Mickey Jones began studying the guitar at the age of 13 in Deming, New Mexico with Albert Valverde. He initiated his collegiate studies under Matthias Stegmann at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virgina and received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in guitar performance under Michael Chapdelaine at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque. While at the University of New Mexico he did additional study with flamenco masters Chuscales and Pedro Cuadra as well as masterclasses with classical guitar luminaries Bruce Holzman and Sharon Isbin.
As a performer, Mickey has had an extensive career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has been a featured soloist at the New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival 2006 and 2011, worked with the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Church of Beethoven, Chatter, the Rio Grande Guitar Quartet, and played and danced the tango (with his guitar as his partner) at the 2007 Roland Dyens Tribute Festival. As part of the New Mexico Guitar Duo, Mickey and his partner, Jeremy Mayne were Artists in Residence at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in 2012. In 2014, the New Mexico Guitar Duo gave several performances in Santiago, Chile which concluded with a recital at the historic Teatro Casona Dubois.
Mickey has taught, lectured, adjudicated, and conducted at important festivals and institutions in Albuquerque, Boulder, Los Angeles, Tucson, San Francisco, San Antonio and Ithaca among many others. In 2008, with colleague John Truitt, he was a featured educator and conductor at the Bergen Cultural School in Bergen, Norway. Stretching the limits of what was possible for the guitar orchestra model, Mickey was music director and conductor for two ballets featuring the Albuquerque Academy Advanced Guitar Ensemble and the Albuquerque Academy Dance Program in which he also contributed original music. In 2009 he conducted Shingo Fuji's Concierto de Los Angeles with famed guitarist William Kannengiser as featured soloist and in 2012, Mickey conducted the world premiere of Carillons by the renowned French composer, Roland Dyens at the New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival.
Mickey Jones has been on the leading edge of classical guitar education in the United States for nearly two decades. Mickey’s students have attended some of the most important music institutions in the world including: the Paris Conservatoire, the Conservatory of the Hague, Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, the San Francisco Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Eastman Conservatory, and have been prizewinners at numerous competitions throughout North America.
Michael Harding started playing the guitar as a teenager and quickly became obsessed with being a musician. A long serpentine journey led him to study with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. He has performed in masterclasses with David Russell, Roland Dyens, Abel Carlevaro, Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, Roberto Ausell, Pepe Romero, Oscar Ghiglia and Sergio Assad, as well as lutenists Konrad Junghandel, Nigel North, Paul O’Dette and cellists Anner Bylsma and Yo Yo Ma.
An active classical guitarist, Michael has performed throughout the United States and Canada as a soloist and with numerous ensembles. His collaboration with other artists has created unusual and diverse performances, including improvisations with Indian tabla drummers and the commission of original works for guitar and modern dance. Michael’s interest in chamber music led to the formation of the Pacific Vanguard Duo, a guitar and flute ensemble specializing in 20th Century American music, which was featured on public radio.