Los Angeles, CA September 21, 2011 – Chart topping jazz guitarist Richard Smith and internationally awarded, classical guitarist Francesco Buzzurro announced today their first West Coast tour to support their new recording, Un Mondo, Due Chitarre.
6 Mission Viejo, CA - KSBR 88.5 radio live interview and performance, 3-6
8 Modesto, CA - Global Music Live concert
9 Stockton, CA - Pacific Italian Alliance concert
10 Stockton, CA University of the PACIFIC master class
11 Roseburg, OR - Guitar Summit (w/Don Latarski) concert
12 Ashland, OR - Siskiyou Institute concert
13 Monmouth, OR - Western Oregon University master class and concert
14 Eugene, OR - Beall Hall concert
15 Merced, CA - Cal State, Merced Theater concert
16 San Diego, CA - Spanish Guitar Del Mar concert
17 Los Angeles, CA - USC Thornton MUS 101 4-6 masterclass
18 Los Angeles, CA - USC Thornton room: MUS 204 12-2 concert
Since their initial meeting in 2005, the two have strived to create a presentation that combines their unique musical backgrounds into an anthology of tunes enjoyable and appreciated by the masses. Un Mondo, Due Chitarre takes its audience on a musical journey outside each respective player’s genres to explore new dimensions in the sound of two guitars. The opening piece, an original composition from Buzzurro, “Paisaje” sets the tone as the music weaves through arrangements of Chick Corea’s “Spain”, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” and ends in a finale of The Who's “Pinball Wizard”.
On the surface, the two seem like an unlikely pair. If you delve further, within each musician, there is a very deep love for not only the guitar, but for the music. Smith is an American born guitarist, best known for his numerous chart topping hits and achievements. He also chaired the first ever Studio/Jazz department of its kind at the University of Southern California. He now teaches in USC’s Popular Music Program. “We are the first university in the country to offer a bachelors degree in popular music,” says Smith. Sicilian born Buzzurro is best recognized as an award winning classical guitarist. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Sicilian folk music. His knowledge is so commanding that he is recognized by the Italian government as one of the Ministers of Culture. Of Buzzurro, Smith says “He plays everything, from Queen to Bach and you have to hear him play tarantella – it’s simply amazing.” Tarantella is traditional Italian folk music familiar to Americans as the music they hear in Italian restaurants and The Godfather movies.
As to the selection process of tracks on the new recording, Smith adds this: “The selected tracks come from performing together as a duo for the past five years. Throughout various festivals and concert halls, we often open up the set to requests from the audience. Over time, it became clear that these particular songs have a certain resonance with the crowd. These songs reach out to music lovers of all kinds. When we perform these tunes, anywhere around the world, everyone knows that’s a Stevie Wonder song. As a performer, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is to see your audience light up the way they do when we perform these tunes.”
Together, Buzzurro and Smith have toured Greece, Crete, the United States and Italy, where, in 2009, the duet was awarded the Presidential Medallion for artistic excellence. A tour to support Un Mondo, Due Chitarre is in the works and will be announced in the upcoming months.
About Richard Smith
With 10 solo releases to his name, Richard Smith has achieved a position in music like no other. Collecting accolades such as Best New Artist and Album of the Year with his solo debut, Inglewood. His career skyrocketed while simultaneously holding down guitar responsibilities for another smooth jazz icon, Richard Elliott, with whom Richard recorded 6 #1 albums for the Blue Note label, over 10 years. Before the age of 30, Smith chaired the one and only department of its kind, Studio/Jazz Guitar at the prestigious University of Southern California. Among others, Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson Junior, Andrew York and the entire L.A. Guitar quartet are USC alum. The opportunity to tour the world has brought even more ambition. Smith now sets to lay groundwork for new musical adventures and expand the repertoire of guitar in music education. To learn more about Richard Smith, visit him online at www.richardsmithguitar.com
About Francesco Buzzurro
Awarded by President Giorgio Napolitano of the Italian Republic for his contributions to music, the career of Francesco Buzzurro has been decorated by many achievements. Initially starting classical guitar at the age of eight, he eventually went on to win three national concerts and a multitude of international performances. Throughout his classical studies, Buzzurro continued his interests in jazz and folk styles as well. The accumulation of these interests have now combined to a create a musician who’s skill allow him to masterfully play in styles not typically associated with one another – a truly unique gift for one to have. To learn more about Francesco Buzzurro, please visit him online at www.francescobuzzurro.it