PITTSFIELD -- A self-taught musician who discovered an affection for solo acoustic guitar in his teens, San Francisco-based musician Brian Gore wasn't finding a lot of gigs for the kind of music that fascinated him -- something that was particularly galling given the amount of technical acumen displayed by many of his peers in that field.
So in 1995 he started hosting multiple-guitarist showcases that evolved into International Guitar Night, a rotating showcase for solo acoustic guitar players hungry for col lab or a tion as well as a place to show off their chops.
The ever-evolving show hits the Col o nial The a tre on Sat ur day, featuring individual sets by Gore; British jazz guitarist Martin Taylor; Brazilian classical guitarist Celso Machado; and Solorazaf, who combines traditional styles from Madagascar with various of musical influences;
The players will also combine into various duos and trios, and play some quartet pieces as well.
"Collaboration is a huge part of why artists want to be in the guitar night and why audiences keep coming back every year. There's something rest and new and different every single year on top of having new players," Gore says, on the phone from a Minnesota hotel room.
The Pittsfield show will be the last evening of International Guitar Night's 12th North American tour; its travels have taken it north of the border and to Europe as well.
Gore constructs different incarnations of the showcase, and has
"We want the show to be kind of an emissary for the world of acoustic guitar. I look for people from different cultures, we like to have different styles, and we seek out people who make their own very original and musical compositions. There's always a lot of virtuosity in guitar music, but we try to find the players that are very trustful and musical along with that virtuosity," Gore says.
It goes beyond flashy technique and impressive chops.
"They also have their own original poetic voice that they're putting out in their playing, and that's the most important part. Without that poetic voice, the emotional content that you're trying to convey to an audience, there's no music."
Gore describes his own style as incorporating an emphasis on percussive effects, though plenty of his work has the clean, expressive guitar lines familiar from classical guitar, though he does not specifically adhere to that genre.
His latest project, "Santa Cruz," is a set of songs inspired by the city, with multimedia collaboration from illustrator Bill Russell. Gore's solo portion at the Colonial will exclusively feature these tunes, he says.
Gore, 49, released a solo album, "The Path of Least Resistance," around the time began the first International Guitar Nights. (Allmusic.com classifies it as New Age.) He says it took years for his technique to emerge, in part because he eschewed formal studies (in college he majored in philosophy) and worked it all out on his own.
"My style has come about in a strange way, I guess you could say, because most people who I work with have had formal study with the instrument, or they really sort of broke everything apart and learned other people's songs and all that stuff," Gore says. "I didn't do that. When I got to be in my 30s, that's when I really started coming into my own as a guitarist. That process was very long, going the route that I did. It's good though, because I have a very distinct voice on the guitar because I stubbornly followed my own muse."
Looking back at how Inter national Guitar Night has grown over the years, from isolated nights at underground clubs to international tours and the small theater circuit, Gore says he's carved out his own way to share the music that moves him the most.
"It's been an ongoing pro cess of building, but I think the moral of the story is that super high-quality music can find a place."
What: International Guitar Night
Who: Brian Gore with Martin Taylor, Celso Machado, Solorazaf
When: Saturday 8 p.m.
Where: Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield
How: (413) 997-4444;
at the Colonial box office or www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.