Carlo Barbosa Lima (Brasil) - March 8, 2019
Concert - Friday, March 8th, 2019 at 8:00 PM
Historic Eliot Chapel - 1011 SW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 Map
Master Class - Saturday, March 9th from 11 AM - 1 PM
Eliot Center Channing Room - 1011 SW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 Map
Carlos Barbosa-Lima is a legendary world-class guitarist and arranger of the 20th Century and beyond. Born on December 17,1944 in São Paulo, Brazil, Barbosa-Lima grew up in the “Brooklyn” district of the city. He states that he began playing the guitar at age seven.
Barbosa-Lima recalls that his father hired a music instructor to teach him how to play the guitar and after two years of lessons with Benedito Moreira, the young Carlos was introduced to Brazilian guitarist composer Luiz Bonfá, at the time one of the leading musicians in the field. Under the strong recommendation of Bonfa, the young Carlos was directed to Isaias Savio. Carlos publicly debuted at a solo concert hall appearance (in São Paulo) in November, 1957 when Carlos was twelve years old.
The immediate rave reviews led to invitations for the young guitarist to make his concert debut in 1958 in Rio de Janeiro, at the time capital of Brazil, preceded by his television debut on a variety style TV show. Barbosa-Lima was thirteen. These two public appearances led to a recording contract with the then up and coming Chantecler label, initially part of the RCA Brasil group. The LP recording, Dez Dedos Magicos Num Violão De Ouro was released in June 1958.
In 1960 Barbosa-Lima began life on the road, which continues extensively till this very day. In 1967 at the age of 23, Barbosa-Lima made his American debut in Washington, D.C. Excellent reviews followed and Barbosa-Lima's concert career expanded across the United States, Central and South America. Barbosa-Lima began writing his own arrangements for guitar and in 1964 he released an album of arrangements by the popular Brazilian songwriter, Catullo. Close friends of Barbosa-Lima at the time heard these arrangements and encouraged the guitarist to continue on the path of arranging music for the guitar. In1968 Barbosa-Lima traveled to Madrid, Spain, to play for Maestro Andrés Segovia. The meeting was a successful one. Upon his return from Spain in 1970, Barbosa-Lima gave a concert in New York's Town Hall and at the conclusion of this concert Harold Shaw of Shaw Concerts offered Barbosa-Lima concert tours within the United States.
Now with the heavy concert schedule and Master classes available to him Barbosa-Lima took a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon University (1974–1978). It was during this time that Barbosa-Lima's reputation as a world-class guitarist began to blossom and composers began writing works for him. One very important composer of this time was Alberto Ginastera who composed the Sonata for guitar, op. 47 for Barbosa-Lima. The Sonata Op.47 has now become a warhorse in the guitar repertoire and a rite of passage for true virtuoso guitarists. The later end of the decade (1977) saw Barbosa-Lima perform Francisco Mignone's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
1980’s and Antonio Carlos Jobim
1980s began Barbosa-Lima moved to New York City (1981) and took a teaching post at the Manhattan School of Music. Once in New York Barbosa-Lima began to perform with Jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd. Upon hearing Barbosa-Lima's arrangements Mr. Byrd immediately arranged for Barbosa-Lima to meet and perform for Carl Jefferson (then the owner of Concord records). Carl Jefferson signed Barbosa-Lima and eleven recordings were to follow on the Concord Jazz label. In 1982 Barbosa-Lima made frequent contact with fellow Brazilian, Antônio Carlos Jobim, one of the world's most popular composers of all time. Barbosa-Lima would often meet him at Jobim's upper east side apartment in New York City for impromptu jam sessions. It was out of these sessions that came the recording Carlos Barbosa-Lima plays Music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and George Gershwin a crossover CD before the word was popular. Jobim was immediately impressed with Barbosa-Lima's arranging technique for guitar which Barbosa-Lima describes as "multi-linear" basically meaning several voices moving at once like classical guitar technique. At the time of their meetings Jobim was more familiar with the Brazilian guitar technique which utilized a "block chord" technique as Jobim himself used. "...Barbosa-Lima brings an ear attuned to counterpoint and technique that gives each independent line its own voice. His transcriptions find and define every moving part, in bossa novas and countermelodies together as he does in Gershwin, he sounds like a team of guitarists". And in keeping with Barbosa-Lima's multi-linear technique the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer has said; "...when unknowingly I [Brouwer] walked by a hotel room and heard guitar music I thought I was listening to a guitar duo and then suddenly recognized the music and realized it was Barbosa-Lima playing solo. If I weren't a guitar player and guitar composer who noticed a mistake by one of the violinists during a rehearsal of a seventy-member orchestra my confusion could be justified. I believe that Carlos Barbosa-Lima is a genius of transcriptions of Latin American music for guitar."
Currently Barbosa-Lima records for the Zoho music record label and has released five recordings under this label and the direction of Barbosa-Lima's recordings as well as his concert programing have a definite Latin American concept. In April, 2010 Barbosa-Lima celebrated the release of his fiftieth recording release, Merengue (Zoho Music, CD 200911) at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
On April 12, 2013 Carlos Barbosa-Lima and the Latin Grammy winning quartet the Havana String Quartet, released; “Beatlerianas” which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in November, 2013; an all Brouwer CD released on the ZOHO Records label. “These musicians, as gifted as any in the world, accept the challenge of works by Brouwer that are both technically and intellectually demanding. Their genius, of course, is in making their program’s complexities subservient to the heart. Exuding soulfulness with every thoughtfully picked guitar passage, with every elegantly formulated string part, Beatlerianas hits you where you live.”
Barbosa-Lima’s imaginative concert programs have broken down the worn-out dichotomy between popular and classical music thus single handedly redefining the role of the classical guitar for the 21st century.