Virtuosos share ‘Passions’: Guitarists Isbin, Jordan, Lubambo blend influences

For the CDTJanuary 31, 2014 

  • if you go

    What: “Guitar Passions” with Sharon Isbin, Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo

    When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31

    Where: Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park

    Info: www.cpa.psu.edu, 800-ARTS-TIX

Three-time Grammy Award winner and classical virtuoso guitarist Sharon Isbin will take the stage with American jazz master Stanley Jordan and leading Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo for an evening of Latin, jazz and Brazilian music.

Inspired by Isbin’s popular 2011 album release “Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions,” the concert will include a mix of acoustic and electric guitar and will feature works by composers such as Joaquin Rodrigo, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ariel Ramirez and Alfredo Vianna.

Isbin is the author of the “Classical Guitar Answer Book” and the director of guitar studies at The Juilliard School. Hailed by Boston Magazine as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time,” Isbin also is the winner of Guitar Player magazine’s Best Classical Guitarist award, the Madrid Queen Sofia and Toronto competitions, and the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition.

Jordan, a jazz-fusion guitarist and pianist, was born in Chicago. He has performed in more than 60 countries on six continents and has performed at numerous jazz festivals, including the Kool Jazz Festival in 1984 and the Concord Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1985. Jordan has four Grammy nominations and his 2011 album “Friends” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

After learning classic piano at an early age, Lubambo took up the guitar at 13. Since moving to the United States in 1985, Lubambo has performed and recorded with Astrud Gilberto, Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Al Jarreau, Herbie Mann, Harry Belafonte and Grover Washington Jr.

Isbin described how her collaborators incorporate their own unique sound into the guitar trio.

“Romero brings the sensuous swing of his native Brazil, while Stanley bedazzles with his remarkable tapping technique, which uses the fingerboard like a keyboard,” she said. “The guitar is such a versatile instrument; mixing the nylon acoustic I play with electric creates a beautiful third instrument.”

“I love performing with musicians from different musical worlds because together we create exciting new sounds, colors and styles,” Isbin said. “I’m inspired playing with innovative artists who improvise so brilliantly.”

She boasts a catalog of more than 25 recordings featuring various musical styles, and she was chosen to perform at a number of special events. On Sept. 11, 2002, Isbin performed for the 9/11 memorial tribute at ground zero. In November 2009, Isbin performed a concert at the White House by invitation of President Barack Obama. Whether performing on a college campus or for the president, Isbin can capture an audience’s attention and bring out their emotions.

“A live audience inspires us to do things we’ve never done before, and the energy in a hall with so many listeners can be awesome,” she said. “Depending on the music, people can be afire with excitement or moved to tears.”

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