As the chosen instrument for old calypsos sung in French patois; for roving parranderos, as they serenaded house-to-house; and for church services in remote rural communities, the guitar has been indispensable to Trinidad and Tobago, occupying some of the most influential spaces that shaped our cultural identity.
On July 1st, 2018, at 5:00pm, Caribbean Culture Box will host “Prelude – the Cuban Guitar”, a recital with Cuban concert guitarist, maestro Ricardo Mateo Torres. More than just a recital for guitar, Maestro Mateo will take listeners on a musical journey from Europe to South America and the Caribbean, settling in his homeland, Cuba, as described in sound by famed guitar composers such as Eduardo Martin and Leo Brouwer.
Mateo Torres will share the stage with two luminaries from the local music soundscape: Award-winning calypso-jazz trumpeter Rellon Brown and star violinist Keisha Martinez. Ricardo Mateo Torres graduated with high honours from the Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba, where he performed solo concerts ranging from traditional classical music to the more syncopated melodies from South America, with an emphasis on Cuban guitar. He has been described as an expressive performer whose innate musicality complements his virtuosity and an exceptional guitarist who “really makes the guitar speak,” and “whose expressiveness touches the soul.”
In a release to the media, Culture Box Caribbean founder, Alan Cooper, shared that Trinidad was such an important venue for the guitar that in 1930, the famed Paraguayan guitarist, Agustin Pio Barrios “Mangoré” (1885-1944) gave a recital in Port of Spain on part of his tour through Venezuela, Colombia, Martinique, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico. Cooper explained that
Prelude both looks back to this glorious time in Trinidad’s musical history but also looks forward by presenting some modern and highly original works for the guitar. The recital is called Prelude because it is the inaugural event of Culture Box Caribbean, a new company that will focus on small, high-quality performances.
According to Mateo Torres, “For the recital we wanted an intimate venue that accommodates a small audience that can really appreciate the subtlety of acoustic guitar.”
“Prelude – The Cuban Guitar” takes place on Sunday 1st July 2018, with a repeat performance on Sunday 8th July 2018 at the New Trinidad Theatre Workshop: #6 Newbold Street, St. Clair. Showtime is at 5:00 pm.
General Admission is $150.00, but for UTT Students, members of the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival Association and members of TTARP will be offered tickets at a discounted price of $125. Seating is limited.