The road ends, but the journey continues...

RIP: Michael Chapdelaine

Michael Chapdelaine
1956, San Diego, CA – November 16, 2023, Boulder, CO

“Please, play Michael’s beautiful music and smile with us. Share his love for the guitar with your friends and family.” – Suzanne Dove Chapdelaine

Michael Chapdelaine, a local, regional and international (he)artist with whom I was acquainted, was the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world’s top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres – the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition and the National Fingerstyle Championship at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield.

A contemporary colleague within the world of classical/acoustic guitar who was generous with his time, knowledge and playing, Michael’s presence will be greatly missed.


  1. Lavinia Ross

    I am sorry for the loss of a wonderful musician, and a friend to you, too. I was not aware of his music, and am glad you posted a tribute to him here.

    I’ve caught up with your earlier posts from this year, and I apologize for being away so long.

    • laura bruno lilly

      No need for apologies – I’m honored to have you stop by, Lavinia. I often think of you and your music-making continuing ‘off-line’ which places a smile on my face! Like Michael, we do our music because it’s our lifeblood.

  2. Khaya Ronkainen

    So sorry, Laura. May he rest in peace! And what a wonderful gift is his music! Thank you for sharing.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re welcome, Khaya.

  3. zippyquilts

    I’m certainly not up on contemporary guitar artists, but it sounds like he was an interesting person.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Such a creative soul…
      Thanks Zippy!

  4. deborahbrasket

    It was fun watching him play that old classic. He looked like he was having so much fun. Really spectacular riffing too. I’ve never seen anyone finger the guitar quite that way.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, a perfect foil to the pervading opinion that declares classically trained musicians are too stiff to do anything else!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the music, Deborah.

  5. Awesome rendition of Come Together – so much sound and rhythm out of one guitar! Sorry to hear of the loss of this artist you admired.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Tierney.

  6. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    A lovely musical tribute, Laura. Sorry for your loss of a very talented friend who died so young.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Cheryl.

  7. Jennie

    My goodness, to be the champion in both Classical and Fingerstyle is very impressive. This is a sad loss. I hope he touched the lives of many, and left a lasting impression of music.

    • laura bruno lilly

      He did. You’ll be interested in knowing he was also a gifted teacher and loved opening up the world of music for others!

      • Jennie

        Thank you for telling me! I’m not surprised. His students were very lucky.

  8. marissthequilter

    Gone too soon. Thank you for sharing his beautiful music.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m honored to have been the one to share his music with you, Mariss.

  9. Laura

    I cannot say anything better than Frank already has. God bless!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Laura. Your comment is also a blessing.

  10. petespringerauthor

    I enjoyed both videos, which exhibit Michael’s wide range of talents. I’m sorry for his family and for his colleagues like yourself that respected his work.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Pete, for understanding. He was an exceptional guitarist and person.

  11. piecefulwendy

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of someone who impacted you so much. His music is amazing. You honor him by sharing his music with us, thank you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Wendy.

  12. L. Marie

    Wow. How sad. What a gift he had. What a loss for his family and the world.

    • laura bruno lilly

      His style is a great example of speaking/communicating through music – no words needed.
      Thank you, L.Marie for your comment.

      • L. Marie

        His version of Come Together was so spectacular, The Beatles would have asked for his autograph.

        • laura bruno lilly

          I love this! 🙂

  13. Jane's Heartsong

    Too young. Very interesting rendition of “Come Together” and “Barrios” is so calm [and lovely. Sorry for the loss.

    • laura bruno lilly

      It is sobering when a colleague (even if an acquaintance) of one’s own generation passes on ‘too young’. Thank you, Jane for listening and hearing his voice through the music.

  14. Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections

    Cheers to his talent and contributions … peace and strength to those who knew and appreciated him. Thanks for the wonderful videos.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well said, Frank. I knew you’d appreciate the music, too.

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