Georgia State University: Embracing and Discovering Creativity

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Alumnus Andrew Suggs uses his guitar to play the national anthem in iconic locations.

On July fourth, Andrew performed at the Grand Canyon, as the first person to play the National Anthem at the Grand Canyon on electric guitar. The Atlanta-based alumnus came up with the idea that sparked him to plug his adapter from the amp to the cigarette lighter in his car and started to play his electric guitar. He filmed the entire performance and posted it on Facebook, which garnered more than ten million people to watch the video online, as well as national broadcast coverage.  In fact, after watching the video, a representative from the Atlanta Braves contacted Suggs to express their excitement and the possibility of a new relationship.

When asked Suggs what inspired him, he replied “Before attending Georgia State University, I worked for a film, video and a marketing company, Atlanta Idea Studio. While there, I gained experience in the media and content creation field. I was a part of the production for television and radio campaigns, video and photo marketing campaigns and even served as a brand ambassador for an organic produce company. Those skills, combined with my musical and performing experiences, led me to this idea. As a creative, I am always thinking of ideas for content, media, music, and art. I’ve played guitar for over 20 years and have performed the national anthem at large events before. It’s just the culmination of my life experience to this point”.

Suggs always had a fascination with the guitar and all aspects of it. At Georgia State University School of Music, he studied guitar with Dave Frackenpohl. Among his big influences include Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Pat Martino, Trey Anastasio, Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Eric Johnson, Guthrie Trapp, Kerry Marshall Jr., and Jonathan Dubose.

Suggs followed up his Grand Canyon appearance with a performance in South West Texas and Big Bend National Park. This time he had sponsors to help him pull the video together. He filmed a series of videos paying homage to Texas as a tribute to the El Paso shooting victims, performed the national anthem, as well as a rendition of ZZ Top’s “La Grange” which followed by Suggs smashing a guitar (which was donated for that purpose).

Since then, on September 11, Andrew decided to pay tribute to our nation and the events that took place on 9/11 by performing our National Anthem in Washington, DC.

A full-time musician, when Suggs is not performing, he teaches, records produces, and continually creates. He is also a Bad Cat Amps and Strymon Engineering artist.

Videos of Andrew’s performances can be seen on Fox News and YouTube.

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