Founded in the spring of 2015 by Chris Argenziano and Eric Martens, Twelve Strings specializes in playing music that ranges from the repertoire of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras to contemporary jazz standards. Argenziano and Martens first began performing together during the course of their graduate studies at North Dakota State University. Originally a classical guitar ensemble, the duo expanded their focus to include jazz music, original compositions, and arrangements of popular tunes . Versatile and professional, Twelve Strings is the ideal ensemble for any event that requires a wide variety of music.
Guitarist Eric Martens has been an active performer and instructor in the Midwest since 2003. He currently serves on the faculty at North Dakota State University and as Instructor of Classical and Jazz guitar at Concordia College.
Martens has performed with nationally- and internationally-acclaimed musicians such as Ignacio Berroa, Will Kennedy, Terri Lynn Carrington, Gregg Bissonette, Rex Richardson, and Phil Woods. He has performed in master classes hosted by world-renowned groups and musicians including classical guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening, lutenist Phillip Rukavina, and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet.
In the spring of 2014, Martens recorded with saxophonist Grant Larson (http://grantblarson.com/) and his band in a marathon session lasting over six hours. The result was Passages, a collection of original compositions and a unique arrangement of the jazz standard “Yesterdays.” It was released on the Dazzle Recordings label and can be found on iTunes, CD Baby, or Amazon.
Martens holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College and a Master of Music degree from North Dakota State University, both in guitar performance. He has studied with classical guitarist Mike Coates and jazz guitarists Dan Phillips and Dale Bruning.
Martens is a highly sought-after guitarist in the Fargo/Moorhead music community. He performs regularly with a number of well-known local groups including The Carluster Crumplebee Orchestra, Twelve Strings, and Kapeesh, and also works as a session musician.
Chris Argenziano, a native of Reynolds, North Dakota, has been a performer and educator since 2002. A self-taught player, he began his studies in earnest in 2010 when he took up classical guitar under the instruction of Michael Coates. Argenziano has since studied jazz and rock guitar with Tim Hoffelt, Michael Krajewski, and Steve Stine. Argenziano earned a Bachelor of Science in Music in 2013 from North Dakota State University, where he also studied Business Administration and Marketing. He earned a Master's of Music in Classical Guitar Performance at the same institution in 2015.
Throughout his musical career, Argenziano has been a featured performer in master classes with world-renowned classical guitarist Christopher Parkening, guitarist Michael Chapdelaine, internationally recognized lutenist Phillip Rukavina and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet.
Since 2004, Argenziano has been performing regularly with both original and cover bands, including the bands Soulpatch Adams, The Ciro and Topher Show and Twelve Strings.
An active guitar instructor since 2008, he has taught students of all ages from beginners to advanced players. In addition to teaching individual lessons, Argenziano released an instructional DVD titled Beginning Acoustic Guitar in 2012. He is currently a member of the faculty at Valley City State University as Professor of Classical Guitar and instructs group guitar classes at North Dakota State University.