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Monday Memories
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Featured Artist Series

Our Featured Artist for this week is Peter Black, playing my very old ragtime piece “Sunshine Rag”. I think I wrote this when I was nineteen or twenty years old, and it’s delightful to hear Peter capture the spirit of the style and animate long-ago memories for me. Well done, Peter!

This week we have Angela Mair as our Featured Artist selection, with a very compelling version of my piece "Letting Go". I particularly like the way she owns and extends the vocal section - wait for it! Her journey through the form of this piece is an adventure and an exciting ride - well done!

For this week’s Featured Artist selection, we are pleased to introduce the fine Japanese pianist and my good friend Mitsuko Kado playing “Woven World” from my suite “Woven Harmony”. I’ve composed several works for Mitsuko in the past, and we have enjoyed touring together in Japan. But in this video, she is playing her arrangement of my guitar piece “Woven World”. Such a beautiful rendition on piano! Here is also a link to Mitsuko's youtube channel - Mitsuko Kado

For this week's Featured Artist selection, we are please to introduce Edith Lehner and Norbert Neunzling playing my easy little duet “The Orchard”. Even though it is a simple piece, they play it with loving attention and bring it to life with graceful and emotive phrasing.

For this week’s Featured Artist we have Feng Zhitao from Japan playing my piece "Snowflight". Majestic Mt. Fuji in the background lends a very compelling and zen-like setting to this video. Relax and enjoy Feng Zhitao playing Snowflight at the foot of Fujiyama.

We have another Featured Artist offering this week - and since it is one week before Christmas, we have chosen the delightful performance of the entire Nutcracker suite by the BARRUECO STUDIO ENSEMBLE from Peabody Conservatory, directed by Manuel Barrueco. This impeccable performance of my arrangement of the Nutcracker for four guitars was part of Baltimore Classical Guitar Society’s “Holiday Celebration” concert. Kudos and thanks to Manuel and all the guitarists, and guest percussionist! And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

This week’s Featured Artist introduces Alec O’Leary playing “Another Dream”, a new composition that I dedicated to him.  Alec O'Leary is a very fine Irish luthier and player, and his lovely video of Another Dream captures his intent to put the listener in a magical space with his evocative and heartfelt interpretation of this piece.  Very nicely done Alec, and thank you!

For this week’s Featured Artist we have the fine guitarist Michael Gullo playing my iconic piece "Home". Filmed in Santa Monica at Guitar Salon International, Michael plays with a sweet sensibility and and is also quite the elegant dresser. A lovely video, I hope you enjoy experiencing Michael Gullo's tasteful interpretation of "Home".

This week’s Featured Artist is the Trío Babel performing the 1st movement of "Transilience" in Valencia Spain. A trio of superlative musicians, Trío Babel are Aisha Page, flute, Raúl Pinillos, cello, and Marisa Gómez, guitar. I’m delighted to hear one of my works for other instruments being played so beautifully. Thanks to Trío Babel for their wonderful performance.

For this week’s Featured Artist selection it is my pleasure to spotlight legends Scott Tennant and Bill Kanengiser, playing my duet Sanzen-in. In addition to being good friends and colleagues, Bill, Scott and I, along with John Dearman, were also members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet together for sixteen years. Here are Bill and Scott playing Sanzen-in at the Portland Classic Guitar Series in 2014. About the duet, Sanzen-in is the name of a thousand year old temple in Kyoto, Japan. After visiting this temple and gardens that have been lovingly tended for more than a millenium, I was moved to compose this piece.

Archimedes - for this week's Featured Artist series we highlight the wonderful Olson/DeCari Duo singing my composition “Archimedes”. John and Gioia commissioned me to write a piece that was science-based for a project they had been working on for several years, and what better subject for the piece than my hero, the great Greek mathematician Archimedes. Gioia and John came up with the brilliant video concept based on the lyrics I wrote for the piece. This is an instant classic!

In this week's Featured Artist video, we have the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in the premiere of my composition "By Chants", with the incomparable Chuck Hulihan conducting. Commissioned by Grand Canyon Guitar Society, Tucson Guitar Society, Arizona State University and Glendale Community College Guitar Programs, "By Chants" is really a concerto for four guitars, with a guitar orchestra in four parts accompanying the quartet. Since the commission came from a consortium in Arizona, I interwove a Havasupai theme into the composition.

In this week's Featured Artist video, we have the exceptional Cuarteto de México playing my early quartet composition "Quiccan." Their virtuosity, precision and musicality speaks for itself. I'm very excited to share Cuartet de México's brilliant rendition of this difficult piece.

For this week’s Featured Artist video, here is a delightful video of Cecilia Siqueira playing “Sunburst” in 2008 in Minsk, Belarus. This piece has been recorded by many guitarists, but I particularly liked the joy that Cecilia brings to this performance.

This week's featured Artist is Tavi Jinariu, playing my compostion "Lament" on a 1947 Hauser I guitar. I appreciate Tavi's clarity of expression and the way he beautifully captures the emotional spirit of each phrase. Bravo Tavi!

This week's featured Artist is Joe Pecoraro. Joe has been a teacher at University of North Carolina School of the Arts in North Carolina for many years, and his student Billie Feather commissioned me to write a piece for Joe in gratitude for his mentorship during her studies with him at UNCSA. The composition I wrote for them is called “Forgotten Light,” and Joe does a sensitive and masterful rendition of this work.

This week's Featured Artist is Guitar Duo Botti (Han Eun and Heo Yulim), playing my duet “Evening Dance.” I composed this work in 1990 for Christopher Parkening and David Brandon as a continuous set of variations on the opening theme. It is delightful to hear this sensitive rendition performed by the Guitar Duo Botti.

Vera Danilina - This week's Featured Artist is the superb guitarist Vera Danilina playing "Just How Funky Are You." I wrote this piece eleven years ago, and it is very difficult and super funky. In locrian mode, I wrote it not only as a technical challenge to classical guitarists, but even more of a stylistic challenge, as this work requires a certain authenticity and stylistic flexibility to handle the funkiness. Vera Danilina shines on all counts, and plays the hell out of it. Brava!

Premek Hajek playing "Cradle Song" from my collection "Kinderlight" - Premek has exceptionally sensitive phrasing, and I love his subtle interpretation of Cradle Song. His playing with no nails gives his tone a refreshing and warm and earthy quality.