Jofre's Universe for Bandoneon and Guitar
performed at Staunton Music Festival
August 21, 2019
Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, VA
J. P Jofre, bandoneon
Federico Diaz, guitar
video by Stewart Searle
About the Music
Adaptable to various instruments, Jofre’s Universe is performed tonight in a version for bandoneon and guitar. Often preceded by an extended bandoneon solo, the main section features chromatically rising and falling harmonic support above which strings put forth percussive jabs. The work becomes gradually more lyrical and echoes some of the dramatic mood shifts that audiences will recognize from Astor Piazzolla, one of the defining voices in Argentinian bandoneon music.
A native of San Juan, Argentina, J. P. Jofre is an award-winning bandoneon player and composer. He has been repeatedly highlighted by The New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. He has performed at Google Talks, TEDtalks, Juilliard and many other places around the world. For the world premiere of his Bandoneon Concerto, the Mercury News wrote that Jofre “is an electrifying composer-bandoneon player.” In 2012 Jofre was invited by the SudTirol Festival (Italy) to perform an homage to Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Perez Esquivel. He currently leads the JP Jofre Quintet, touring internationally since the release of their album Manifiesto.
Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Federico Diaz is an upcoming versatile musician of the generation of guitarists with a multi-faceted career as performing artist, arranger and composer in the classical and Argentinian music worlds. His performances have taken him to distinguished festivals and concert halls across the US, Europe and Latin America. His passion for chamber music lead him to collaborate with musicians such as Lionel Cottet, Daniel Binelli, Juan Falu, and Juan Pablo Navarro among others. Federico's former teachers include Eliot Fisk, Ricardo Gallen, and David Starobin, and he is currently his doctoral degree in Performance at City University of New York.
The 2019 festival included a complete, semi-staged performance of Piazzolla's avant-grade tango-opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. Featuring vocalists Cecilia Duarte, Celeste Lanuza, and Octavio Moreno, along with J. P. Jofre, Federico Diaz, and SMF musicians.
Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla composed hundreds of adored tangos, but in the 1960s he also created a remarkable tango-opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. This fugue from Maria shows that Piazzolla's skills far exceeded simply writing dance music.
The bandoneon: synonymous with Argentina and the tango. Acclaimed performer and composer J. P. Jofre, who appeared at the 2019 Staunton Music Festival, talks about what makes his chosen instrument so unique and rewarding.
While spending the summer with friends and family in South Korea, Jofre recorded this video performance of an original composition, Transcendence. Inspired by the bandoneon's sacred origins, this brief solo work demonstrates the bandoneon's expressive and coloristic range.
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