Sergio and Odair Assad | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Sergio and Odair Assad

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When doubled, the quietly splendiferous sound of acoustic guitar can approximate a small orchestra, while still retaining its unique intimacy; in the right hands (such as those belonging to Sergio and Odair Assad), it seems to be the only instrument in the world. The Assad brothers were discovered in their native Sao Paulo in the late 60s and sent to Rio de Janeiro to study. Like many classical guitarists before them, inspired by the example and legacy of Segovia, the Assads have opened their repertoire to the works of modern Latin and South American composers; unlike most, however, the Assads have chosen to concentrate almost exclusively on this music. They interpret composers ranging from the predictable (Heitor Villa-Lobos) to the surprising (contemporary Brazilians Egberto Gismonti and Wagner Tiso) to the original (Sergio Assad's own delicately spiced creations). Now in their mid-30s, and with only two American albums to their name, the Assad brothers are poised to attract the large following commensurate with their enormous talent. Their arrangements and especially their performances show an almost telepathic sense of shared musical insights; either that or I'm just a sucker for brother acts. Saturday, 8 PM, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive; 922-9410, ext. 460, or 475-7877.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Carol Friedman.

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