Strunz & Farah | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Strunz & Farah 

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The ads describe them as flamenco guitarists, but that tells only part of the story. While the music of Spain is a strong component of their sound, so are rhythms and harmonies from Peru and Mexico, the sensibilities of Cuba and the Caribbean (Jorge Strunz is from Costa Rica), and reedy melodies born (as was Ardeshir Farah) in Iran. "Insofar as flamenco uses Middle Eastern and Latin American influences, it was a natural way for us to relate," says Strunz, and whatever the rationale, relate they do: Strunz & Farah's several albums brim with impressively matched melody lines and solo exchanges best suited to the Fourth of July. With their nylon-string acoustic guitars, augmented by minimalist percussion and the occasional flute or violin solo, they have maintained an uncluttered and spacious stage for their musical acrobatics. If there's a drawback, it's that the duo have mixed their influences into an almost homogeneous blend; on the other hand, that blend, with its simmering rhythmic base and fiery flares of improvisation, proves exotically infectious. Wednesday, 7 and 9:30 PM, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mindas.

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