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  • 2016-2017 Season

  • Concert Lineup

    Alturas Duo <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Saturday, September 17, 2016</font>

    The Alturas Duo has been recognized as one of the most engaging ensembles performing in the chamber music world today. The only group of its kind, the Duo was formed with the idea of playing South American and classical music by bringing together the unusual combination of the viola, charango and guitar, and in doing so, creating passionate music that moves at ease between the Baroque, South American folk rhythms and new pieces written especially for the Duo. The Alturas Duo has been recognized as one of the most engaging ensembles performing in the chamber music world today. The only group of its kind, the Duo was formed with the idea of playing South American and classical music by bringing together the unusual combination of the viola, charango and guitar, and in doing so, creating passionate music that moves at ease between the Baroque, South American folk rhythms and new pieces written especially for the Duo. The Duo has performed in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and throughout the US and Puerto Rico including recitals at: Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Smithsonian Institute, the Music Mountain Chamber Music Series, La Guitarra California, and the 34th International Viola Congress. Always in search of new music and collaborations, the Duo has performed with artists as diverse as: charango virtuoso Ernesto Cavour, guitarist and composer Horacio [...]


    Guitar Day! 2016 <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Saturday, October 15, 2016</font>

    Guitar Day! 2016 - Saturday, October 15, 2016, all day starting at 9:00 AM Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions) Experience a day of interactive workshops, demonstrations, and ensemble playing led by professional musicians. Guitar Day! 2016 Schedule of Workshops Saturday, October 15, 2016 9:00 AM Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford, CT Workshops, class led by Beppe Gambetta, luthier demonstration and more. 9:15 AM - Franco Barone - classical warm up 10:15 AM - Sinan Bakir - jazz concepts 11:15 AM - Paul Shumsky - Blues comping 12:00 PM - lunch, Nathan Richardson, luthier 12:30 PM - CGS Ensemble 1:30 PM - open stage 1:30 PM - Richard Young - guitar construction 2:30 PM - Beppe - art of Italian flatpicking


    Beppe Gambetta <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Saturday, October 15, 2016</font>

    Known as one of the true master innovators of the acoustic guitar. Inspired by the great bluegrass legend, Doc Watson, this pick style player will delight you with ferocious chops and sense of humor.  It is the smile that is the key for reading the musical universe of Beppe Gambetta. An open and disarming smile that is also the contagious and unresistable smile of a person who invites you to a musical journey with light heart and curiosity. The destination, as for any traveller, is not totally defined because it is beautiful, at the very last, to find ourselves where we never would expected to be. With the horizon's line as a challenge and attraction, Beppe is continually composing his personal mosaic of sounds and flavours. From his unique background as an Italian musician in love with both American roots music as well as the music of his native country, Beppe has travelled the world and even crossed the “Iron Curtain” to dazzle and charm music enthusiasts everywhere. After eleven CDs, DVDs, teaching books and collaborations with many other top-flight musicians, Gambetta is increasingly known as one of the true live master innovators of the acoustic guitar. While Beppe still lives in his native Genova, he travels to North America at least three times each year. His reputation in the U.S. and Canada is reinforced by his participation in prestigious festivals [...]


    Thibaut Garcia <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Sunday, November 6, 2016</font>

    We are always proud to feature the latest winner of this prestigious annual competition! Thibaut Garcia, Foundation of America international Competition Winner Born in Toulouse in France, Thibaut Garcia begins to play the guitar at the age of seven. His Spanish origins give him a real influence in his way of thinking. He studied in Toulouse where he got his chamber music diploma in the class of Renaud Gruss, and his guitar diploma with the honour mention in the class of Paul Ferret. At sixteen he enters the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) ans studies with Olivier Chassain with whom he got his bachelor with the honours. He studies in private lessons with Judicael Perroy. At twenty one, Thibaut won several international competititons prize: — 1st prize of the international competition of GFA, Oklahoma City (U.S.A) 2015. — 1st prize of the international competition “Jose Tomas” (Spain) 2014. — 1st prize of the international competition of Sevilla (Spain) 2013. — 1st prize of the international competition “Terra Siculorum” (Romania) 2013. — 1st prize of the international competition “Ana Amalia”, Weimar (Germany) 2011. — 1st prize of the international competition “Valle de Egues” (Spain) 2008. Thanks to the first prize of the international competition[...]


    Frank Varela <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Sunday, January 15, 2017</font>

    For many years, Frank has dazzled audiences with his guitar prowess and has most recently employed his “foot bass”. With the amazing Rick Marshall on percussion, Frank’s 2 man “trio” will dazzle you as well with jazz standards and beyond. Frank Varela attended Berklee School of Music and has been a private music instructor throughout the life of his career. He has also taught as a lecturer at the University of Connecticut and Manchester Community College in addition to his after school guitar program for the South Windsor Recreation Department. Frank is also an accomplished guitar player and composer. He was recently featured at the Guitar Under the Stars Festival in Hartford, CT in 2012. His work has been favorably reviewed in nationally renowned "Jazz Improv" Magazine and he has played and composed music for six published CD recordings including 2 Mystery Feet CD’s. The first one, entitled "Walk the Walk" includes performances with jazz guitar great Larry Coryell. Frank also had the opportunity to record with drummers Lenny White (Miles Davis, Chick Corea) and Joel Rosenblatt (SpyroGyra) on the latest release entitled "Upstream". Frank has also performed and recorded with such greats as Jimmy McGriff, Max Roach, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith and Windham Hill grammy winner, violinist, Darol Anger. He has just released an album with Upstream [...]


    Sinan Bakir <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Sunday, February 5, 2017</font>

    Popular local jazz wiz mixes standards and originals from his latest CD, with the great Matt Dwonszyk on upright bass. Turkish guitarist/composer Sinan Bakir is noted as a virtuoso player and a masterful composer by the music critics and his peers. Sinan's early musical experience started with mandolin lessons followed by an audition leading to the Ankara State Opera Children's Choir. After attending a rock concert in his early teen years he was inspired to pick up his first guitar and started taking private lessons, spending most of his time practicing. Soon after he formed his first band and started playing gigs around the city while attending to college in his hometown Ankara. By the time he graduated from Hacettepe University with a degree in engineering he was granted a scholarship from the Hartford Conservatory and moved to United States. Sinan continued growing as a musician in Hartford, writing tunes, attending sessions,and playing regular gigs & festivals. His all original debut album "On My Way"(2009) with bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber, followed by a quartet recording titled “Tales and Stories”(2012) with pianist Warren Byrd. Both albums received great reviews from many respected music publications and featured in a variety of Radio and TV programs. While maintaining a busy teaching schedule guitarist continues to perform in [...]


    Jason Jenkins <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Sunday, February 19, 2017</font>

    A true guitar chameleon and newcomer to the CT scene, Jason plays a spectacular blend of flamenco and rock, Imagine Paco De Lucia meets Yngwie Malmsteen. He has worked with Carlos Santana and Al De Meola. Beginning his career as a session player when he was just a teenager, guitarist Jason Jenkins has gone on to work with many notable artists including, Carlos Santana, Al Di Meola, Corey Glover, Frankie Negron, actress/singer Jamie-Lynn Sigler, amongst others. As a child, Jason was often exposed to many different styles of music, but it was flamenco that left an indelible mark on the aspiring young guitarist. He became enamored with the sound of the nylon-stringed Spanish guitar after hearing the virtuoso guitarist, Paco De Lucia, and began to study it on his own and eventually with acclaimed classical/flamenco guitarist Dennis Koster in New York. Soon after, he discovered the hard rock and heavy metal sounds of Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen, which turned the young guitarist on to the electric guitar and it’s possibilities. This in turn led him to seek out progressive rock/metal bands and eventually progressive fusion jazz groups. “Flamenco had the biggest effect on me, and the sound of the heavy metal guitar intrigued me. Other types of music such as classical, Latin and fusion jazz also inspired me. So, I wrote and played things fusing the [...]


    Pandora Duo <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Saturday, March 11, 2017</font>

    The Pandora Duo features the exciting duo of guitarist Christopher Ladd and flutist Janet Arms, both Hartt School faculty members and internationally acclaimed performers. The Pandora Duo combines the forces of two exceptional musicians that share their passion for chamber music. Janet Arms, flute, and Christopher Ladd, guitar, met at the Hartt School of Music where they are both current faculty members. Regarded as successful soloists independently, the Pandora Duo formed itself when these two musicians’ played together for the first time at a faculty recital. Since then, the Pandora Duo has been performing all over the New England and Tri-State area, including the Di Menna Center in NYC, the Boston Guitar Society, the New England Guitar Ensemble Festival and many others. Committed to bringing a variety of new music and old music for flute and guitar, the Pandora Duo strives to bring live chamber music to a diverse audience, by using innovative programs to reach a wide variety of interests. Among performing the standard canon of works for flute and guitar, the Pandora Duo redefines the traditional repertoire by including music from all around the world, taking their audiences on an exciting musical ride that is engaging and inventive. Flutist Janet Arms enjoys a notable career as an orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician, and educator. She has been a member of [...]


    New West Guitar Group <br><font style=&quote;font-size: 0.65em&quote;>Saturday, April 22 2017</font>

    One of the premier guitar ensembles in the world perform covers, jazz standards and originals. Their innovative style highlights rhythm, beauty and virtuosity on acoustic and electric guitars.  New West Guitar Group (NWGG) has developed a wide spread reputation as one of the premier guitar ensembles in the world. Featuring guitarists Perry Smith (NYC) John Storie (LA) and Will Brahm (LA), they perform recognizable covers, jazz standards and exciting originals. Their signature sound comes from an innovative style that highlights rhythm, beauty and virtuosity through combining acoustic and electric guitars. Smith and Storie founded the group 10 years and today they continue to tour as a trio with Brahm throughout the United States and abroad. In August of 2015, New West Guitar Group released their new project 'Send One Your Love' on Summit Records. The recording features guest vocalists: Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, Becca Stevens, Tierney Sutton and Peter Eldridge. Downbeat Magazine gave this CD the prestigious Editor's Pick in their August 2015 issue. Praised as “sharp and refined” by the Seattle Times, the New West Guitar Group has released five instrumental albums over the last 10 years. Each project features their unique style of laid-back virtuosity through expert arrangements crafted by the members of the group. Their music is regularly featured on NPR [...]