Christopher Laughlin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Christopher Laughlin

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Christopher Laughlin is the thinking man's guitarist. Educated at the Peabody Conservatory and Yale, this native Chicagoan opts for a bright, clean sound quite different from the lush pyrotechnics of Segovia and his followers--and more appropriate for the demanding and understandably neglected contemporary guitar literature. A world traveler, Laughlin is constantly adding to his hefty repertoire; some of his newest acquisitions will be introduced at this recital, which doubles as a release party for his upcoming CD, Danza! (Peregrine). The album is a compilation of dance music by composers who were born or lived in the Americas, and two of the names are relatively familiar: Mano Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the Italian Jew who relocated to Los Angeles during World War II and became a movie-musical tunesmith, represented by his Tarantella; and Manuel Ponce, the Mexican who briefly dazzled the salons of Gertrude Stein's Paris, represented by the sentimental, folksy Scherzino Mexicano. Far less well-known and worthy of discovery are Agustin Barrios, a Paraguayan virtuoso fond of Chopin's waltzes; the Venezuelan Antonio Lauro, whose waltzes lean more toward the Latin than the Viennese; and the Argentinean Jorge Morel, whose Danza Brasilera is a spiky tribute to the samba. Thursday, June 2, 8 PM, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.

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