Mandolin, guitar concert at Mariposa on April 28
Together, August Watters and Jose Lezcano explore the vibrant sounds of mandolin and guitar in a concert titled “Mandolin and Guitar as Icons of American Immigration,” at the Mariposa Museum on Sunday at 3 p.m.
From the indigenous musical traditions of Europe and Central and South America to the concert repertoire of three centuries, the duo highlights the connections between folk music traditions and more formal concert repertoire. Their timeless music captures a wide range of texture and emotion, while aspiring to the highest standards of artistry and technique.
Watters is a multi-stylistic, improvising mandolinist, composer/arranger and teacher in the Boston area. As an international clinician, he has taught in Italy, Germany, Canada, England and the Czech Republic. He has performed with some of the leading figures in today’s revival of this most elegant instrument, including Carlo Aonzo, Roland White, Matt Flinner, Butch Baldassari, Bill Keith and Marilynn Mair. His work as an improviser, interpreter, composer and arranger bridges contemporary classical music, jazz, bluegrass, folk music traditions, and the historical concert mandolin repertoire.
Watters teaches at Berklee College of Music, where he is an associate professor of ear training. In addition to founding the Berklee New Acoustic Music Ensemble and other original curricular offerings addressing the needs of improvising string players, Watters has taught Berklee classes in harmony, composition and arranging, as well as private mandolin lessons. He is also an Emmy award-winning arranger, with dozens of studio credits as arranger, orchestrator and conductor for television and film music. Watters is also founder of Boston Mandolins, the New England Mandolin Ensemble, and Cape Cod Mandolin Camp. He holds a Masters of Music Education from Boston University, and a Bachelor’s of Music from Berklee College.
Described by the New Millennium Guitar Magazine as “ a superb guitarist as well as a first-rate composer and arranger,” twice Grammy-nominated musician José Manuel Lezcano has captivated audiences on four continents. His programs featuring traditional and Latin American repertory, and his own original compositions have taken him as recitalist, collaborative musician, and concerto soloist from Carnegie Recital Hall and the North-South Consonance Series in New York City to major venues and festivals in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic and Germany.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1960, Lezcano was invited to join the faculty of Keene State College in New Hampshire in 1991, where he is professor of music and teaches courses in guitar, music theory and Latin American music. He earned degrees from Peabody Conservatory, University of South Carolina and Florida State University.
Lezcano’s own Guitar Concerto (2004), has received critical acclaim. Fanfare Magazine wrote, “Colorfully scored ... agreeable music, and dashingly performed by the composer.” Lezcano has performed his concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Peru, and orchestras in Ecuador, Colombia and New Hampshire.
In 2008, Lezcano’s work on the CD “Remembrances/Recuerdos” was nominated for two Grammys for “Best soloist with orchestra” and “Best contemporary composition.” Lezcano has earned numerous awards, including first prize in the MTNA National Guitar Competition, the N.H. State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, NHMTA Composer of the Year (2002 and 2007), KSC Distinguished Research Award, and a Fulbright Award to Ecuador where he performed as orchestral soloist and pursued research on indigenous guitar traditions.
His scholarly publications include Latin American Music Review, Soundboard, and the Latino Encyclopedia. He has lectured throughout the state for the N.H .Humanities Council on Ecuadorean Indian guitar traditions, rituals and mythology.