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A Musical Life: Trevor Stewart

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Trevor Stewart is a frequent performer in Wichita. His latest project is a collection called In The Hearts of Others and features Andrew Feldman and Mark Thorstenberg. Stewart’s primary instrument is the Chapman Stick.

“A Chapman Stick is an instrument that comes from California, invented in the late ‘60s. You play it just by tapping the strings. You don’t have to strum or pick the strings. You just tap right on ‘em. It has two six-string guitars on one big fretboard. There’s no body like on an electric guitar.

Non-conventional people pursue non-conventional instruments I guess. I found it online. I mail ordered one. I’d never played one. I think they sent me a CD first and the CD was funky and flamenco, it had all kinds of sounds on it. ‘Oh my gosh! This does everything!’ There was no one around to learn from in Wichita. Everyone who played was out on the coasts. I called the Stick people and they said, ‘I think you’re the only one out in the Midwest right now.’ Luckily, I had enough piano and guitar and viola lessons to put this thing together and figure it out. That’s how I got started on the Stick.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.