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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsThe crowd was there to absorb the rippling wave of sounds of jazz, flamenco, rock with pop influences by five-time Grammy nominee, Ottmar Liebert. Mr. Liebert is originally from Germany and began playing guitar at the age of 11. His youth was spent pursuing dreams of being a rock and roll star in Europe before coming to the U.S. and engaging in flamenco guitar. He settled in Santa Fe, NM. His self-produced album, "Nouveau Flamenco" fueled the fire for a new genre of music. The album became his most famous recor and a 14 times platinum album worldwide.
The Luna Negra band takes on different shapes on different tours. The 2015 tour has two longtime members accompanying Mr. Liebert . Jon Gagan's bass has been a part of Ottmar's distinctive sound since the late '80s. He has garnered two platinum and four gold records along the way. In addition to playing great acoustic and electric bass, Jon has also written numerous arrangements for Mr. Liebert throughout the years. Chris Steele has been playing awesome percussion for Liebert for nearly five years. Chris has earned a bachelors degree in classical percussion and has performed with Trevor Hall, Colbie Caillet, Barry Manilow, Marilyn McCoo, and David Foster to name a few. He teaches drums and percussion during his down time.
Mr. Liebert quietly took the stage in subdued lighting wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and bare-feet with the Luna Negra band. They played three songs before Mr. Leibert spoke to the audience thanking them for attending as he introduced the band. The performance was split into two sets. The sound was impeccable with phenomenal clarity throughout the Rialto Theatre. The technique of all three musicians were outstanding demonstrating a sensuality and intimacy that was nothing short of mesmerizing.
When asked what was a favorite part of the show, a random audience member offered without hesitation, "I love the way they play with their eyes closed. The music flows between the musicians intuitively from the heart. It is magic just to listen."
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