Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off Winner Announced

The second annual Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off competition winner has been announced. This years’ winner goes to Matteo Bizzarri from Ferrara, Italy for his piece entitled 'Blackmoresque Medley' which can be seen below. Bizzarri created his under three-minute composition as “a medley of several different songs from my band (VOODOO HIGHWAY).”

Jim Manngard, Ritchie Blackmore’s long-time guitar technician, sound tech, and personal assistant since 1985, led the decision by three-judge panel in declaring this years’ winner. Along with Manngard, rounding out the three-judge panel was second-year judge Andy DiGelsomina, the composer-guitarist for the Wagnerian opera metal project Lyraka, and Keith Langerman, owner of Nightwatcher’s House of Rock blog.

Says Manngard, “Matteo’s composition had a good vibrato and picking technique that combined the elements of Classical, Blues, Hard Rock, Baroque, Medieval, and Renaissance – very reminiscent of Ritchie’s playing style (throughout his career). The riff grooved. The solo and outro had a good, tasty feel to it. I liked the ‘vibe’ and the ‘attack’ along with the delicate work of picking and inflection.”

DeGelsomina added, “He not only followed the rules (of the contest), but great playing, especially in the second half of the video, where he got more creative.”

Langerman ended with, “Matteo’s Bizzarri’s 'Blackmoresque Medley' exemplified best the spirit of Ritchie’s playing, which has been a hallmark throughout his career.”

Entries for this years’ competition not only arrived from Italy, but Spain, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, France, Russia, and the United States. Each were posted on The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off – 2011 Facebook.

The top prize is a plaque with the person’s name, city and country of origin, and the current year.

The competition is hosted by the Official Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame organization. organization. Check them out on Facebook

Voodoo Highway says: “Thank you all for the huge support, and obviously to Jim Manngard (Blackmore’s guitar tech), Andy DiGelsomina and Keith Langerman for choosing the Voodoo Highway’s trademark.”

Here is Matteo's winning entry "Blackmoresque Medley" :

For more info on Matteo and Voodoo Highway go to this location.

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