The sweet sounds of samba and boss nova music filled
the Jamesport Meeting House Saturday as it hosted a
guitar festival that opened with a master class by Jason
Ennis of New York City and Richard Miller, a Doctor of
Music Theory at Columbia University, both virtuosos in
seven-string Brazilian guitar rhythms and melodies.
Mr. Miller said Brazilian music “combines all the
best; incredible melodies of Portuguese heritage,
Italian opera heritage and the extensive melodies and
hypnotic groove of African influence with rich harmonies
of the jazz tradition. On top of it all it has lyrics
that are true poetry.”
The meeting room is a classic concert hall in shape
and size, according to board member Richard Wines.
“It is a shoe box shape-twice as long as it is wide
and has a twenty-foot high ceiling with pressed tin on
it,” he said. The pressed tin ceiling was probably added
about a hundred years ago, Mr. Wines added. Before that
the room was open to the rafters.
East End Arts music teacher Stan Wright of Riverhead
sat in the back of the room and commented that he had
played in the meeting house before but never listened
from the back of the room.
“The acoustics in here are perfect,” he said. “It
The festival was organized by Peter Susser of South
Jamesport, a Meeting House board member who also serves
on the concert program committee. He teaches music at
Columbia University and the American Musical and
Dramatic Academy in New York City and is a colleague of
Mr. Miller. He said guitars “bring people together and
it’s a good multi-faceted event.”
At the master class, the attendees learned about the
basic rhythms, beats and melodies of Brazilian Samba and
got tips on playing in that style. After that they were
free to view handmade custom guitars on display by Bill
Bonanzinga of Bay Shor, and some antique instruments
owned by Rothman Guitars of Southold. Mr. Bonanzinga has
been making custom guitars for 21 years.
At 4 p.m. an open mic-style style guitar recital
featured four guitarist performing blues, jazz, folk and
percussive finger styleby Bruce MacDonald of Jamesport,
Peter Berely of South Jamesport, David Thompson of Mt.
Sinai and Joshua Owens of Brooklyn.
The evening concert featured an energizing and
romantic classical and jazz repertoire from Brazil on
two seven-string guitars. Mr. Miller and Mr. Ennis are
world-renowned performers of Choro de Manha music, a
Brazilian version of ragtime that is the root of samba
and bossa nova and considered by many to be the “soul”
of Brazilian music. The two performed pieces by renown
Brazilian composers, including Heitor Villa-Lobos and
Antonio Carlos Jobim.