Tunes from Latin America were heard on campus as Professor Jose Lezcano led his guitar ensemble through recital.
On Wednesday, April 11, the Redfern Arts Center’s Alumni Recital Hall hosted Lezcano and his students for a classical guitar ensemble. The ensemble dove into the Latin American culture and immersed the crowd with the experience of music from all over Latin America. The night started off with a classical guitar solo of “El Marabino” performed by senior Andrew Brace.
After Brace’s performance, the Keene State College Global Education Andean Ensemble took center stage and provided the audience with two songs that featured drums, guitar, flute and pan flute. During the second song, “Ojos Azules,” guitarist Ester Aranda broke into song and sang to the audience.
The Global Education Ensemble then exited stage and it was Aranda’s turn again to serenade the audience, joined by Lezcano in a duet of “La Jardinera,” a traditional Chilean song arranged by Violeta Parra.
Lezcano then introduced professional singer Roy Caceres to the stage to perform three duets of tangos with Lezcano.
Audience member Emily McIntyre is a student of Lezcano and said after the show, “I still can not get over Caceres and his stage presence. His voice was amazing, but to see how comfortable and how prominent he was on stage was really cool.”
After a brief intermission, Lezcano brought out guitarist Logan Gabriel, who is a former student of Lezcano, to perform two Chilean folk songs as duets. The rendition led to the final act of the evening, the KSC Guitar Orchestra.
The orchestra performed seven songs, ranging from the French Renaissance piece “Tourdion,” to Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag.” Each song had solos by guitarists Brace and KSC senior Jacob Huggins. The performance then came to an end and the audience headed for the exits to visit the performers and Lezcano.
McIntyre said, “This experience of being in Professor Lezcano’s guitar methods class and performing and practicing with other students has really opened up a new culture of music for me.”
When asked of the importance of introducing new cultures through music, Lezcano said, “In today’s world, we need to embrace each other because we learn that people can do amazing and incredible things, but at the same time, there are people that are capable of doing terrible things. We as a community need to understand different cultures and come together as a one human race.”
Chris Lacasse can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org