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We were fortunate to be able to record a concert last year of the entire Romero family along with virtuoso ukulele player Daniel Ho. The concert featured duets by Pepe Romero and Daniel Ho, as well as solos by each, in the first half, and then the Romero quartet in the second half. Angel Romero even made an appearance and sat in with the quartet. All instruments – guitars and ukuleles – were made by luthier Pepe Romero Jr., and it’s a wonderful showcase of the instruments played by some seriously legendary players.
We have photos of the new guitar being made for us by Pepe Romero Jr., a stunning spruce and rosewood classical that he is finishing up now. In Pepe’s words:
This guitar is one of my “Centenario Models” dedicated to over 100 years since my grandfather’s birth. I dedicate all of my guitars to him, he was my inspiration to build guitars in the first place. He passed away before I ever made one, but is with me in Spirit. I decorate my Centenario model with a beautiful rope style purfling and use my most prized woods. The spruce top has been cut for well over 10 years and is spectacularly quarter sawn, with “Aguas” everywhere. The rosewood was cut in the 1960’s and is stunning. The woods used on this would be impossible to go out and buy, they are truly special…
Tina Karen Lo is a classical guitarist and native of Hong Kong, but she has some serious California roots – she studied with George Sakellariou while she was attending San Domenico School in Marin County and later graduated from USC where she studied with Pepe Romero, Jim Smith and Tom Gaab. Tina has played all over the world, and when she was last in Los Angeles she stopped by to record a few videos for us. Here she is playing Rodrigo’s Zapateado on a great 2007 Pepe Romero Jr. maple and cedar guitar.
When luthier Pepe Romero Jr. told us about his new line of strings we had a lot of questions, starting with “why do we need another line of strings?”. Turns out Pepe was able to develop his line of strings to fill missing niches that we didn’t even realize existed. His father, Pepe Romero Sr. shares his experience of the development and evolution of guitar strings from the time he was a boy playing on gut, to the first nylon set he’d ever seen (a set that the family shared for several years!) and beyond. One of the sets is even named the “Pepe Senior” set, since it accurately re-creates an old-style of nylon (smooth, with a slightly milky color in the otherwise clear nylon) that Pepe Senior was very fond of in the early years of nylon, but was discontinued suddenly over 40 years ago.
The full line of Pepe Romero Strings includes rectified sets in normal and hard tensions, a lighter set for vintage or flamenco guitars, a clear nylon set, a fluorocarbon set, and the “Pepe Sr.” set made specifically to the demands of the maestro. Check out the discussions below and learn all you ever wanted to know about this line of guitar strings as well as Pepe Sr.’s personal story of his experiences with strings over the course of his life and career.
Los Angeles Sound Foundation presents – Pepe Romero in Concert
Guitarra del mar Concert Series
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
For tickets, call: (626) 318-9758 or visit lasoundfoundation.org
Tickets priced at $30, $40 & $50
We recently had a visit from Pepe Romero, who came to play and tell us about one of the rarest guitars we’ve ever seen – an 1894 Hijos de Melchor Moya. Moya was a contemporary of Antonio de Torres, and over the years he and his brother and sons worked with and learned much from Torres. Moya’s brother Miguel even had ‘disciple of Antonio de Torres’ on his own labels. This guitar is the first we’ve ever played by any of the Moya’s, and it is a fantastic example of a Torres-era instrument, as you’ll hear in Pepe’s demonstration below.
The Aratani Theatre debut of world-renowned classical guitarist Pepe Romero, performing a double-bill: a set of classical repertoire with The Romeros, and the debut of his new collaboration with six-time GRAMMY® winner Daniel Ho – Aloha España.
Fans of both traditional and contemporary expressions in classical guitar will be delighted by the range of music and mastery presented in this evening.
$45 Orchestra / $41 JACCC Members
$32 Balcony / $28 JACCC Members
DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR GROUPS OF 10+
Here’s the official Instagram event poster, posted by @jaccc_la: