Classical meets jazz in guitar duo performance


The renowned guitarists John Williams and John Etheridge will explore a merging of their classical and jazz-fusion styles respectively on Sunday at University Auditorium. (Courtesy photo)

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.

The British-based classical guitarist John Williams is among the best-known artists in his field — a student of master classicist Andrés Segovia whose career would later take him to the modern-day heights of his mentor.

Facts

John Williams and John Etheridge

What: Renowned classical and jazz-fusion guitarists perform
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive
Tickets: $25-$35, $10 for UF students
Info: 392-2787, Ticketmaster.com

Likewise, John Etheridge's career and reputation as a jazz-fusion guitarist has won him equal aplomb, or as Pat Metheny once described him, “one of the best guitatists in the world.”

On Sunday, Williams and Etheridge will team up for a performance at University Auditorium that will have the two finding the common ground between classical and jazz while exploring avenues beyond.

Though long associated with Great Britain, Williams was born in Melbourne, Australia, where he learned to play guitar from his father before studying the instrument both with Segovia in Spain and at the Royal College of Music in London.

Williams' career has seen performances with such others as Itzhak Perlman, Andre Previn, Julian Bream and in such recording projects as the 2001 album, “The Magic Box,” in which he and his group, John Williams and Friends, explored African music through adaptations of works from the continent.

Born in England, Etheridge grew up as the son of a jazz pianist but taught himself to play guitar as a young teen. His career includes work with the jazz-fusion group Soft Machine in the 1970s and later callaborations with such other artists as French violinist Stéphane Grappelli, Dizzie Gillespie, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Pat Metheny and others.

Williams and Etheridge, who worked together on “The Magic Box,” first toured together in 2006 and in later years have performed across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Sunday's program is set to have the two perform such songs as Charles Mingus' “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelue, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat major, as well as such originals as “Strange Comforts” and “Places Between” by Etheridge, and “Malinke Guitars” by Williams.

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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