There are those special individuals among us who always seek a challenge. Whether it be learning an instrument, climbing mountains, or running marathons, they will always push themselves to conquer an obstacle.
Guitarist Diego Barber is one of these amazing people. If he is inspired by something, he’ll meet the challenge running and not just figuratively. Barber has invested a great deal of time perfecting his playing of the classical guitar and composing but he hasn’t stopped there. He has recently become enamored with long distance running, training himself to be a peer amongst some of the best long distance and mountain runners in the world.
It doesn’t take much to spark his creative drive, either. After having heard a performance of the singular pianist Craig Taborn, Barber knew that he wanted to write music for the two of them in a duo format. Then he set his mind to it and did it. The remarkable outcome of their collaboration can heard on Barber’s new recording, Tales.
Originally from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Barber spent many years studying classical guitar and composition throughout Europe. Having performed professionally in several classical settings (including his first place win at the Classical Guitar International Contest in 2004), he moved to New York City in 2007 to pursue further study of jazz. Barber’s intent has been to bridge the divide between the genres. Barber has released two recordings of original jazz and classical compositions on Sunnyside, Calima (2009) and The Choice (2011).
Craig Taborn hardly needs an introduction, as he has become one of the leading figures of the modern keyboard. His innate ability to adapt to any musical setting from jazz and fusion to contemporary experiments in improvisation and electronic music has made him a favorite of collaborators as diverse as Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Tim Berne, and Roscoe Mitchell. It was precisely this aspect of Taborn’s personality that drew Barber’s interest and appreciation.
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