WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Bluegrass Kitchen, 1600 Washington St. E.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursdays
COST: FreeINFO: 304-346-2871 or www.bluegrasswv.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Latin music artist Eduardo Canelon remembers when he first picked up an instrument. He was 4 years old, and it wasn't a guitar, which he's known for.
"My uncle, Raphael, was teaching my older brother, Manuel, to play the cuatro," he said.
The cuatro is a relative to the guitar, found in South American music, particularly in Venezuela, where Canelon was born.
"I was just supposed to sing," he said, "but I wanted to be like my brother."
So he picked it up, learned what he could from his brother and taught himself to play. Eventually, he and his brother tried to figure out songs on their own. The first tune the 39-year-old remembered trying to learn to play?
Canelon laughed and said, "'Stairway to Heaven.'"
He's come a long way from figuring his way through Led Zeppelin songs.
During the past 15 years, Canelon has become a Charleston music scene institution, someone who seems to always be playing somewhere. Currently, he can be found Thursday nights playing solo at Bluegrass Kitchen, but he also frequently performs with the Latin folk band Comparsa and his wife, flutist Beth Segessenman, in Duo Divertido.
This fall, Canelon will teach guitar and percussion at Charleston Montessori School, on the West Side. Music is the man's life, and it's almost impossible to imagine that, not much longer than 15 years ago, Canelon was driving a forklift, working for a lumber company and playing no music at all.
Canelon was born in Venezuela, but his family left when he was 10 years old. His mother got a scholarship to Davis & Elkins College and brought them to Elkins, where he grew up.
In high school, he joined his first band.