David Rogers harnesses classical, jazz influences to cover broad range of emotions

When Eugene-based guitarist David Rogers takes the stage, he aims to carry his audience to as many different places as possible.

While obviously there's no spatial movement, he uses his guitar to evoke as wide an array of emotions in his listeners as a full orchestra – but with just his fingers and the six strings on his guitar as he jumps from Bach to a fancy arrangement of a modern rock song. SUBMITTED PHOTO - David Rogers, a Eugene-based guitarist and composer, will once again perform at The Coffee Cottage, 808 E. Hancock St., Aug. 11, bringing with him a wide-ranging repertoire of classical pieces, original compositions and arrangements of popular contemporary songs.

"I want to take them to as many emotional, intellectual areas as I can, make them feel and think and (be) entertained in as many facets as the medium of the solo guitar can offer, which I think is pretty far," Rogers said. "I think an able guitarist can manage close to as much as an orchestra."

The guitarist, composer and frequent guest of The Coffee Cottage will make another trip up to the Newberg café for a performance Aug. 11, bringing with him a dynamic repertoire of original and traditional music as well as his own arrangements of more mainstream standards.

While Rogers' website states that his work blends classical, world, early and jazz music together, he said classical and jazz music have been the primary influences during his career.

That started with his mother and grandmother being talented classical pianists, which informed his style as he underwent his own training in classical guitar.

In addition to that, he said his style and particularly his compositions are deeply influenced by New York contemporary jazz, especially musicians and guitarists in the tradition of trumpeter Miles Davis.

While he acknowledged that jazz encourages an improvisational style that might seem at odds with classical music, he said the genre still adheres to a fairly strict set scales and patterns that is not so different from classical.

"There's nothing sloppy about it. It's very well-rehearsed and practiced," he said.

A fairly prolific performer with a list of flattering quotes on his website from publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, Rogers gives routine shows at The Coffee Cottage with scarcely a month going by between each.

Asked why, he likened the café to an intimate, relatively-close laboratory for him to test out of some of his most recent work on a small, receptive audience.

"Part of the learning process for anyone is actually performing for people," he said. "You can take a piece of music just so far in your practice room and you do need to get out and start playing it for people to continue that music's development."

Rogers will take the stage at The Coffee Cottage at 7 p.m. Aug. 11.

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