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Strunz & Farah

Guitar

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Performing together since 1979, Strunz & Farah are the innovators of an entirely new expression for the acoustic guitar. Well ahead of their time, they created an original style that now is widely influential. Originally from Costa Rica and Iran, respectively, Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah have brought the musical influences of their native lands into their highly virtuosic, rhythmic, and improvisation-rich original instrumental compositions, inspiring fans and many guitarists worldwide. Their meeting in 1979 in Los Angeles, where they are still based, marked the first time that Latin American and Middle Eastern music, along with other important elements, came together on the guitar. They remain the undisputed masters of the style they created.

Jorge Strunz was born in Costa Rica. Given his first (three-quarter size) guitar at age six, he also lived in Colombia, Mexico, Spain, England, Canada, and the United States, studying and playing flamenco and classical guitar. He performed flamenco guitar professionally as a teenager, accompanying Spanish dancers and singers. He later also played electric guitar in numerous rock bands. Then, he turned to jazz and jazz fusion and subsequently focused on his own Latin American roots and Caribbean and Latin folk music. Strunz developed an original lyrical style and a way of playing guitar that is his own synthesis of hand techniques from flamenco, Latin folk, and classical guitar combined with state-of-the art virtuoso linear plectrum playing. In 1994 and in 1998, Strunz received two Presidential Awards from the government of Costa Rica for his cultural contributions.

Ardeshir Farah was born in Tehran, Iran. While still a teenager, he moved to England for schooling. He has played guitar since childhood, focusing on popular music and improvisation. He has performed and recorded extensively with many of the top expatriate Persian singers and musicians in the United States who fled Iran after the 1979 revolution. Farah was the first to use Middle Eastern inflections in a contemporary guitar setting. His distinctive touch has a unique exoticism.

Dazzling virtuosity and a cross-cultural repertoire that celebrated and sometimes fused Latin, Arab, European, Afro-Cuban, and American styles

Washington Post

Both guitarists are immensely gifted composers, with a masterful grasp of both melody and harmony, to say nothing of their phenomenal technique.

LA Weekly

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