Music: Two solo guitarists—John Thomas & Sarah Whitaker—on Thurs., Sept. 3, at 8 PM

Guitarists John Thomas and Sarah Whitaker perform solo sets at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 8 PM.

John Thomas performing at Best Video in 2013.

John Thomas performing at Best Video in 2013.

John Thomas is a fingerstyle guitar player living in Hamden, in southern Connecticut. He plays instrumental acoustic music, mainly blues and ragtime. His influences range from the blues greats of the 1920s and 1930s to Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed. Thomas’ guitar playing is deeply steeped in American roots music of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Playing solo, acoustic music for more than 40 years, his live performances and recordings feature music that ranges from the compositions of classic blues guitarists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Rev. Gary Davis, to the classic ragtime tunes of Scott Joplin, to the Nashville playing of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, and to his own original compositions that echo these influences. For many of the blues tunes and rags in his repertoire he has created original arrangements, including adapting ragtime piano pieces to the guitar.

Sarah Whitaker

Sarah Whitaker

Sarah plays Hawaiian slack key guitar, a folk style native to Hawai’i. She has studied with various slack key artists in the islands. Sarah also speaks the Hawaiian language, having been inspired to learn it after her first visit in 1996. Sarah lives in Hamden with her husband.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Aug. 27. AMERICANA: PATRICK DALTON & MIKE SKAGGS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Thursday, Sept. 3. SOLO GUITAR: JOHN THOMAS, SARAH WHITAKER

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Thursday, Sept. 10. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Sept. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, CHRIS KILEY

Wednesday, Sept. 23. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HENRY SIDLE

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, BEN PARENT

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Friday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)