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1ST FRIDAY @ GALERIA WEST with FRANCISCO NAVARRO & GREG RIBOT in Concert

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The popular 1ST FRIDAY @ GALERIA WEST music concert
series continues with a special evening of Latin music traditions and more with acclaimed music duo Francisco “Pancho” Navarro, of Academy Award winning film “Frida” fame along with extraordinary wind instrument talent Greg Ribot as they take the stage at the wonderfully intimate Galeria West Art & Music Gallery in quaint downtown Westfield, NJ.                                                      Francisco “Pancho” Navarro was born in 1944 in La Consulta, a township in Mendoza, Argentina’s wine state.  Francisco wasn’t quite a teenager when his father, a policeman and amateur guitarist, gave him his first guitar and showed him the basics of playing it.  He began taking formal lessons at thirteen. While working with local dance bands he immersed himself in tango and the Argentine folklore that surrounds it; as he studied classical guitar he pored over recordings by Andrés Segovia, Los Romeros (the Spanish guitar-playing family of the ‘60s), John Williams, and Paco de Lucía.                                    Eventually, he brought his guitar all over South America, settling the longest in Chile and Mexico. Wherever he went he was hired by the best local musicians and singers.  In
1984, after a decade in Mexico City, Francisco took his wife and three children and moved to New York:  “the city I have looked up to ever since I was a kid, and considered to be the most important place for a musician's career.”  The gamble paid off.  He became a first-call Latin guitarist on A-list sessions – everything from the soundtrack of The Mambo Kings to hip-hop and reggae tracks.                    His own recent Sweet Guitar CD album recording shines an overdue spotlight on an artist who has spent most
of his career enhancing the work of others.  Maybe you heard him playing throughout Elliot Goldenthal’s
Oscar-winning soundtrack for Frida, or accompanying Plácido Domingo in a recording of Die Fledermaus made in 2003 at the Washington Opera.  The Rolling Stones featured Navarro on a 2006 remake of “I’m Free,” their early single; Paulina Rubio (“Perros”), Victor Jara, Cristian Castro, Celia Cruz (“Bamboleo”), and Armando Manzanero sang to his guitar backing. “I always worked with my guitar to make my ends meet but I’ve been fortunate to
meet the right people in show business,” he explains modestly.                                                              Pancho, as he’s commonly known, can equal any of them.  Out of his fingers comes an orchestral array of string and percussive sounds; a rhythmic and harmonic flair that few jazz musicians can equal; an elegance born of years of classical study; an arranger’s sense of architecture; and a wealth of beauty, feeling, and wit.  Sweet Guitar is a diary of the music that shaped him, gathered in his lifelong travels through South America.  "The way I play my guitar comes from absorbing the different styles and colors of our
Latin American culture and blending them with my style of performing classical music,” he says.                      Newark, NJ native Greg Ribot, composer, arranger & bandleader has been performing and recordng primarily in the New York City region for over 35 years. He has produced and recorded four CDs, “El Flete de Mi Canto”, “Cumbia del Norte”, “Cumbia y Mas”, and “Lengua sin Palabras”. He has also recorded with Sean Lennon and
others. Greg Ribot is the brother of jazz-rock guitarist Marc Ribot. As much as his brother was drawn to the Cuban sounds of Arsenio Rodríguez, Greg has gone crazy for Colombian cumbia. The gifted reed player isn’t just jumping on a bandwagon though, and on his CD album recording Cumbia y Mas, he displays another side of the African diaspora by fusing these folk beats with jazz. With
this sophomore effort, he explores the flavors of Colombia and presents an inspired look with identity intact in the fusion. Greg Ribot is onto something well worth hearing, especially for open-minded Latin jazz fans. As a Latin-influenced composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Greg Ribot has enjoys a prolific career writing music for
film and television, also composing material for a number of classical ensembles. His solo CD album recordings include International Conspiracy, recorded with Cumbia del Norte; additionally, Ribot frequently works in collaboration with Argentine guitarist Francisco “Pancho” Navarro, and also has performed on several recordings headlined by his brother, the acclaimed guitarist Marc Ribot.                     Do plan to enjoy a delicious dinner or dessert before or after the show at one of several fine dining establishments in downtown Westfield and the surrounding area. Most within walking distance from Galeria West.

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