Chart topping jazz guitarist Richard Smith and classical guitarist Francesco Buzzurro announced today the release of their upcoming recording, Un Mondo, Due Chitarre. The 10 song collection will be available online and in hard copy starting September 27.
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.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BuzzurroSmithGuitar.