Guitar and Much More: Latin American Music Festival Lands at the Conservatory

The week of February 10 is sure to be cold outside, but inside The Rivers School Conservatory, the forecast is definitely warm and sunny. From February 10 to 15, the Conservatory will play host to a Latin American Music Festival featuring performances, master classes, workshops, and more.
Festival artistic director Zaira Meneses, an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist and guitar instructor at the Conservatory, says of the festival, “Our mission is to share the colorful, optimistic, warm, creative, and versatile flavors of Latin American music . . . and to enrich the education and fire the imagination of young musicians by presenting a cultural exchange between the world of classical guitar and folk, jazz, and Latin music.”

Festival highlights include:
  • A Venezuelan concert with Luis Zea, Tibi Zea, and the Alexis Soto Trio (2/11, 8:00 p.m.)
  • A Mexican concert with the Kao Guitar Ensemble featuring soloist Zaira Meneses (2/12, 7:30 p.m.)
  • A Cuban concert with pianist Anibal Cruz (2/13, 7:30 p.m.)
Saturday night, February 15, will bring a performance by renowned classical guitarist Eliot Fisk, a Grammy nominee who has been named “Best Classical Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine. Also sure to be thrilling is a master class taught by guitarist Sharon Isbin, a multiple Grammy winner and director/founder of the guitar department at The Juilliard School. The class will be offered to a small number of select students, but the public is invited to observe, free of charge. It takes place on Saturday, February 15, at 3:00 p.m. Click here to reserve a spot.

Meneses, who had put on similar events elsewhere, approached RSC Director Gabriella Sanna last year about mounting the festival at the Conservatory. The goal was to open music students to the breadth and variety of Latin American music and to reach out to the surrounding communities with an inclusive and culturally diverse event.

“I’m so thankful to Gabriella for giving me the opportunity to share this new vision with the community of Weston,” says Meneses. “We wish to expand the imaginations of young musicians and musical professionals through a creative combination of live performance, intense educational formats like master classes, and cross-disciplinary exchange.”

Latin American culture is hardly monolithic, and the music produced by the many countries of Latin America reflect a range of styles, histories, and traditions. The festival will cover a lot of ground, but Meneses says it all ties together under the umbrella of music. “We want to recreate the essence and atmosphere of Latin American music in our festival—a week where the classical guitar returns to its roots and is joined with other instruments and musical traditions, from folk to popular to jazz.”

Please click here for more information on the festival. To purchase tickets, click here.