Alex de Grassi & Quique Cruz
Though they come from different hemispheres and distant musical realms, these two musicians converge on a metaphysical plane to produce brilliant music together. Recognized as one of the greatest fingerstyle steel-string guitar players, Alex de Grassi has recorded highly acclaimed records for new age label Windham Hill. On the other side of this musical equation, Chile native Quique Cruz plays the charango (a petite guitar), as well as folkloric drums, flutes and panpipes. The duo's original compositions are based on Andean rhythms transformed with a jazz swing or blues shuffle. The ensemble, which includes unobtrusive (yet precise) drumming, brushed cymbals, acoustic bass and superb piano work courtesy of Michael Bluestein, coalesces the strings and flutes of de Grassi and Cruz with subtlety and grace. As if in service of greater form, the musicians seem to leave their egos aside as they respond to one another with seriousness, joy and jazz-like spontaneity.