The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall proudly welcomes Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra for a fiery concert of Nouveau Flamenco music on Saturday, May 2, at 8:00 p.m. This concert is part of the Performing Arts Center's 2008-2009 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank.
Tickets for Ottmar Liebert are $35-$30 each, with a discount for seniors and rush tickets for students. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave., by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Since 1990, Ottmar Liebert has released more than 25 albums, including live releases, Christmas CDs, original music, a DVD, and remixes, for which he received more than 30 gold and platinum awards and five Grammy nominations. His debut album, 1990's Nouveau Flamenco, featuring the stunning "Barcelona Nights", sold double-platinum and has become the biggest-selling guitar album of all time, redefining Flamenco music and marking Liebert as one of the most talented, influential and creative guitarists and performers to surface in years. This thoughtfully present artist stretches his musicality with each release - exploring new themes, investigating perspectives and performing with dazzling tone, space and time on his instrument.
Liebert's incredible global success on a musical level often seems like a simple outgrowth of his cultural background and powerful wanderlust in his formative years. Born in Cologne, Germany to Chinese-German father and Hungarian mother, he began playing guitar at 11, and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia intent on fully absorbing each musical tradition he encountered. After pursuing his Rock and Roll dreams first in his native Germany and then in Boston, he abandoned the frustrations of the east coast and settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
By 1989, he had founded the first incarnation of his new band Luna Negra. Nouveau Flamenco began life as a self-produced local release called Marita: Shadows and Storms, copies of which local Indian artist Frank Howell distributed in his art galleries. When the record found its way to radio stations and began generating a buzz among programmers and an unprecedented response among listeners, Higher Octave Music picked it up and released a fully re-mastered version.
Liebert has since become one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past decade, thrilling audiences throughout the world and releasing a catalog of classic recordings, including the remix collection Euphoria (1995), the live album Viva! (1995), the double CD Opium (1996), and the classical-oriented orchestral album Leaning into the Night (1997). He wrapped up his decade with Epic with 2001's Little Wing and went back to Higher Octave Music, releasing a lush album of lullabies called In the Arms of Love in 2002 and an album with Luna Negra called The Santa Fe Sessions (2003).
La Semana (2004) was the first all-new band album in five years, followed by Winter Rose (2005), which featured original pieces, classical music and Christmas songs. In 2006 Liebert's record label SSRI released One Guitar, his first solo guitar recording, which received Liebert's fourth nomination for a Grammy.
His newest releases are Up Close (2008), which is a binaural dummy head surround sound recording, and The Scent of Light (2008) a labor of five years, nominated for a 2008 Grammy award. The Scent of Light opens up Liebert's music into horizons that are new, yet also recall his 1993 CD, The Hours Between Night + Day. Like that album, many of the songs here are inspired by Liebert's travels, and similarly, rather than fiery flamenco, he takes a more introspective path with subtle, spacious arrangements. Ambient music, which he explored in the 1990s on Opium, remains an influence in Liebert's music. He uses electronics to gently shape the acoustic space around his guitar and band with reverse percussion echoes on "Firelight," call and response guitars on "The River: Writing in Water," and a tamboura drone and tabla on the haunting "Candlelight." Mellotron flutes and reverse guitar bring "Moonlight," the most arresting melody on the album, to a haunting close as it dissolves into birds and wind. The centerpiece of The Scent of Light is "Silence, No More Longing." It's an 11 minute excursion that builds from a solo flamenco alap to multi-tracked guitars adding ambient electronics, bass, percussion, and finally unleashing a quiet electric storm from guitarist Stephen Duros. Like the album, it takes you from a world of interior ruminations to exterior vistas.
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.