At 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will join forces with Grammy-winning violinist Evan Price at the 18th annual DjangoFest Northwest at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley.
DjangoFest Northwest presents five days of concerts and workshops, featuring dozens of world-class artists and thousands of attendees, making it the largest festival of Gypsy Jazz in North America.
This program of original works and arrangements for violin and guitar includes pieces by Pat Metheny, Duke Ellington, Astor Piazzolla and originals, according to a press release.
Vieaux is a guitarist who goes beyond the classical, the release states. He is described by the magazine Gramophone as “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists.” National Public Radio said Vieaux is “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.”
Among his extensive discography is the 2015 Grammy Award-winning CD for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Play, from which the track “Zapateado” was also chosen as one of NPR’s “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (So Far).” Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.
Vieaux has performed as a concerto soloist with over 100 orchestras. He recently premiered Dan Visconti’s “Living Language” Guitar Concerto with the California Symphony and recorded Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto live with the Nashville Symphony for a release on Naxos Records.
Vieaux’s recordings slated for release in 2018 include a new album with the Escher Quartet featuring Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet and Aaron Jay Kernis’ 100 Greatest Dance Hits and Jeff Beal’s “Six Sixteen” Guitar Concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., a technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music and in 2015 was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the Eastern Music Festival. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.
Price is steadily gaining recognition as one of the world’s most confident voices in extra-classical string playing, the press release states. A native of Detroit, his musical background includes some earnest dues-paying in a variety of genres. From square-dance bands to string quartets, from jamming with blues bands to busking in Greektown, Price’s youthful pursuits all informed his violin playing and left him with a deep love of chamber music in all forms.
As a young competitive fiddler he won his share of awards, having been named the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Champion, the Kentucky State Fiddle Champion, Canadian Junior Fiddle Champion and Canadian Novelty Fiddling Champion. He also performed with some of the masters of fiddle lore — Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher and Vassar Clements—as well as a diverse array of pop icons from Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to comedian Steven Wright.
Price’s college career included stints at both the Cleveland Institute of Music and at Berklee College of Music. He has served as a member of the music faculty at Wellesley College, the California Jazz Conservatory and the University of California, Berkeley.
Price is a 10-year veteran of the jazz ensemble, the Turtle Island Quartet. During his tenure in Turtle Island, Price gave over 500 performances in concert venues from Latvia to Australia and had the opportunity to collaborate with many musical luminaries.
Price recorded five CDs with Turtle Island, two of which —“Four + 4” and “A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane” — received Grammys in 2006 and 2008 in the Classical Crossover category.
Since 1998, Price has been proud to call himself a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco. During his tenure, the group has performed from Iceland to Mexico and across the United States, and has released seven CDs which feature Price on violin.
An accomplished composer, Price has contributed compositions and arrangements to the repertoires of HCSF, Turtle Island Quartet, Quartet San Francisco, Irish fiddler Liz Carroll, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, River Oaks String Quartet, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Chanticleer, and the International Space Orchestra, for which he also serves as musical director.