By Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor Published Mar 23, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Acoustic guitar royalty will be in town next week. California-based Alex de Grassi will be in residence at the UWM Peck School of the Arts, which has one of the top finger-style guitar programs in the country.

Three events are open to the public. The musician will play live his score to the Japanese silent film "A Story of Floating Weeds" at 7 p.m. Thursday, appear at a forum on his finger-style guitar method at 10 a.m. next Friday, and perform a variety of music in concert at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.

De Grassi's musical repertoire ranges from jazz and folk to original work. His silent film score was commissioned in 2006 by the New York Guitar Festival. He performs it onstage while the 90-minute movie is screened.

Ticket information can be obtained at this Peck School of the Arts website. Scroll through the events calendar.

Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor

Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.