The person who has ignited a renewed passion in my life for the study of Classical Guitar is a down to earth virtuoso named Jason Vieaux (go to his website here.) Jason co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and he has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2001.
I met Jason Vieaux at a Master Class held at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, N.Y. I was a nervous mess when I had to play for him, but by the end of the week long class, he had managed to encourage my ability and approach to the guitar in ways I had never attempted nor even dreamed of before (see my post from July 2011, Guitarists in the Monastery) . Not only is he an extraordinary musician, but he is an excellent teacher and ambassador for the classical guitar. I’ve had several private lessons with Jason and was one of the early students to enroll in his online school with Artistworks (an amazing online resource for learning all styles of music). He is generous and encouraging in his pedagogical approach no matter what level of ability presented by his students.
The official release of his newest solo album, Play, on Azica Records, is scheduled for January 28, 2014, but is now available on Amazon and iTunes. The album celebrates Jason Vieaux’s 20th anniversary as a performer by featuring the Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American classics that Vieaux has found to be universal audience favorites over the past two decades. The music includes showpieces by Barrios, Sagreras, Bustamante, and Sainz De La Maza, Tárrega’s classics Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Capricho Arabe, and Vieaux’s own in-demand arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood and Andrew York’s popular Sunburst.
It is one of the most spirited and dynamically expressive classical guitar recordings I have ever heard and reveals Jason’s expressive virtuosity at the service of a wide range of music styles. His arrangement of Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood is simply stunning. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Jason Vieaux before, this may be the perfect album to get you started. Bravo Jason!