William Gyles Guesthouse, home of the Newport International Hostel
Bannister's Wharf, Newport, RI
Lobster fisherman in Newport Harbor, Newport, RI
Clark Cook House at Bowen's Wharf, Newport, RI

Sid's Guitar
Stories from the Hostel

One afternoon I heard some heavenly guitar music coming out of one of the dormitory rooms of the Newport International Hostel. When I poked my head in to listen, I saw a guest sitting on the edge of his bed summing the guitar that was the property of the hostel and available for guest use. He told me of his appreciation for the quality of sound produced by the guitar. He asked how the hostel acquired it.

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Sid entertaining hostel guests on the Newport waterfront
Sid entertaining hostel guests on the Newport waterfront

Sid_Geremia, a hostel guest from Brazil, was attending the Newport Folk Festival 2015. He was a professional guitar player. Each evening he joined hostel guests and me, his guitar in tow, on a night walk along Newport's famed waterfront. Each time we stopped at the Coffee Grinder, a local waterfront cafe, he strummed a tune.

Sid drawing a picture of an elephant to earn the privilege to perform at the festival's open mic
Sid drawing a picture of an elephant to earn the
privilege to perform at the festival's open mic

There was a booth at the Newport Folk Festival where attendees perform at an open mic. To earn this privilege, the potential performer needed to draw a picture of an elephant. A clay model was provided as a guideline. Sid did this. Several hostel guests subsequently heard him perform there to an appreciative audience.

Sid returned to the hostel from the festival one day with a new guitar which he had just purchased there. It was a Martin Guitar, which he considered to be one of the best. On departure, he donated his old guitar to the hostel, with a request that I send him a photo of any guest who plays it.



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Sid playing the guitar he later donated to the hostel
Sid playing the guitar he
later donated to the hostel

Since then his guitar has been played by many guests. Because the hostel needed to close temporarily during 2020, due to the corona virus, I felt it was time to find a new home for it. Newport Festivals Foundation had recently established a partnership with Rick’s Musical Instruments. Together they created a program that would place gently-used instruments in Rhode Island Public Schools.

Staff person at Rick's Musical Instruments accepting the donation of Sid's guitar as part of their partnership with the Newport Festivals Foundation
Staff person at Rick's Musical Instruments
accepting the donation of Sid's guitar as
part of their partnership with the
Newport Festivals Foundation

I sent an email to Sid in Brazil and told him that his guitar would soon have a new home, and explained the program. Sid responded, “I believe that children who will play this guitar will enjoy the energy and history of the instrument.”

The staff at Rick’s Musical Instruments were delighted to accept the guitar, and promised to see that it got a nice home in the Rhode Island Public Schools.

Thank you, Sid, for your generous donation of your beloved guitar!


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If you would like to hear Sid perform with his band Sid Folk's Trio (in Brazil), visit the following link on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=prVEAeRoLZk

-- Written by, Merrilee Zellner, Manager/owner
Newport International Hostel, Newport, Rhode Island
www.NewportHostel.com

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This is the story of the visit of one of the many international guests who passed through the doors of the Newport International Hostel over the years. 

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