Cuban-born clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera, widely considered one of the great jazz geniuses of our time, will be joined by virtuoso Brazilian guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad at Cal Performances on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Their performances together display the exuberant spirit and scorching musical technique that has earned them reputations as three of today’s most innovative, interesting musicians in the world of Latin music and beyond. The three first met while touring with Yo-Yo Ma’s Obrigado Brazil project; they improvised together backstage after a performance and the idea for Dances from the New World was born. The Berkeley concert will feature music from a selection of well known dances, like the merengue, bolero, paso doble, rumba, samba, salsa, and tango composed by a variety of classical and contemporary composers including the Assads. “Call it one of the most engaging musical presentations of the season. Better yet, call it a stunning display of the music of the Western Hemisphere, performed by three of that region’s (and the world’s) finest artists” (Los Angeles Times).
A pre-performance Artist Talk will take place before the concert on April 10 in Zellerbach Hall at 6:00 p.m. This event will be moderated by Chuy Varela, music director of KCSM jazz radio, and is free and open to the public,
Winner of four Grammy Awards, clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera is celebrated for his skills as a Latin jazz artist as well as his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Cuba, he was a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony at age 17. D’Rivera co-founded the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna; the group has since toured internationally and won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Ensemble. He has toured internationally with his other ensembles—the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, and the Chamber Jazz Ensemble. He has recorded over 30 solo albums. More information can be found at paquitodrivera.com.
The Assad brothers are known for their impeccable musical union and collaborations with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Gidon Kremer. They have played a major role in reviving contemporary music for guitar duo and their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Marios Nobre, and Jorge Morel to write music for them. They have won two Latin Grammy awards their recordings and one American Grammy for Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Joy and Peace (Paquito D’Rivera was also on this album). Now Sérgio Assad is composing music for their duo as well as for various musical partners, including symphonies and orchestras.
The brothers began studying guitar together as children and went on to study for seven years with Monina Tavora, a disciple of Andres Segovia. Their international career began in 1979 at the Young Artists Competition in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Since then, they have toured and recorded extensively. In 2001 Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla won a Latin Grammy Award. In the winter of 2008, the Assads curated a guitar festival at the 92nd St. Y in New York and then toured with some of those artists in a project called Brazilian Guitar Festival featuring Badi Assad, Romero Lubambo, and Celso Machado. In February 2011, Sérgio premiered a new concerto for two guitars with the Seattle Symphony. Odair is currently based in Brussels where he teaches at Ecole Supérieure des Arts and Sérgio resides in Paris and San Francisco, where he is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. More information is available at assadbrothers.com.
Tickets for the Paquito D’Rivera and The Assad Brothers on April 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 – $48.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.