Guitar Player magazine has named Dan Kumar, 20, of Pleasanton as one of the 10 finalists in its sixth annual Guitar Superstar Competition taking place Saturday at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore.
"Each year, scores of guitar players from across the United States and Canada put their reputations on the line to enter the competition, and fight it out for a chance to perform in front of a gallery of guitar greats and win the Guitar Player's Guitar Superstar title," wrote the magazine.
Its panel chose nine contestants and left it to readers to vote for the 10th, giving 10 nominations including Kumar.
"I knew it would be an experience, and even thus far, it has been," said Kumar in his contest biography about why he entered the competition. "Simply being a part of the video submissions was exciting. Also, plenty of peer pressure from my parents probably played a part."
Kumar says that the best thing about playing the guitar is both playing and writing music.
And what is unique or original about his approach to the guitar?
"I'm among the few who draw inspiration personally from Dylan Taylor -- that must equate to something," Kumar said.
Kumar is the youngest finalist in this year's competition and one of the few who have not already been performing professionally for many years. He began playing the guitar in his early teens and, inspired by his favorite rock bands, was soon taking lessons and playing constantly.
He is currently enrolled in classes at Las Positas College while continuing to play guitar and develop his interest in composing and recording music. This will be his first competition before a panel of celebrity judges.
The competition is part of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center Guitar Player LIVE! Festival, taking place Sept. 17-18 in downtown Livermore with events celebrating guitars and guitar music.
Saturday afternoon events, including performances, clinics and exhibits, are free admission. For more information, visit www.guitarplayerlive.com.