|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2007)|
Montana Skies is a guitar and cello duo, with eclectic styles (from finger-picking to flamenco) within contemporary instrumental music. The group Montana Skies is made up of husband and wife Jonathan Adams on guitars (steel string and Spanish/nylon) and Jennifer Adams on cellos (acoustic cello and a custom 6-String Electric cello). Montana Skies has an extensive tour schedule which has taken them all across the US, Canada and to Asia.
Their debut recording Montana Skies reached #1 on world and instrumental music radio charts in April and May 2004 and helped them win the title of “Best New Artist” in the 2004 Lifestyle Radio Awards. Highlights from the cd’s airplay include broadcasts nationally on the NPR radio program “Echoes” and the TV program “Soundcapes”. They have also performed live on radio and TV programs throughout the country and internationally. The duo recently completed a cross country tour of the US in the spring of 2004 and made their international debut last summer in Seoul, Korea.
The couple met almost a decade ago while studying music at the University of Georgia in Athens. At first the two planned on collaborating on classical music but after a trip to the University Library to investigate repertoire, they discovered that music written for cello/guitar was as rare as the combination itself. Jonathan and Jennifer were not discouraged; they began writing their own arrangements to classics and composing music for themselves. Not having set repertoire has given these music artists a great freedom in their musical expression. Jonathan explains, "Throughout the years, we have developed many of our own arrangements ranging from world music and classical to original compositions. The fact that 'ready made' repertoire is not available for our combination of instruments really what pushes us to be more creative with our music. We love composing and arranging, and appreciate the opportunity to present old favorites, along with newer music, to our audiences."
Montana Skies’ name is taken from one of the first songs Jonathan composed for the group entitled “Montana Skies”. Jonathan studied music at Montana State University in Bozeman and this song was written specifically about those times.
They are releasing their newest album Chasing the Sun which was inspired by their most recent cross-country tour. Many of the songs were composed while traveling across the USA and seeing it’s national treasures. Chasing the Sun is an homage to the “road trip".
The Adamses live in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area. They maintain an active touring schedule and conduct community and educational outreach programs in conjunction with concerts. Montana Skies performs in a variety of settings from outdoor music festivals, indoor concert halls, on the campuses of college and universities, and community concerts. Jonathan's full length instructional book and CD, "Getting Into Fingerstyle Guitar" was published in 2002 by Mel-Bay Publications. Additional publications are in-the-works.