Cuntrera Productions Presents An Evening With Strunz & Farah
|Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 8:00PM
Doors Open: 7:30PM
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Event DetailsEvent type: All Ages / Licensed
Strunz & Farah
Strunz & Farah, performing together since 1980, have created an entirely new expression for the acoustic guitar. From Costa Rica and Iran respectively, Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah have brought the cultural riches of their native lands to their highly virtuosic, rhythmic, and improvisation-rich original instrumental compositions, profoundly influencing guitarists everywhere. Their meeting in 1979 marked the first time that Latin American and Middle Eastern music came together on the guitar.
Jorge Strunz was born in Costa Rica to a family with lineage that includes a past Costa Rican president on one side and one of Simón Bolívar's favourite lieutenants on the other. Given his first guitar at age 6, he grew up in Colombia, Mexico, Spain, England and Canada, studying and playing flamenco and classical guitar. He performed flamenco guitar professionally as a teenager, accompanying Spanish dancers and singers. He then turned to focus more on his own Latin American roots, Caribbean and Latin folk, and later, jazz. Jorge single-handedly invented a new style of Latin guitar playing that is an original synthesis of hand techniques from flamenco, Latin folk and classical guitar with state-of-the art high-speed linear plectrum playing.
Ardeshir Farah was raised in a beautiful old house in Iran that echoed with the sounds of the violin of his uncle, who performed with the Teheran Symphony. Later, Ardeshir moved to England for schooling. He played guitar since childhood, focusing on popular music and improvisation. He has performed and recorded extensively with many of the top expatriate Persian singers and musicians in the US who fled Iran after the Revolution. Ardeshir was the first to use Middle Eastern inflections in a contemporary guitar setting. His style has an unique exoticism.
The travels of his diplomat father brought Jorge to the United States, while Ardeshir arrived as a student of architecture. Ardeshir came to see Jorge perform with his Latin jazz group Caldera (4 albums on Capitol), and decided to meet him. The day the two guitarists met, it was instantly obvious that they were brothers of the guitar from opposite ends of the earth, even playing Czárdás (a devilishly fast Hungarian Gypsy piece) flawlessly in harmony at top speed. They quickly prepared a repertoire, began performing, and recorded their first project, Mosaico in 1980 (self-produced). Although record companies at that time were not ready for this exotic new music ("where are we going to sell this, Timbuktu?"), jazz radio embraced it and world/jazz industry pioneer Richard Bock got the duo signed to the prestigious jazz label Milestone (Frontera, 1983, Guitarras, 1984). These records defined world music on guitar years before the “world music” category even existed.
S&F’s most recent recording, Fantaseo, is a journey through folk and urbane Latin America, rustic Iran, and includes an appreciative nod to American jazz, albeit underpinned with their intrinsic ethnic touch.
In all of these recordings (which have sold well over a million), one can savour the fruits of one of the most unique yet enduring and harmonious musical collaborations in the world of the guitar.
Strunz & Farah are widely respected in the flamenco community. They count as friends Paco de Lucia (who once suggested Jorge to John McLaughlin as a replacement for Al DiMeola in the guitar trio), Pepe Habichuela, Agustín Carbonell "El Bola", Jose Miguel Carmona (of Ketama), Gerardo Nuñez, Ramón Jimenez, and Rafael Riqueni, and have played with many of them.