June 2016 Meeting: João Luiz

The Brazilian Guitar Works of the Generation after Villa-Lobos
Gnattali and the influence of Gershwin, the national school of Guarnieri, Mignone and Afro-Brazilian connections, and the pluralism of Gismonti

The presentation will be followed by our Open Mic. Sign up in advance to play — see the Member Events page for details. NYCCGS Member Events are free and open to all members and first-time guests, and are supported by a generous grant from the D’Addario Foundation.

Thursday, June 2, 2016, at 7:00 PM

Manhattan Theatre Club Creative Center
311 West 43rd Street, 8th floor, between 8th and 9th Ave. (map)
New York City

The guitarist, arranger and composer João Luiz began to play the popular music of his native Brazil professionally during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his mentor Henrique Pinto. As a performer and composer João is equally at home with classical, Brazilian and world music; his solo guitar and guitar ensemble repertoire cover all the main works in the guitar literature from Dowland to Carter and Brazilian rhythms from choro to baião.

While studying with Henrique Pinto, with whom he recorded two albums as a member of the Violão Camara Trio ensemble, the Brasil Guitar Duo with Douglas Lora was born. In 2006, the Brasil Guitar Duo won the prestigious Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York, resulting in a full global touring schedule and numerous critically acclaimed recordings. For five years João also performed and recorded with the classical guitar quartet Quartenaglia, one of Brazil’s most important chamber music ensembles. Musicians such as Sergio Abreu, Paulo Martelli, Fabio Zanon and Alice Artzt have also been very important in his development as a guitar player.

João has recorded more than ten CDs playing solo, in duo, in trio and in quartet, all of which have featured his arrangements of classical or Brazilian works. He has recorded for Avie, Naxos, CAG and Guanabara Records. Quaternaglias’s Presenca (2004) and Estampas (2007) feature Joao’s interpretations of Tom Jobin and Alberto Ginastera’s compositions. Brasil Guitar Duo’s Bom Partido (2004), the first duo’s first CD of all-Brazilian repertoire, was the first recording produced by Concert Artists Guild. The Brasil Guitar Duo’s debut for the Naxos label features two CDs of the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Just one of many stellar reviews includes the American Record Guide, which wrote, “It would be hard to imagine a better performance … this is wonderful music played at the highest interpretive level.” The duo’s latest release features the complete Bach Flute Sonatas with flutist Marina Piccinini released on Avie in 2010. For this collaboration, João and Douglas transcribed all of Bach’s sonatas for flute and harpsichord to flute and two guitars.

As a soloist and teacher, he is on the faculty of important music festivals such as Festival Eleazar de Carvalho and Santa Marcelina College in Brazil and the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. João holds a master’s degree in classical guitar from Mannes College of Music in New York as a student of Michael Newman and is currently doing his DMA at Manhattan School of Music with scholarship from The Augustine Foundation studying with David Leisner.

His arrangements have been recorded and played by Marina Piccinini, Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Marco Pereira, Na Ozzetti, Paquito D’Rivera, Clarice Assad, Parker String Quartet, Sybarite 5 and The Newman & Oltman Duo. Currently he is working on the edition of his arrangements, the first of which will be printed by the Fall of 2013. In addition to his career as a performer, he writes guitar methods for beginners, designs the guitar curriculum and trains instructors for an important music education initiative for underprivileged children in São Paulo, Guri Santa Marcelina.

João made his debut at the Aspen Festival in July 2010 as a member of the Brasil Guitar Duo. Previous summers have included concerts at New York’s River to River Festival, The Gran Teton Music Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Bermuda Guitar Festival, Tirol’s Outreach Festival (Austria), and Two Moors Festival (UK). Recently featured New York City recital engagements include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, NY Guitar Seminar at Mannes College, Symphony Space and New York City Classical Guitar Society. In addition, the duo has performed for the Orange County (CA) Performing Arts Center, Lied Center (University of Kansas), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Chicago, Spivey Hall, Montalvo Center for the Arts, Purdue University Convocations, Daytona Beach International Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, CityFolk Festival in Dayton, OH, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Guitar Festival and for Miami Guitar Festival and the Asociacion Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City, Semana de La Guitarra in Colombia and the Classical Guitar Societies of St. Louis, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tucson and Upstate New York.

He has premiered works by composers such as Leo Brouwer, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira, Frederic Hand, Egberto Gismonti and Marlos Nobre and is currently preparing Brazilian and Cuban music for the duo collaboration and tour with Paquito D’Rivera beginning in September 2011. He will collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on a project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the composer Leo Brouwer.

Joao teaches guitar at New Jersey City University and is also the head of the guitar department at Purchase College.