Guitarist     Composer      Coder

Chôro da saudade

Odair Assad

Odair Assad

Augustin Barrios

Tres valses

Antonio Lauro

Etude No. 10

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Etude No. 12

Invierno porteño

Astor Piazzolla

arr. Sérgio Assad

Seis brevidades *

Sérgio Assad





Sonata del caminante *

Leo Brouwer

Vision de la Amazonia

El gran sertao

Danza festiva

Toccata nordestina

Memoria e fado *

Egberto Gismonti

The Red Fantasy *

Kevin Callahan

*Works dedicated to Odair Assad

The recording or filming of tonight’s performance is strictly prohibited.

Please turn off all cell phones and other electronic devices.

Children who become disruptive should be taken out of the chapel.

Thank you and Enjoy Tonight’s Performance!

For more than forty years Brazilian guitarist Odair Assad has been concertizing worldwide with his brother Sérgio, forming an exceptional guitar duo.

In 1998,  “temporarily absenting himself from the celebrated duo, Odair Assad reveals himself to be a soloist of awesome talents, which is no less than observation has always suggested” wrote journalist Colin Cooper about Malcolm Arnold's short Serenade for guitar and strings  recorded with Leo Brouwer conducting the Orquesta de Cordoba (GHA  Records).

One year later, according to the same Colin Cooper reviewing the album Fuga y misterio,  “Odair Assad has one of the most fluent left hands (he has) seen in a guitarist : seemingly attached to the fingerboard, it performs its function without obvious effort and to the maximum musical effect.  This CD gives him the chance to shine in solo splendor for once”.  About the same album, the Italian review Seicorde underlines Odair's spontaneous musical intention, his easy instrumental approach as well as his talent in playing in perfect tune with any partner, his brother Sérgio, cellist Edmond Carlier or violinist Fernando Suarez Paz .

If Odair sometimes had in mind to play solo, his great friend American guitar-maker Thomas Humphrey was convinced that he had to do it and, in early 2008, he started working personally on the project.  Nobody would ever imagine that Tom would pass away in April of the same year: Odair then decided to give his first solo recital, two months later, in New York, as the most sincere homage of an artist to the loving memory of his best friend.

*Special thanks to Pam Vauhan & Lindsey of Bastyr University,

and to Virginia Ryan, Kin Ritchie, Jason Williams, Rochelle & Scott Spencer

Odair Assad

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Bastyr University Chapel


Kenmore, WA , USA

Odair Assad

Augustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) born in Paraguay, dedicated his life to music and writing poems.  He composed more than 300 songs and was famed for his phenomenal performances both live and on gramaphone.  His works are largely late-Romantic in character.  Many are influenced by South American and Central American folk music; others imitate the compositional techniques of Baroque and Romantic periods and can be quite virtuosic in nature.

Antonio Lauro (1917-1986) born of Italian immigrants, was a Venezuelan musician considered to be one of the foremost South American composers for the guitar in the 20th Century.  Known for his melodic and wistful valses, he is sometimes referred to as the “Strauss of the guitar”.  Shortly before his death, he was presented with the “Premerio Nacional de Musica”, his country’s highest artistic reward.

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) born in Rio de Janeiro, was a composer described as “the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music”. He wrote numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works.  His music was influenced by both Brazilian folk music and by stylistic elements from the European classical tradition.  The Villa-Lobos etudes for guitar have become “required reading” for all classical guitarists.

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) born in Mar del Plata, Argentina of Italian parents, was a tango composer and bandoneón player.  His work revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements of jazz and classical idioms with extended harmonies, dissonance and use of counterpoint.

Leo Brouwer (1939 -  ) born in Havana, Cuba into a family of musicians, is a composer, guitarist, and conductor.  Brouwer has had an enormous impact on guitar.  His early works show influence of Cuban folk music, but during the 1960’s and 70’s, he became interested in the music of modernist composers.  Among his works are a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over forty film scores.  Many of his guitar compositions have won an international reputation, with a firm place in current repertoire, played by guitarists throughout the world.

Egberto Gismonti (1947 -  ) born in Carmo, Brazil, began his formal studies of music at the age of six. After studying classical music for 15 years, he went to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger (orchestration and analysis), and composer Jean Barragué, a disciple of Schonberg and Webern.  His melodic lines have a special, cantible uniqueness.  Gismonti has expressed the notion that “popular” and “serious” music need not remain opposite poles. “There is no difference between the two kinds of music ... “

Sérgio Assad (1952 -  ) is Odair’s brother and partner in the world-renowned Assad Duo.  Their unique ensemble has redefined the art of guitar-duet.  While a masterful performer, Sérgio is also regarded as one of the most important composers and arrangers for guitar in the last half-century.  His many works include pieces ranging from solo guitar to ensembles performed by Yo-Yo-Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Dawn Upshaw and others ... to film scores and orchestral works.  Sérgio recently earned a Latin Grammy for his composition “Tahhiyya Li Ossoulina” on the latest Nonesuch album “Jardim Abandonado”.

Kevin Callahan  (1958 -  ) originally from Boston, is a Seattle-based guitarist & composer.  A multi-stylist, he has performed or recorded with groups ranging from the Seattle Symphony to the Seattle Guitar Quartet, the Seattle Guitar Trio, Dave Koz, Arnold McCuller of the James Taylor band ... and the Assads. His writing includes works for solo, duo and trio classical guitar as well as electric styles.  Callahan’s pieces have been described as “exciting, vibrant ... modern with a very unique sense of tonality”.