Flamenco guitarist Kaweh presents an audio travelogue to his life
By Yoshi Kato
JUST AS leafing through an atlas can transport you from one region of the world to another in the flip of a few pages, so too does Kaweh's music. Born and raised for the first seven years of his life in Germany, the singularly nomenclatured acoustic guitarist/composer lived continentally before spending five years in Iran. Flamenco, Gypsy and Persian sounds were part of his backdrop and seeped into his vocabulary.
The current South Bay resident says that this part of Northern California yields an equally fruitful musical bounty. "The Bay Area is full of diversity. Latin music, for example, has been a large influence in our fusion," he writes, in an interview conducted via email. "Brazilian and Persian music, as well--these communities all play a large role in the fusion of Kaweh's sound," he continues. Like Santana and Sade, Kaweh has lent his name to his group. Since 2000, Kaweh has completed four studio albums and is working on a live band recording with keyboardist Alex Specht, conguero Joe Ruelas, bassist Mark Krat and drummer/percussionist Louie Flores, Jr. Updates on its status can be found at kaweh.com.
A specialized audio engineer degree that he earned in 1998 has helped Kaweh to professionally capture and present his signature musical flavors. "My studies in sound have helped me in layering the different instruments in both the studio and live," he notes. "Though live and studio sound are different, having that knowledge and knowing the different processes for each helps things run smoother."
Kaweh (the man and the band) will share this knowledge when headlining "an Evening of Spanish Guitar" at Avalon in Santa Clara on June 22. The former home of pizza, video games and cartoon character animatronics will present openers Francois & Rodrigo at 8:30pm followed an hour later by Kaweh.
With compositions in the Kaweh songbook to draw from such as "Persia," "Greeks," "Sahara," "A.M Rumba" and "Latina," the Thursday night crowd is likely to experience more global stylistics than an IHOP menu. "In today's diverse world, the combination of any styles is appropriate, so long as it sounds good," he states, echoing Duke Ellington's famous quote that there are only two kinds of music, good and bad.
"After all, people from all walks of life exist," Kaweh points out, "and if they hear a piece of themselves in [my] music, that is a good thing."
Kaweh play at 9:30pm on Thursday, June 22, at Avalon (777 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara). Tickets are $16-$20 and available by calling 408.455.0260.
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