The New York Guitar Festival is always a fun and stimulating event—remember the year it took place at the Cloisters museum, or the raga marathon?—and this year’s edition, taking place May 18 and 19 at the beautiful Winter Garden at Brookfield Place (just off the Hudson River in Manhattan’s financial district) sounds like a sure-fire winner as well. The theme for the two-day, four-concert, completely FREE event is “Los Sonidos de España” (The Sounds of Spain), and will feature both classical and flamenco performances:

On Friday, May 18, at 12:30 p.m., Marija Temo will mesmerize the crowd with her singing, dancing, and extraordinary flamenco guitar-playing. I saw her perform at the GFA convention in Fullerton, California, last June and was blown away by her passion and skill. Also on that Friday, performing at 7:30 p.m., will be the truly legendary Pepe Romero (whom I also saw last year at an amazing concert in San Francisco). This will be a different sort of program for the maestro—instead of solo classical like I saw, he’ll be paying a tribute to his father, the great Celedonio Romero, and also playing more flamenco, enlisting singers and dancers. That should really be something to see!

On Saturday, May 19, the 12:30 concert slot will be occupied another master of classical, flamenco and other styles, Adam del Monte. Joining him during his set are flamenco dancer/choreographer Sonia Olla, and Sevilla-born singer Ismael Fernández. At the Saturday night performance (7:30 p.m.), the always remarkable Sharon Isbin (who was a hit at least year’s NYGF) will play solo and also share the stage with another fixture of the New York guitar world, Brazilian jazzer Romero Lubambo. I really wish I could see that one, too!  —Blair Jackson


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