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Pratt to perform at Arts Center

Musician and comedian Gordy Pratt will return to Jamestown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Arts Center. Submitted photo

Comedian and classical guitarist “The Fabulous One Guy” Gordy Pratt will make his third appearance in Jamestown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Arts Center. Pratt has also performed at other banquets and functions in Jamestown and Angela Martini, Arts Center advertising specialist, said his performances have been well-received locally.

“He’s so cool,” Martini said. “He has this comedy routine he does and he does a lot of finger-picking-style folk music, throws in some jokes, it’s just a really entertaining evening.”

Tickets will be available at the door and are $10 for Arts Center members and $15 for nonmembers.

“It’s an embarrassingly cheap amount to ask for this type of talent,” said Taylor Barnes, Arts Center director. “I mean, it’s a cheap ticket for a really good night.”

Pratt, 61, of Spearfish, S.D., said he began playing guitar when he was 10 years old “because the chicks dig it.” A rock-‘n’-roller in his teens, in the early ’70s a fellow musician turned him on to classical guitar after playing a record for him.

“I said, ‘those guys are great,’ and he said ‘no, no, that’s just one guy,’” Pratt said, adding that was where he came up with the name “The Fabulous One Guy.” “The ability to play one guitar and make it sound like multiple guitars — your thumb can be the bass player, your inside first couple of fingers can do the harmony and the top finger would be the melody. You can actually play all of those things very discreetly so that it sounds like multiple parts.”

Pratt said another thing that drew him to the classical guitar was the “poignancy” of its sound.

“Any movie that you’ve ever seen, when it gets to that point that’s really poignant, not passionate but really romantic, nine times out of 10 the background music will be classical guitar,” he said. “It’s a very iconic texture.”

Pratt would go on to study classical guitar at “fancy schools” in San Francisco, New York City and London. For seven years in his 20s he would practice for four to five hours a day, six days a week.

“I guess it’s a steep learning curve but I didn’t really notice because I was so into it. I just wanted it so badly,” he said. “People say ‘oh gosh, you’re so talented.’ I think talent is hugely overrated. I just do the work; I like doing the work, it’s just a lot of work.”

Pratt makes a living through his “stand-up musical comedy” playing mostly corporate benefits throughout the contiguous United States, and racks up about 40,000 miles a year traveling.

“I go to and fro a lot,” he said.

Barnes, who said she’s been friends with Pratt since meeting him at an arts conference in 1991, said Pratt has been a big draw at the Arts Center in his earlier appearances.

“He’s just really talented and he’s inventive,” she said. “His original songs are wonderful. He’s a really talented songwriter with a great sense of humor … He can play classical and music of any genre. He can play anything; he’s a professional musician, that’s his job.”

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at (701) 952-8455 or by email at