Brian Henke has been a popular figure on the Cleveland-area coffee house circuit for years and plays small venues across the country performing in approximately 30 different states including Hawaii. He has garnered both local and national recognition for his intricate fingerwork and resonant composition skills and continues to receive local and national radio airplay. His unique guitar style has been called everything from New Age to Folk to neo-classical.
His music appeals to anyone who likes their music lyrical, thought-provoking and performed with virtuosity. Watching Henke play acoustic guitar is as much a visual experience as it is a sonic one. At any moment, he will bounce effortlessly from a chimey harmonic pattern to a vibrant hum to an ominous wall of sound, using nothing more than six strings, 10 fingers and a hunk of wood. Through it all is an undercurrent of spirituality and mysticism that Henke says is very much a part of the creative process. The result may be easy on the ears, but it's far too rich and resonant to be dismissed as easy listening.
Brian composes and plays his music like a painter putting images on canvas, drawing his inspiration from the world around him. An avid hiker, Henke often brings a guitar along to create a spontaneous musical response to his outdoor settings. Mother Earth, as artist, has given him an immense living gallery, from the humbling spectacle of her natural wonders to the simple beauty of a treetop against a blue sky.
Her majestic legacy and the magical feeling of awe and peace inspire the compositions of this virtuosic fingerstyle guitarist. Brian's 3 C.D.'s , "Many Waters", "Love Song for Terra" and "Force of Nature" are a cornucopia of sonic vistas. Henke celebrates a Grand Canyon sunset, the fireside magic of an American shaman, playful Waterfalls, the mysterious Mayan "Ruins of Tulum" to name a few. Henke explores his musical subjects with a focus and structure that reflects his favorite composer, Beethoven, whose 6th Symphony ("The Pastoral") inspired Henke's "Symphony of the Trees". Henke's liner notes explain each tracks inspiration.
Brian Henke is an extremely accomplished guitarist who has been playing for over 35 years. He was an award-winning rock guitarist until 1994 when his last band of that genre broke up. He then began composing for solo acoustic guitar. Cleveland Magazine named him "Best Local Performer" for 1998; and the Cleveland Free Times chose him as the "99 Winner of their Open Mic Competition. He was a finalist in the prestigious "National Fingerstyle Championships in Winfield, Kansas in 2000, and in the Guitar Centers "Guitarmageddon" contest in 2001 and 2002 in Boston.
He has opened for such various acts as "Yes", "Linda Ronstandt","Allison Brown", "Steve Morse", Yngwie Malmsteen", "John Prine", "Robin and Linda Williams", "Adrian Belew", "Beppe Gambetta" and "Dan Crary".
His music was also used for underscoring for the Cuyahoga Community College's presentation of "the Laramie Project".
"Elegant and Emotional" - Dirty Linen Magazine
"Both hands are everywhere, all the time, often doing the work of two or more guitarists at once." - The (Cleveland)
"One of the finest new age guitarists on the scene today. Brian Henke's music displays both amazing technique and a
wonderful sense of calm." - Pete Huttlinger (2000 National