Though rock guitarists like Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix are known all over the world, classical guitar is a bit more obscure.
“Not a lot of people know a lot about them,” said classical guitarist Matthew Grasso.
Grasso is part of a classical guitar ensemble called Trio 7 that will be the featured group in the last concert of the Davis Art Center’s classical guitar series on Friday at 8 p.m.
Not only is Grasso a celebrated guitar player and composer, but he also worked with the Art Center’s director, Erie Vitiello, to arrange the Center’s Classical Guitar series, which focuses on group ensembles. The series aims to educate audience members about classical guitars and the different kinds of music that can be played on them. Every month, the series has a different classical guitar group perform at the center to showcase the uniqueness of the instrument when played in groups.
Trio 7 is composed of Grasso, Eric Rasmussen and Matthew Foley. They got their unique name from the fact that the group consists of only three members and all three play guitars with seven strings. Each member has six to seven years of experience on the classical guitar.
Trio 7 was formed about two and a half years ago and recently regrouped. During the concert, Trio 7 will play works by Debussey, Bach and other composers. They will also be playing their own compositions and even movie themes from the 1930s to the present.
All three members agreed that since classical guitars aren’t as well known as other guitars, they would like to inform the general audience about the distinctive voice of the classical guitar.
“The seven-stringed guitar creates a different sound than what you hear in a regular guitar,” Foley said.
“We want to educate the community about the arts and the classical guitar,” Grasso said. “We want to focus on something not as familiar to everyone.”
With the upcoming concert at the Art Center, Trio 7 is thrilled to have the chance to perform for the public, especially since the classical guitar series is in its second year.
“I’d love to see this become one of our annual concerts, so if the opportunity is there I will definitely be back,” said Rasmussen, who is also a UC Davis alumnus.
The trio hopes that the audience will enjoy the concert and leave with a newfound appreciation for the instrument. Foley has a message for the audience.
“Come to the concert with an open mind. Be prepared to hear something you haven’t heard before,” Foley said.
For more information about Trio 7, go to trioseven.com. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors and $5 for children 12 and under.
MICHELLE RUAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.