Three master guitarists – Grammy-winning classical artist Sharon Isbin, iconic jazz star Stanley Jordan, and Brazil's leading guitarist Romero Lubambo – perform an exquisite evening of sensual Latin and Brazilian sounds.
Click here to see the tentative program for the concert
Sharon Isbin: Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY
Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time". She is also
the winner of Guitar Player magazine's "Best Classical Guitarist" award, the Madrid Queen Sofia
and Toronto Competitions, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition. She
has given sold-out performances throughout the world in the greatest halls including New York's
Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston's Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center,
London's Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Paris' Châtelet, Vienna's
Musikverein, Munich's Herkulessaal, Madrid's Teatro Real, and many others. She has served as
Artistic Director/Soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and the Ordway Music Theatre
(St. Paul), her own series at New York's 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series
Guitarjam. She is a frequent guest on national radio programs including All Things Considered
and Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.
She has been profiled on television throughout the world, including CBS Sunday Morning and the A&E Network, and was a featured guest on Showtime Television's international hit series The L Word. On September 11, 2002, Ms. Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. In November 2009, she performed a concert at the White House by invitation of the President and First Lady. She performed as featured soloist in the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese's Academy Award winning film, The Departed. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street
Journal, and the New York Times, as well as on the cover of 45 magazines. A documentary on
Sharon Isbin, produced by Susan Dangel, will be completed in 2012.
Ms. Isbin's catalogue of over 25 recordings—from Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th
Century to crossover and jazz-fusion—reflects remarkable versatility. Her latest recording,
Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions (Sony) became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.com, and
includes guest rock guitarists Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Nancy Wilson (Heart), jazz guitarists
Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo, Brazilian artists Rosa Passos and Thiago de Mello, and
saxophonist Paul Winter. Her 2010 GRAMMY Award winning CD, Journey to the New World
includes guests Joan Baez, and Mark O'Connor in the world premiere of his folk-inspired suite
for violin and guitar. Ranked as a #1 bestselling classical CD on Amazon.com and iTunes, it spent
63 consecutive weeks on the top Billboard charts. Her Dreams of a World soared onto top
classical Billboard charts, edging out The 3 Tenors, and earned her a 2001 GRAMMY Award for
"Best Instrumental Soloist Performance", making her the first classical guitarist to receive a
GRAMMY in 28 years. Her world premiere recording of concerti written for her by Christopher
Rouse and Tan Dun debuted as #6 on the Billboard charts and received a 2002 GRAMMY
Award, as well as Germany's prestigious Echo Klassik Award. She received a 2005 Latin
GRAMMY nomination for "Best Classical Album" and a 2006 GLAAD Media Award
nomination for "Outstanding Music Artist" (alongside Melissa Etheridge) for her Billboard Top
10 Classical disc with the New York Philharmonic of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez,
and concerti by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce and Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos. This marked
the Philharmonic's first-ever recording with guitar, and followed their Avery Fisher Hall
performances with Ms. Isbin as their first guitar soloist in 26 years. Baroque Favorites for Guitar
with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra remained on the Billboard Top 10 Classical Chart for over 16
weeks, and her Journey to the Amazon with Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello and
saxophonist Paul Winter, a Billboard best-seller in the U.S. and the U.K., received a 1999
GRAMMY nomination for "Best Classical Crossover Album". She is also featured on Howard
Shore's 2008 GRAMMY nominated soundtrack CD for The Departed.
Other CDs include Artist Profile, Wayfaring Stranger with mezzo-soprano Susanne
Mentzer, Greatest Hits (EMI/Virgin Classics), and Aaron Jay Kernis' Double Concerto
(Argo/Decca) with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) which
received a 2000 GRAMMY nomination. Her eight best-selling titles for EMI/Virgin Classics
include J.S. Bach Complete Lute Suites and concerti by Joaquin Rodrigo which the composer
praised as "magnificent". She is also featured on the GRAMMY Foundation's Smart
Symphonies™ CD distributed to over five million families. Her recordings have received many
other awards, including "Critic's Choice Recording of the Year" in both Gramophone and CD
Review, "Recording of the Month" in Stereo Review, and "Album of the Year" in Guitar Player.
Sharon Isbin has been acclaimed for expanding the guitar repertoire with some of the
finest new works of the century. She has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any
other guitarist, as well as numerous solo and chamber works. Her American Landscapes
(EMI/Virgin Classics) with the SPCO conducted by Hugh Wolff is the first-ever recording of
American guitar concerti and features works written for her by John Corigliano, Joseph
Schwantner, and Lukas Foss. (In November 1995, it was launched in the space shuttle Atlantis
and presented to Russian cosmonauts during a rendezvous with Mir.) She has also recorded the
Schwantner with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony. In January 2000, she premiered
the ninth concerto written for her: Concert de Gaudí by Christopher Rouse with Christoph
Eschenbach and the NDR Symphony, followed by performances with Andrew Litton and the
Dallas Symphony, and David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival. Among the many other
composers who have written for her are Joan Tower, David Diamond, Aaron Jay Kernis, Leo
Brouwer, Howard Shore, Steve Vai, and Ned Rorem in whose documentary she is featured. In
2003 she premiered John Duarte's Joan Baez Suite, and in 2005 she premiered a duo by rock
guitarist Steve Vai in their joint concert in Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet.
Ms. Isbin performs 60-100 concerts a season, and recent highlights have included tours
with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Tonkünstler Orchestra throughout Austria including
Vienna's Musikverein, recitals in New York's 92nd St Y and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy
Center, a week of concerto and recital performances presented by the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris,
and as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Filarmonica Toscanini in Milan, and the MIDEM
Classical Awards in Cannes.
Ms. Isbin has appeared as soloist with over 160 orchestras, including in the United States
the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Dallas,
Pittsburgh, Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Utah,
Memphis, and Honolulu Symphonies, the Rochester, Brooklyn, and Buffalo Philharmonics, as
well as the St. Paul, New York, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras.
Ms. Isbin has toured Europe annually since she was seventeen, and has also toured
Canada, Japan and the Far East, New Zealand, South America, Mexico and Israel appearing in
recital and as soloist with such orchestras as the Zurich, Scottish and Lausanne Chamber
Orchestras, the London Symphony, Orchestre National de France, BBC Scottish, Lisbon
Gulbenkian, Prague, Milan Verdi, Mexico City, Jerusalem, and Tokyo Symphonies. Festival
appearances include Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Interlochen, Santa Fe, Mexico
City, Bermuda, Hong Kong, Montreux, Strasbourg, Paris, Athens, Istanbul, Prague, Ravenna and
Budapest International Festivals.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Isbin has performed with Mark O'Connor, Steve Vai, Nigel
Kennedy, Denyce Graves, Susanne Mentzer, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Chamber Music
Society of Lincoln Center, among others. She performed a "Guitar Summit" tour with jazz greats
Herb Ellis, Stanley Jordan, and Michael Hedges; she made trio recordings with Larry Coryell and
Laurindo Almeida, and duo recordings with Carlos Barbosa-Lima. She collaborated with Antonio
Carlos Jobim and has shared the stage with luminaries from Aretha Franklin to Muhammad Ali.
Born in Minneapolis, Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy, and later
studied with Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. A former student of Rosalyn Tureck, Ms. Isbin
collaborated with the noted keyboardist in preparing the first performance editions of the Bach lute
suites for guitar (published by G. Schirmer). She received a B.A. cum laude from Yale University
and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. She is the author of the Classical Guitar
Answer Book, and is Director of guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard
School (which she created in l989 becoming the first and only guitar instructor in the institution's
In a career that took flight with immediate commercial success and critical acclaim, guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan has consistently displayed a chameleonic musical persona of openness, imagination, versatility and maverick daring. Be it bold reinventions of classical masterpieces or soulful explorations through pop-rock hits, to blazing straight ahead jazz forays and ultramodern improvisational works—solo or with a group—Jordan can always be counted on to take listeners on breathless journeys into the unexpected.
Key to Jordan’s fast-track acclaim was his mastery of a special technique on the guitar’s fretboard. Instead of conventional strumming and picking, Jordan's innovative "touch technique" is an advanced form of two-handed tapping. While a handful of other players were using similar techniques, Stanley’s fluid, multi-layered textures and sheer virtuosity raised the bar for excellence. But his technique, though impressive, is always a means to a musical end. His music is imbued with a warmth and sensitivity that has captured the imagination of listeners worldwide. A classically trained pianist before playing guitar, Jordan wanted greater freedom in voicing chords on his guitar, so he applied piano principles to do so. Jordan's touch technique allows the guitarist to play melody and chords simultaneously with an unprecedented level of independence. It also allows Jordan to play simultaneously on two different guitars, or even on guitar and piano. He says that “I think of it as a single instrument, but one with a wide range of tonal colors—that’s why I do it.”
To date Jordan has performed in over 60 countries on 6 continents. He has performed at many festivals, including the Kool Jazz Festival, the Concord Jazz Festival, and the Montreaux International Jazz Festival. During the 1980s he collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including performances with Art Blakey and Richie Cole and recordings with Stanley Clarke and Kenny Rogers. The track with Rogers, "Morning Desire", became America's #1 country song in 1986. Later Jordan became a frequent guest with Les Paul during Paul's legendary Monday nights at Iridium in New York. Today Jordan performs frequently as a soloist and with his band, as well as collaborating with other guitarists such as Kevin Eubanks, Sharon Isbin and Muriel Anderson. He's also a frequent guest with jam bands such as the Dave Matthews Band, the String Cheese Incident, Phil Lesh, Moe and Umphrey's McGee.
Jordan has received four Grammy nominations. His most recent album "Friends" was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Los Angeles Times jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote, “Genius is a word often tossed around in musical circles, but it has been rightfully applied to Stanley Jordan.”
Stanley Jordan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He began his music career at age six studying piano, then shifting his focus to guitar at age eleven. He then began playing in rock and soul bands. In 1976, while still in high school, Jordan performed with Quincy Jones and tied for first place as a soloist at the Reno International Jazz Festival. In 1981 he earned a BA in music from Princeton University, where he studied theory and composition with composer Milton Babbitt and computer music with composer Paul Lansky. While still at Princeton, Jordan performed with Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie.
Jordan came to prominence with the release of his 1985 album Magic Touch, a revolutionary project that placed him at the forefront of re-launching legendary Blue Note Records into a contemporary entity in jazz and beyond, as also established the then-twenty-something Jordan as among the most distinctive and refreshing new voices of the electric guitar. Jordan had begun applying his unique technique to his already exemplary traditional playing ten years prior to the Magic Touch album. Though Jordan showcased the technique in a variety of musical styles from swing to rock, it was smooth jazz radio support for his singular versions of “The Lady in My Life” (first recorded by Michael Jackson) and the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” that sent Magic Touch to the top of Billboard’s jazz chart for a stunning and record-breaking 51 weeks. The album became a gold-seller (over 500,000 sold in the U.S. alone) - outstanding for any jazz or instrumental CD.
In 1985, Romero Lubambo came to the United States, and brought with him a new sound in Brazilian jazz guitar.
Romero's guitar playing unites the styles and rhythms of his native Brazilian musical heritage with his fluency in the American jazz tradition to form a distinctive new sound.
From the cool, sophisticated rhythms of his native Brazil to hard bop, Romero is a guitarist who's comfortable in any musical setting. He is an uncommonly gifted soloist and musical improviser with a steady stream of unpredictably creative musical thoughts and the virtuosity to deliver them ever so tastefully.
After arriving in New York City, Romero quickly established himself as a "first call" session and touring guitarist who was in demand not only for his authentic Brazilian sound, but also for his command with a variety of styles.
Lubambo has performed and recorded with many outstanding artists, including Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Herbie Mann, Wynton Marsalis, Gal Costa, Kurt Elling, Kenny Barron, Luciana Souza, Cyro Baptista, Sergio and Odair Assad, Ivan Lins, Grover Washington Jr., Vernon Reid, Flora Purim and Airto, Paquito D'Rivera, Harry Belafonte, Larry Coryell, Gato Barbieri, Leny Andrade, James Carter, Paula Robison, Dave Weckl, Jason Miles, and Cesar Camargo Mariano... among many others.
He has also established himself as a composer and performer on his own critically acclaimed recording projects as well as on those of Trio Da Paz, a Brazilian jazz trio Lubambo formed with Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca.
Romero Lubambo is considered by critics to be "the best practitioner of his craft in the world today... the guitarist's facility, creativity and energy are in a class all their own."