Legendary guitarists Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are taking to the stage together again in September to hold a benefit concert at Hollywood’s House of Blues for the ailing A&R executive Cliff Cultreri.
Satriani and Vai have performed together many times, most prominently in the G3 tours held across the world. This concert however, to be dubbed "The Cliff Show," is a non-commercial enterprise, and the proceeds will go to supporting the family of their friend Cultreri. Renowned guitarists Steve Lukather and Scott Henderson will also be making appearances at the event as well as a host of as yet unnamed artists.
Cliff Cultreri is the A&R executive who 'discovered' both Satriani and Vai, as well as many other popular recording artists, while working at Relativity Records. Cultreri is suffering from a host of autoimmune and connective tissue disorders that are attacking his immune system, a one in 100 million occurrence that causes severe pain and physical problems.
"Cliff has been a musical force and guiding light in my career and my life for two decades. He introduced and championed my music to the music business. He is a dear friend and musical ally and quite the guitar player himself," said Satriani, who first began playing guitar after hearing of Jimi Hendrix’s death when he was 14. "Steve and I wanted to help Cliff and the idea of a show in LA with other members of the guitar community seemed to be the obvious way to celebrate and help him."
Satriani and Vai are most famously known for their astonishing guitar techniques and for bringing the highly technical style to the mainstream. In 1992, Satriani’s album The Extremist – which is now considered a rock classic – sold out when radio stations across the United States played out "Summer Song", a track on the album. In 1985, Steve Vai joined forces with former Van Halen front man David Lee Roth to produce bestselling albums Eat ‘Em and Smile and Skyscraper. Many critics have since compared Vai’s style favourably with Van Halen’s.
Lukather is best known for his work with progressive rock band Toto, and Henderson for the jazz fusion band Tribal Tech, which he formed in 1984 with prominent basist Gary Willis.
Cultreri is currently Vice President of A&R at Koch Entertainment, where he has worked with a diverse range of artists including Master P and Death Row.
As well as discovering Satriani and Vai, Cultreri has made substantial contributions to the music industry, having served as A&R for many other artists including Bone Thugs N Harmony – for which he won Grammy’s for “Song of the Year” and “Album of the Year” – Crade of Filth, Peter Frampton and Megadeath.
In addition, he has received eighteen Grammy nominations, thirteen gold and fourteen platinum and multi-platinum awards for albums on which he was the executive producer, co-producer or A&R.
The benefit concert will be held on Saturday, September 30 at House of Blues in Hollywood. Ticket prices are set at $100 and have been on sale since August 12, although a limited number of $75 tickets have been available since August 8 through Satriani and Vai's websites.
Says prominent London rock band Aquila’s Kiss, who are one of the many artists to have been inspired by both Vai and Satriani: “This is a definite don’t-miss. These are two of the world’s best guitarists in one of the world’s best venues.”