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Arts Desk

Classical and World Music Come Together for Guitarist Jason Vieaux

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Jason Vieaux at WRTI, April, 2015

He won the 2015 Grammy award for "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" for his album, Play, and he collaborates with musicians in a wide variety of styles. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on classical guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux.

Infusion is Jason Vieaux's newly released album with French accordionist Julian Labro. The album will be featured throughout the week on WRTI jazz.

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Radio script:

Susan Lewis: Jason Vieaux’s GRAMMY-winning album, Play, showcases his solo work with music from Europe, Africa, Cuba, South America and Mexico — as well as his own arrangement of a Duke Ellington tune.

Jason Vieaux: The thing about the guitar is — its own standard repertory itself is quite "world music-ee."  It's coming from a lot of different places, and so you learn a lot of different styles of music.

SL: Vieaux is also enthusiastic about creating programs with other instrumentalists, combining various sounds, and musical traditions. One example: his collaboration with The Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, combining Western classical and traditional Arab music.

JV: If I take this melody, I could do an introduction...I can harmonize with it, with almost some western, almost jazz harmonies. It becomes a kind of fusion...so we create our own new thing. You take traditional Arab music and it becomes something new.

SL: Vieaux’s other musical collaborators include French accordionist Julien Labro and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis.  

Watch Jason Vieaux's Tiny Desk Concert from 2009:

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Listen to more of Susan's interview with GRAMMY winner Jason Vieaux. He talked about his collaborations with other musicians when he was in Philadelphia working on a program with The Takht Ensemble of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.