Press Release

Composer Richard Lavenda and Classical Guitarist Marc Garvin team up for Jewish Roots, Latin Groove II
Musical Concert
Thursday, September 24, 2015
by mgroogan

Composer Richard Lavenda and Classical Guitarist Marc Garvin team up for Jewish Roots, Latin Groove II

 Houston, TX – The Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston (the J) presents classical guitarist Marc Garvin in a concert featuring Ladino/Latino:  Three Songs for Two Guitars, a new work by Rice University Shepherd School of Music Professor and Composer Richard Lavenda, commissioned by the J.  Jewish Roots, Latin Groove II takes place on the Kaplan Theatre Stage on Sunday, October 11 at 4:00 p.m. Garvin will be joined by guitarist Marc Rosenberg and Rom Ryan and Moodafaruka.

            A concert at the J two years ago that featured a program with Garvin that alternated pieces from both the Ladino and Latino worlds provided the inspiration for Lavenda to create his new work.  The music gave that concert a refreshing diversity but also revealed a fascinating commonality: no matter what the origin, the music had beautiful melodies, intricate rhythms, and a directness of expression that was immediately obvious to the audience. 

            Lavenda, who is Jewish, and married to a Colombian, decided to write a piece for Garvin and a second guitarist that would weave together melodies and rhythms from both cultures. Lavenda explained, “It will not be just another folksong arrangement. Rather, I will write a piece that is respectful of each culture but that is very much my own music. It will be a modern concert piece for two guitars based on a combination of traditional music from both the Latino and the Sephardic cultures.”

            Lavenda's music has been performed around the world by, among many others, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Musica Nova/Tel Aviv, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the Chiara, Diotima, Enso, T'Ang, and Sun String Quartets, ZAWA!, Project Trio, the Concordia Trio, and the New Israeli Vocal Ensemble. His catalog of more than sixty works ranges from music for solo flute to an opera, and includes numerous pieces for orchestra and for a wide diversity of chamber ensembles.

            Garvin is a guitar soloist, chamber music performer and well-known instructor.  He has performed regularly with Houston’s classical music triad:  the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Ballet who tapped him as solo guitarist for its American premier of Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances.  He has accompanied Italian soprano Cecilia Bartoli, New Zealand’s Hayley Westenra, and legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. 

This year’s music season features six concerts reflecting a variety of genres:  jazz, world, new music and classical. Individual tickets and season passes are available, subscribe to the full 6-concert season, or pick a favorite 2 or 4 concert package. For tickets or passes visit or call 713-551-7255.

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