted to thank you for your initiative in finding Rev. Gary Davis and for the discipline of all your years of concentrated play (that sounded better to me than hard work).

Your playing is moving both to hear and to see and clearly an inspiration to all of us who were there.

I’m having great fun learning every day. I will keep you posted on myprogresss and thanks again for everything. “

Gregory Vahanian

” Just a note to thanks you guys once again for the incredible time at Santa Cruz. As a beginner I wasn’t sure where (or if) I would fit in, but all your claims about catering to people of all levels were very true. I came away not only with renewed inspiration to practice but also with more than enough material to keep me busy till next year. Thanks so much for your dedication and efforts toward insuring a great time for all of us. Also please pass on thanks to all the rest of the teaching staff, Trevor, Haley, and anyone else I’m forgetting for their superhuman efforts Lastly PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep me informed of plans for next year’s courses. Would’nt miss it for the world! And, if you do have a Colorado course and need help from some of the locals let me know.”

Tom Downes

“Well, I’ve been back at the daily grind for a bit, but I still wanted to take a second and thank each and every one of you for the tremendous week in Santa Cruz. I learned a great deal, made some fine new friends and was able to connect back into what makes music such a special magic.

Thanks, and hope to see you all next year,”

Dennis Roger Reed

” Greetings! I thought it’d be nice to hear from you all again–and, here you are. I never expected the l00% amount of kindness, support, thoughtfulness, and generosity I experienced last week. I’m still high. I especially want to thank my two main teachers, Woody and Orville, for detaching my thumb from my fingers, and giving me tools to create my own fingerpicking tunes. I find myself building on ideas I learned from John and Martin last year. And Bob B., Bob T., Mary, Piper and Bob, the sound man, were very special supporters.

And so was, well, just everyone. I thought Trevor said it best. We were complimenting one another, and I said I’d be working on my guitar playing. And he said he wanted to work on his singing, and, if we both did that, then we’d be even next year! Believe me, I’ll be hard at work and enjoying! Did I say work? I mean playing. “