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Five Days, Sixty-three Guitars

September 22, 2006

Andy Summers, former guitarist for The Police, will rock the stage of downtown San José’s National Theater Sept. 29 as part of a five-day, nine-country guitar festival.

Summers, the English guitarist whose band festival organizers referred to as the world’s most popular in 1983, launched a solo career and recorded a dozen albums following the mid-1980s dissolution of The Police. He’ll perform in Costa Rica as a special guest in a six-concert series, along with 17 other guitarists and the 45-member University of Costa Rica Guitar Orchestra, Sept. 27 through Oct. 1.

This will be Costa Rica’s 13th International Guitar Festival. Luis Zumbado, who founded the festival in 1987, will direct the university guitar orchestra on the closing night, which will also include quick performances from all festival musicians.

Opening the program are the Spanish brothers Pepe and Celín Romero, worldfamous for their classical and flamenco style.

Along with two other Romeros, they form a quartet of that name; some call them “The Royal Family of Guitar.”

Most nights start with a Costa Rican artist, followed by two foreign guitarists. Saturday evening’s concert should be the most Latin American with performances by Berta Rojas of Paraguay and Argentinean Juan Falú. The event’s producer, Anahí Moyano, said Falú is one the world’s best folkloric guitarists.

On Sept. 28, Chilean Carlos Pérez is set to play “El Punto Guanacasteco,” a song for Costa Rica composed in 1939 by Paraguayan Agustín Barrios Mangoré. Pérez is about the only one around who has the skill to play this number, Moyano said.

Besides Summers, Bill Macpherson will contribute to Friday’s electric guitar night. A U.S. citizen who lives part-time in Costa Rica, Macpherson is known for his jazz, rock, rhythm and blues and Afro-pop music, according to the event’s promoters.

 

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