Mark Sganga

First place was awarded to Mark Sganga of Oakland, New Jersey. He is no newcomer to this contest as he has entered it eight times. Mark is a full time musician who has been playing the guitar since he was 8-years old. His parents bought him his first guitar and paid for the lessons. That and practice over the years has paid off for Mark. He loves the Walnut Valley Festival because as he says, “This is how people should treat each other.” His hobbies include running, swimming and yoga. Mark has two new CD’s coming out in the very near future. Go to his website and check out when they’re released; that is Mark for his efforts takes home the 1st Place Trophy, $3000 in cash and a Gallagher GA-55 Custom Guitar by J.W. Gallagher & Son of Wartrace, TN. 


Mark Sganga’s finger style guitar weaves a rich tapestry of beautiful melody, rhythmic texture, & imaginative improvisation. Fusing influences from around the globe, Mark creates an entrancing travelogue, as both a singer/songwriter, & an instrumentalist.

The 2009 winner of The International Finger Style Guitar Championship, Mr. Sganga has enthralled audiences from Stockholm to Kuala Lumpur, & just returned from the Thredbo Jazz Festival in Australia. Mark has appeared in NYC at Iridium, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, & S.O.B.’s. In recent years, he traveled Mysore, India with Larry Coryell, backing up Indian violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam. Besides his own trio, Mr. Sganga has performed with The Klezmatics, Jeremy Wall (of Spyro Gyra), & countless more. He has performed up & down the west coast, including a Santa Cruz, CA concert opposite the legendary Taj Mahal.

A partial discography includes:

SgangaNova Mark Sganga & friends

Sgangri-La Mark Sganga & friends

Acoustic Escape Mark Sganga solo guitar

Get It Together Pete Belasco

Mani & Co. Dr. L. Subramaniam, w/ Herbie Hancock, Maynard Ferguson & others