Two acoustic guitars, a bit of chimera and the nimble-fingered skills of Grammy-nominated guitarists Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah will resonate at Siri Fort Auditorium this evening. The duo — popularly known as Strunz & Farah, and famous for their virtuosity over the nylon strings — performed in Mumbai on Monday and will play in Delhi as part of their maiden India tour.
“We have collaborated extensively in the past with renowned Indian musicians such as Dr L Subramaniam and Ashish Khan. We are excited to bring our music to Delhi for the first time and will perform as a quintet,” says Costa Rica-based Strunz, who began strumming the guitar when he was six after his uncle decided to initiate him into the world of arpeggiated riffs and stroke open chords. It was around the same time that a young Farah was learning the ropes of playing an acoustic guitar in Iran and finding solace in rock and flamenco tunes. But it was only two decades later that the two came across each other — in 1980 in Los Angeles — through a mutual friend. They have peformed together ever since and have won accolades for fusing their varied styles.
“Guitar has a special capability to express multi-cultural music. We both were interested in a similar approach technically and liked many of the same influences,” says Strunz. Flamenco tunes form a significant part of their music, “ the roots of which are clearly there in certain forms of Indian music”, as Strunz puts it. The duo’s masterful grasp over Afro-Latin, jazz and flamenco tunes were also featured in the film The Living Sea and their album Heat of the Sun rose up the charts quicker than any other, in turn bringing them a Grammy nomination.
When in Delhi, the duo’s repertoire will feature material from their latest album Journey Around the Sun, in addition to a mix of old and new tunes. The two are regulars at the Montreal Music Festival and have performed at some of the grandest jazz festivals in the world.