South Charlotte

‘The Gathering’ concert series coming to Sharon Presbyterian

Will Ackerman
Will Ackerman

Grammy-award winning producer and musician Will Ackerman will bring “The Gathering” concert series to Charlotte this month, kicking off the event’s foray into the southeastern United States.

Ackerman is the founder of Windham Hill Records and has produced artists such as George Winston and Michael Hedges. Ackerman is a guitarist and frequently works with other instrumentalists.

“At some point, I came up with the idea of doing a sampler,” Ackerman said. “We would take the artists I’d produced in a single year and put them on a single record.”

He intended for them to be a way to send a variety of music to radio stations, but distributors suggested he sell them too. Each release went gold or platinum, meaning they sold at least 500,000 copies.

The samplers turned into “The Gathering” concerts, where Ackerman performs with several artists he has recently worked with.

The concerts began in the early summer of 2015, primarily in the Western United States.

“This is the first time it’s come to Charlotte and the first time we’ve been in that part of the world,” Ackerman said.

He will play here on Oct. 24 at Sharon Presbyterian Church with pianist Stanton Lanier and guitarist Vin Downes, who also are award-winning musicians.

He has chosen to hold the concerts in smaller venues because of the more intimate atmosphere.

“I’ve always felt that creating an experience for people is what we’re really about,” he said.

The concert at Sharon Presbyterian will be instrumental, and Ackerman hopes to include local musicians who are skilled at musical improvisation. The three featured musicians will play solo.

The music they play is “typically about contemplation,” Ackerman said.

“It ends up being music into which people can sort of fall and be thinking their thoughts and feeling their feelings and letting it be very inward,” he said. “I think there is a shared experience among people.”

The concert will last about 90 minutes with a short break, Ackerman said.

Tickets are $25 or $100 for VIP seating, which includes front row seats, four autographed CDs and a private, pre-concert reception with the artists. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit:

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Road.

Marty Minchin is a freelance reporter: