2013-14 Concert Season 

9/28/13
Yovianna Garcia

10/5/13
David Leisner

10/19/13
Guitar Day! 2013

11/9/13
Tango Night

12/6/13
Holiday Party

1/18/14
Michael Coppola

2/15/14
Craig D'Andrea

3/1/14
Rovshan Mamedkuliev

3/15/14
Benjamin Verdery

4/19/14
Val Ramos
    Flamenco Ensemble



Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble
Saturday, April 19, 8:00 PM
Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford (Directions)
Tickets: $25 general admission; $20 CGS members

Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble
Val Ramos is one of the finest Flamenco guitarists in the United States, bringing the best of traditional Flamenco to modern standards. His show includes two guitars, bass, percussion, a singer, and a dancer. Ole! From left to right: Julissa Cadenillas (Flamenco Dancer), Alfonso Cid (Flamenco Singer), Jose R. Ramos (Flamenco Guitarist), Val Ramos (Flamenco Guitarist), Carlos Hernandez Chavez (Bassist), and Matt Moadel (Percussionist).

THE VAL RAMOS FLAMENCO ENSEMBLE - GROUP BIO

The Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble is one of the best Flamenco fusion groups in the United States. Established in 1994, the group features the unique talents of VAL RAMOS (lead Flamenco guitarist), JOSE R. RAMOS (Flamenco guitarist), GONZALO CORTES (flutist), CARLOS HERNANDEZ CHAVEZ (bassist), ASHLEY JONES (violinist), and MATT MOADEL (cajon player/percussionist). The ensemble often performs with ALFONSO CID, the talented Flamenco singer from Sevilla, Spain. The ensemble also performs with guest Flamenco dancers and other musicians from Spain and the United States.

Hailed as "the best of classical Flamenco brought to modern standards" (Rootsworld.com), "a hidden treasure of the Flamenco world in the Americas.superb musicianship.." (Flamenco Connection), and "simply brilliant" (Flamenco Buzz.com) this outstanding musical group represents the best of contemporary Flamenco music, song, and dance.

The Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble has released three albums of original Flamenco music and song, all on the PIRAM Records label-Por mi camino (2001), Boricuas Flamencos (1998), and Olive Green Eyes (1995). The ensemble has been featured in major international music festivals including the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Regattabar Spring Jazz Festival, and the Guitar Under the Stars Festival. In July 2005, the ensemble toured Spain under the auspices of the United States Embassy in Spain and performed at the inauguration of the new U.S. Ambassador to Spain (at the Embassy in Madrid) as well as at the prestigious club El Savor in Salamanca.

The group has been featured in National Public Radio (NPR United States) and Radio Nacional Española (RNE Spain) interviews in the radio shows "All Things Considered," "The Faith Middletown Show," and "La hora de America." The group's music is featured in several documentary films including "Puerto Rican Passages" (Connecticut Public Television) and "Nuyoricans" (WNET-Thirteen/PBS).

The ensemble has performed with internationally-renowned and Grammy Award winners the-late CELIA CRUZ and DANNY RIVERA. It has also performed with some of the best Flamenco artists from Spain and the United States including DOMINGO ALVARADO, LUIS VARGAS, DOMINICO CARO, ALFONSO CID, JOSE DE SANTOS, CRISTOBAL CINTRON, ARTURO MARTINEZ, DIONISIA GARCIA, JULISSA CADENILLAS, BARBARA MARTINEZ, GISELE SAAD, CARLITOS REVOLLAR, DAVID CASTELLANOS, FERNANDO DE MALAGA, KAI NAREZO, MELINDA MARQUEZ, and CHICA MORI

(from http://www.valramosflamenco.com/bio/)



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Watch and hear Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble on "CGS-TV".




Calendar of Events  2013-14 Season

Yovianna Garcia

 September 28 

Yovianna Garcia - Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

An inspiring educational concert featuring music by Puerto Rican composers that depicts the island's history and culture. See her Program.

Known for her musically expressive and charismatic performances, Puerto Rican guitarist Yovianna García is a unique and rising artist in the classical guitar scene. She has performed in the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, playing for the Miami International Guitar Festival, Connecticut Guitar Society, New Music Hartford contemporary music series, Nutmeg Symphony, Hartford Baroque Players, Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, and the Primer Festival de Guitarra Clásica in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Yovianna grew up in a family of musicians, and earned her Bachelor in Music degree at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico with Leonardo Egúrbida, her Masters in Music degree at The Hartt School with Richard Provost, and her Suzuki Guitar Method Teacher Training with Mary Lou Roberts. She has studied in the USA and Spain with world-class artists such as Nicholas Goluses, Roland Dyens, Manuel Barrueco, Eduardo Fernández, Benjamin Verdery, Berta Rojas, Oscar Ghiglia, Angel Romero, William Kanengeiser, Nigel North, Jason Vieaux, David Starobin, and Jeremy Jouve.

She released her first solo recording, Portrait, in June 2011, which has led to establishing herself as a concert artist, continuously performing in the Northeast USA and internationally as a soloist and in diverse collaborations. Her studio of well-trained guitar students has earned her a reputation as an excellent teacher at the Hartt Community Division (University of Hartford) and the Hartford Guitar Studio, where she is the director and head instructor. Her recently formed guitar/percussion/vocal duo "Kaleidos", with Taiwanese percussionist Sayun Chang, has been a success, with notable performances in important venues such as the Connecticut Convention Center, and Guitar Under the Stars at the Riverfront Plaza in Hartford, Connecticut.

Yovianna has completed an educational concert featuring music by Puerto Rican composers that includes narration on the music's historical and social context. It is her hope that this project will inspire positive community relations. She is currently a board member with the Connecticut Guitar Society, and involved in teaching guitar and performing for the Hartford and Church of the Good Shepherd communities, and she hosts a Postlude Concert Series at the church.

For more information, please visit yoviannagarcia.com, hartfordguitarstudio.com, and kaleidosmusic.com.

(Copied and modified from http://yoviannagarcia.com/?page_id=29)

 

David Leisner

 October 5 

David Leisner - Saturday, October 5, 2013 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

DAVID LEISNER is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. See his Program.

"Among the finest guitarists of all time", according to American Record Guide, David Leisner's career began auspiciously with top prizes in both the 1975 Toronto and 1981 Geneva International Guitar Competitions. His recent seasons have taken him around the US, including his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony, a major tour of Australia and New Zealand, and debuts and reappearances in Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, the U.K., Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico and Mexico. An innovative three-concert series at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall included the first all-Bach guitar recital in New York's history, and currently he is the Artistic Director of Guitar Plus, a New York series devoted to chamber music with the guitar. He has also performed chamber music at the Santa Fe, Vail Valley, Rockport, Cape and Islands, Bargemusic, Bay Chamber and Angel Fire Festivals, with Eugenia Zukerman, Kurt Ollmann, Lucy Shelton, Ida Kavafian, the St. Lawrence and Vermeer Quartets and many others. Celebrated for expanding the guitar repertoire, David Leisner has premiered works by many important composers, including David Del Tredici, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Philip Glass, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Sculthorpe and Osvaldo Golijov, while championing the works of neglected 19th-century guitar composers J.K. Mertz and Wenzeslaus Matiegka.

Mr. Leisner is also a highly respected composer noted for the emotional and dramatic power of his music. Fanfare magazine described it as "rich in invention and melody, emotionally direct, and beautiful". South Florida Classical Review called him "an original and arresting compositional voice." Recent commissioners include the baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, Arc Duo, Stones River Chamber Players (TN), Fairfield Orchestra (CT), Red Cedar Chamber Music (IA), and the Twentieth Century Unlimited Series (NM). Recordings of his works are currently available on the Sony Classical, ABC, Dorian, Azica, Cedille, Centaur, Town Hall, Signum, Acoustic Music, Athena and Barking Dog labels. The Cavatina Duo's recording of his complete works for flute and guitar, Acrobats (Cedille) was released to exceptionally strong reviews. His compositions are mostly published by Merion Music/Theodore Presser Co., as well as AMP/G. Schirmer, Doberman-Yppan and Columbia Music.

David Leisner is the co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. Primarily self-taught as both guitarist and composer, he briefly studied guitar with John Duarte, David Starobin and Angelo Gilardino and composition with Richard Winslow, Virgil Thomson, Charles Turner and David Del Tredici.

(from http://www.davidleisner.com/biography.html)

 

Guitar Day! 2013

 October 19 

Guitar Day! 2013 - Saturday, October 19, 2013, all day starting at 9 AM
Central CT State University, New Britain (Directions)

Experience a day of interactive workshops, demonstrations, and ensemble playing led by professional musicians and luthiers including David Giardina, Doug Maher, Judy Handler, Carla Kelly, and Richard Young.

Guitar Day! Schedule

 

InfiniTango

 November 9 

Tango Night - Saturday, November 9, 2013 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

Enjoy an evening of classic and modern tango, opening with local guitar/flute duo, Scott Hill and Melanie Chirignan, followed by Connecticut's #1 tango band, InfiniTango! Dancing will be allowed.

 

Michal Coppola

 January 18 

Michael Coppola - Saturday, January 18, 2014 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

Michael Coppola has played at such notable venues as the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Iridium, and the Blue Note. Performing on his unique 9-string "Hydra" guitar, he magically weaves his way through all the jazz standards.

Michael Coppola began playing guitar at the age of eleven. His musical foundation, which began with instruction from guitarist Ritchie Lengel, was further developed through the combination of classical fingerstyle studies and lessons with jazz artist Sal Salvador. He pursued his education at the Boston Conservatory of Music and soon after in Austria, at Die Hochschule Fuer Music, where he studied serial and atonal composition with Guenther Kahowitz. He followed up this instruction later, in Manhattan, with jazz master Walter Bishop Jr.

In 1980 Michael won 1st place in the Ovation Guitar Company's national competition. He released his Jet Blue recording in 1987. The album, which received international attention, is a collection of jazz standards and originals all played on unaccompanied nylon string guitar.

Playing in a trio with master pianist John Mehegan inspired Coppola to overstep the technical boundaries of the guitar. In an attempt to achieve those same tightly-voiced chords and pedaled legato phrases used by contemporary jazz keyboardists, he created the concept of the 8 string guitar. This original design, which Coppola commissioned from Luthier James DeCava, requires inner, rather than extra bass or treble side strings. In 1997 Michael recorded "Virtuoso Too" on his new instrument.

In 2000 Michael Coppola expanded his own idea to incorporate a 9th string. This guitar, also built by Luthier James DeCava, is known in jazz guitar circles as The Hydra. On this instrument, Michael has recorded several more albums. Reviews of Coppola's work are filled with descriptions such as: "unique," "different," "mindboggling," "magical," and "inventive". Michael Coppola's album Return Of The Hydra was chosen as a top ten pick for the year 2002 in Coda Magazine. His original composition "Movin", released on the New Impressions album, was a runner up in the 2002 John Lennon Song Competition. Reviews and articles about his work have appeared in numerous magazines including: Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar, 20th Century Guitar, and Fingerstyle Guitar.

In July of 2004, Michael attended the CAAS festival in Nashville, TN, and began incorporating the music styles of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, and Albert Lee into his own unique style. This blend of style was well received and he has, since then, returned as a performer several times.

Currently, Michael performs at national guitar shows, NAMM, festivals, and concerts as well as smaller venues in New England. A few performances of note include: the Montreal Jazz Festival 2011, the Blue Note NYC 2012, the Iridium ( as a guest of Les Paul), and the National Guitar Museum, playing in duos with Gene Bertoncini, Jack Wilkins, Howard Alden, Stephen Bennett and other top guitarists in the country.

Michael was listed as a main entry in acclaimed jazz critic Scott Yanow's 2013 book "The Great Jazz Guitarists (The Ultimate Guide)", alongside masters such as Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, etc.

(from http://9string.com/about/)

 

Craig D'Andrea

 February 15 

Craig D'Andrea - Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

Canadian fingerstyle champion and young CT native will serenade us with his original steel string mastery. Sweet!

Craig D'Andrea is one of the younger faces you will find on the acoustic guitar scene but he isn't playing like he's 23 years old. Craig has been receiving support from fans and critics alike since releasing his debut album Crazy is Catching on CandyRat Records in March of 2007. The release of his album, along with his title of 2007 Canadian Fingerstyle Champion, has given him the chance to tour in the United States and Canada with respected artists Andy McKee, Don Ross, Antoine Dufour and Peter Ciluzzi.

Craig's first experience with an instrument was in the third grade when he began taking mandatory lessons at Riverside Elementary School; for whatever reason he decided to play the cello. On the first day of middle school Craig quit because he could not read music and was apparently playing by ear during the last three years. There was not much music being played until the summer before ninth grade when his grandmother gave him two baritone ukuleles. The baritone uke is strung like the high four strings of a guitar, so they share certain chord shapes, and Craig had no problem learning to play this isntrument on his own.

In October of 1999 Craig began taking guitar lessons at the local music store from a teacher named Mike Mirtsopoulos. Mike was (and is) a greatly supportive teacher who helped Craig learn guitar from the ground up. Lessons in scales, site reading, technique, creativity and how to set personal goals were all part of the weekly practice regiment. During the time of these lessons Craig was introduced to fingerstyle guitar through standard beginner pieces like "Mood for a Day" by Steve Howe and "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas. Eventually Craig began listening to Fleetwood Mac and learned most of the Lindsay Buckingham's guitar parts.

The music of Don Ross was the first to really catch Craig's attention and show him that the guitar can survive on its own. Over the next few years Craig learned most of Don's music as well as many pieces by Kottke and Hedges. High school brought on the opportunity to take classes in electronic music composition. It was in this class that Craig seriously began to write music using MIDI sequencing software and eventually the compositional ideas turned towards the guitar.

A unexpected phone call from Rob Poland in 2005 was the first time that Craig thought about seriously devoting himself to making a career at music. Rob had the idea to start CandyRat Records which would only feature acoustic guitarists and offered Craig a spot on the initial roster. Although it took two years for Craig to feel comfortable with the music that would become his debut there were other activities filling the time. The Canadian Guitar Festival's fingerstyle competition was something that D'Andrea was interested in being part of. The competition was more difficult than anticipated and in 2005 Craig did not even make it to the second round. In 2006 a third place finish behind, now CandyRat artists Kelly Valleau and Antoine Dufour, was enough to gain a small amount of notoriety in the fingerstyle community. The next year Craig managed to release Crazy is Catching and win at the Canadian Guitar Festival.

The hardwork had finally started to payoff and in late 2007 and 2008 Craig had been invited to tour with Don Ross, Andy McKee and Antoine Dufour.

For now we are up-to-dateon my musical life. I am recording my second CD in November and I am expecting a September release of a DVD with Antoine Dufour and Pete Ciluzzi. I will fill in my bio as I age and accomplish things..

 

Rovshan Mamedkuliev

 March 1 

Rovshan Mamedkuliev - Saturday, March 1, 2014 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

Rovshan Mamedkuliev was first prize-winner at the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition in 2012, and is now considered one of the world's most exciting young instrumentalists. See his Program.

Rovshan Mamedkuliev was born in May 1986 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Couple years later, Rovshan and his family moved to Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), where at the age of 11 he started taking guitar lessons. From a very early age he showed an exceptional musical talent. In 2004 he was accepted to the very prestigious the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatoire where he studied with nationally recognized guitarist Aleksey Petropavlovsky. Throughout his study professors have described Rovshan as having "an excellent ear, tenacious memory, a developed sense of rhythm and form and bright artistry". He completed his studies with Honors in 2009 and was invited to teach at Nizhny Novgorod Conservatoire.

Since 1999 Rovshan has won numerous awards in national and international guitar competitions, including: First Prize on the 6th International competition of the performers on the national instruments «Cup of the North» (Cherepovets, Russia, 2006), Finalist and Special prize for the best interpretation of the compositions of Francisco Tárrega on the 41th International Guitar Competition "Francisco Tárrega" (Benicasim, Spain, 2007), First Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of the compositions of Leo Brouwer on the 10th International Guitar Competition "Hommage à Leo Brouwer" (Antony, France, 2009), First Prize, Prize of Public and Special Prize for the best interpretation of the compositions of Heitor Villa-Lobos on the 1st International Guitar Competition "Heitor Villa-Lobos" (Salamanca, Spain, 2011), First Prize on the II International Guitar Competition named after A. Frauchi (Moscow, Russia, 2011). In 2012 Rovshan won one of the most prestigious guitar competitions in the world - XXX Guitar Foundation of America's International Concert Artist Competition (Charleston, USA, 2012).

Rovshan Mamedkuliev has performed throughout the world. His concert carrier took him to places such as Russian Concert Hall (Moscow), Moscow International House of Music, in Paris, Vilnius, Baku, Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk. In 2012, he gave a solo concert in New York's Carnegie Hall and undertook a tour performing in numerous cities throughout Germany and Spain. In the 2013-2014 season, after winning GFA's International Concert Artist Competition, Rovshan will undertake a Solo concert tour and master-classes (around 50 concerts) throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, and China.

As a soloist Rovshan has performed with a wide variety of ensembles and orchestras including: l'Ensemble orchestral de Valencia (Spain), Orchestre du Conservatoire National de Musique Superiur de Paris (France), Azerbaijani State Chamber Orchestra named after Kara Karaev, Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic Symphonic Orchestra, State Symphony Orchestra of the Udmurt Republic, Nizhny Novgorod State Orchestra of Russian folk instruments. Rovshan has also premiered many new works for guitar including Concerto No.3 «Antony» for guitar with the symphonic orchestra composed by Philippe Lemaigre and Concerto «Famalicao» by Elena Lebedeva for guitar with chamber orchestra.

A number of works are recorded by Rovshan on CDs. In November 2012 he recorded a solo CD on the prestigious label «Naxos» in Toronto (Canada).

Rovshan Mamedkuliev received a special grant for high achievements in the arts from Russian President Vladimir Putin (2006).

In addition to solo performances, Rovshan plays in a duo with his teacher A. A. Petropavlovsky from 2004. Their chamber ensemble leads an active concert activity not only in Russia, but also in neighboring countries. The repertoire of duo is diverse and consists of works of different epochs and styles: it is both age-old music and the classics, and works of modern composers. Focusing primarily on original compositions, musicians at the same time extend a repertoire own settings and bring young composers over to the collaboration. Duo Petropavlovsky - Mamedkuliev is carried out record on the CD of the concert program "Avenida" with works by Louis-Claude Daquin, Domenico Scarlatti, Enrique Granados, Astor Piazzolla and Máximo Diego Pujol.

(from http://mamedkuliev.ru/en/bio)

 

Benjamin Verdery

 March 15 

Benjamin Verdery - Saturday, March 15, 2014 8:00 PM
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford (Directions)

Described as "iconoclastic" and "inventive" by The New York Times and "one of the classical guitar world's foremost personalities," by Classical Guitar Magazine, Benjamin Verdery enjoys an innovative and eclectic musical career. See his Program.

Since 1980 Benjamin Verdery has performed worldwide in theatres and at festivals, including Theatre Carré (Amsterdam); the International Guitar Festival (Havana, Cuba); Wigmore Hall (England); the 92nd Street Y, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera (NYC). His tours regularly take him to Canada, Europe, Asia and throughout the United States. He has recorded and performed with such diverse artists as Andy Summers, Frederic Hand, William Coulter, Leo Kottke, Anthony Newman, Jessye Norman, Paco Peña, Hermann Prey and John Williams. Several composers have composed music for him including Ezra Laderman, Martin Bresnick, Daniel Asia, John Anthony Lennon, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, Roberto Sierra, Van Stiefel and Jack Vees. Of particular note was the commissioning by the Yale University Music Library of a work by Ingram Marshall for classical and electric guitars. Benjamin and Andy Summers premiered Dark Florescence at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra and at the Belfast Festival (Ireland) with the Ulster Orchestra.

Benjamin has released over 15 albums, his most recent being: Happy Here with William Coulter (Mushkatweek) and Branches with works by J.S. Bach, Strauss, Jimi Hendrix, Mozart and the traditional Amazing Grace (Mushkatweek). His recording, Start Now (Mushkatweek), won the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award. Other recordings of note include Some Towns & Cities which won the 1992 Guitar Player Magazine Best Classical Guitar Recording and his collaborations with John Williams (John Williams Plays Vivaldi) and Andy Summers (First you Build A Cloud).

A prolific composer, many of Benjamin Verdery's compositions have been performed, recorded and published over the years. Most recently Pensacola College (FL) commissioned a work for guitar orchestra commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Guitar Program (premiere October 13, 2012), and the New York State Council on the Arts commissioned a work for koto and guitar. In 2010 the Assad Duo premiered Ben's work, What He Said. Commissioned by the 92 St Y, the work is dedicated to the late luthier Thomas Humphrey. Other recent works include Now and Ever (for David Russell,Telarc), Peace, Love and Guitars (for John Williams and John Etheridge, SONY Classical), Capitola (John Williams, SONY Classical) and Give (for eight guitars). This last was composed specifically for Thomas Offermann and the guitar ensemble of the Hochschule for Music and Theatre (Rostock, Germany) and dedicated to the memory of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy. Ben's Scenes from Ellis Island, for guitar orchestra, has been extensively broadcast and performed at festivals and universities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet included it on their CD Air and Ground (Sony Classical). Doberman-Yppan (Canada) is currently publishing his solo and duo works for guitar and Workshop Arts (distributed by Alfred Music) has published the solo pieces from Some Towns & Cities as well as instructional books and video.

In addition to his performance tours and recording, since 1985, Benjamin has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music and Artistic Director of the bi-annual Yale Guitar Extravaganza. Benjamin Verdery has also been Artistic Director of Art of the Guitar at the 92nd St Y (New York City) since 2006. He is an honorary board member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the Swiss Global Foundation and the D'Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts. Each summer Benjamin holds his Annual International Master Class on the Island of Maui (Hawaii).

Benjamin Verdery uses D'Addario strings and guitars by Greg Smallman and Christopher Carrington.

(from http://benjaminverdery.com/artist/)

 

Val Ramos

 April 19 

Val Ramos Quintet - Saturday, April 19, 2014 8:00 PM
Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford (Directions)

Val Ramos has become one of the finest Flamenco guitarists in the United States - the best of traditional Flamenco brought to modern standards. The show includes two guitars, percussion, a singer, and a dancer. Ole!

THE VAL RAMOS FLAMENCO ENSEMBLE - GROUP BIO

The Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble is one of the best Flamenco fusion groups in the United States. Established in 1994, the group features the unique talents of VAL RAMOS (lead Flamenco guitarist), JOSE R. RAMOS (Flamenco guitarist), GONZALO CORTES (flutist), CARLOS HERNANDEZ CHAVEZ (bassist), ASHLEY JONES (violinist), and MATT MOADEL (cajon player/percussionist). The ensemble often performs with ALFONSO CID, the talented Flamenco singer from Sevilla, Spain. The ensemble also performs with guest Flamenco dancers and other musicians from Spain and the United States.

Hailed as "the best of classical Flamenco brought to modern standards" (Rootsworld.com), "a hidden treasure of the Flamenco world in the Americas.superb musicianship.." (Flamenco Connection), and "simply brilliant" (Flamenco Buzz.com) this outstanding musical group represents the best of contemporary Flamenco music, song, and dance.

The Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble has released three albums of original Flamenco music and song, all on the PIRAM Records label-Por mi camino (2001), Boricuas Flamencos (1998), and Olive Green Eyes (1995). The ensemble has been featured in major international music festivals including the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Regattabar Spring Jazz Festival, and the Guitar Under the Stars Festival. In July 2005, the ensemble toured Spain under the auspices of the United States Embassy in Spain and performed at the inauguration of the new U.S. Ambassador to Spain (at the Embassy in Madrid) as well as at the prestigious club El Savor in Salamanca.

The group has been featured in National Public Radio (NPR United States) and Radio Nacional Española (RNE Spain) interviews in the radio shows "All Things Considered," "The Faith Middletown Show," and "La hora de America." The group's music is featured in several documentary films including "Puerto Rican Passages" (Connecticut Public Television) and "Nuyoricans" (WNET-Thirteen/PBS).

The ensemble has performed with internationally-renowned and Grammy Award winners the-late CELIA CRUZ and DANNY RIVERA. It has also performed with some of the best Flamenco artists from Spain and the United States including DOMINGO ALVARADO, LUIS VARGAS, DOMINICO CARO, ALFONSO CID, JOSE DE SANTOS, CRISTOBAL CINTRON, ARTURO MARTINEZ, DIONISIA GARCIA, JULISSA CADENILLAS, BARBARA MARTINEZ, GISELE SAAD, CARLITOS REVOLLAR, DAVID CASTELLANOS, FERNANDO DE MALAGA, KAI NAREZO, MELINDA MARQUEZ, and CHICA MORI

(from http://www.valramosflamenco.com/bio/)

______________________________________

MASTER CLASSES

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The Connecticut Guitar Society
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Phone: (860) 249-1132
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