The focus this week is on the rich heritage of the guitar, which is as big as the piano. So you’ve got the big German thing which is the piano; and the big Spanish thing which is the guitar, which incorporates the vast oral tradition of improvising and folk storytelling i.e. gypsy, flamenco, jazz and so on; and then the classical thing which is a little bit Western (like lutes and stuff), but then you’ve got the vast well of Arabic Classical music played on guitar-like instruments (the oud etc.).
So all of this allows for somebody like Dario to have the career he has. Where he plays ‘Classical’ music and ‘folkloric/improvised’ music. I’ve shared the stage with Dario on many occasions. From very intense classical salon music presentations; through rembetika; to the crazy, electric, magical-realist band Longjon La Flecha (coming from the deep and noble tradition of the Latin thing) at the Notting Hill Arts Club. I also remember listening repeatedly to Dario’s recording of Granados’ Valses Poeticos because it was so affecting.
I met Jean in France where we played music together. I’ve watched Jean go on an epic musical journey, starting with his roots in European classical pedagogy, through to the profound awakening that comes with the American classical music called jazz, and the profound discovery that there is a remarkably vibrant European oral tradition incorporating both of these major elements (the European thing and the American thing). That thing, which we might call gypsy or manouche, looks to Eastern roots and classical traditions. And so Jean found himself studying classical Indian singing at SOAS as well as developing a repertoire of manouche music. To me his interest in the Indian classical tradition ties in with the noble and deeply humanistic ethos of his family, who are keen to balance the life of the mind and the life of the body: thought and emotion.
Dario Rossetti Bonell (guitar) is playing with Magnus Mehta (percussion)
Kamao Quintet are: Jean de Talhouet (guitar and vocal), Dave Shulman (clarinet), and/or Francesca Ter-Berg (cello), Sharon Subarrao (violin), Dave Kelbie (gypsy guitars), and Ruth Goller (double bass)
You can find Dario’s Valses Poeticos here: http://www.dariorossettibonell.net/activities/
and kamao Quintet: http://kamaoquintet.bandcamp.com/