Las Guitarras de Espana will present a brand new program, a unique fusion of classical, flamenco and world music unified by Ian Maksin's cello playing. The performances will range from intimate solos by Maksin and small duo and trio numbers to the culminating set by a full 10-piece band, including flamenco dancer Wendy Clinard and Senegalese tama ("talking drum") player Mamadou Diop. In addition to original compositions and traditional folk songs from Spain and Cuba, Maksin and Las Guitarras will perform some of their own renditions of works by such classical composers as Granados, Albeniz and de Falla.
In an addition to having an international career as a classical musician, Ian Maksin is one of the few contemporary cellists performing flamenco and world music. He performs over 100 concerts annually in the USA and Europe, and his performances have been broadcast on NPR and PBS. In 2012 the Chicago Symphony Orchestra named him "Citizen Musician" for his contribution to the city's musical life. Maksin has performed and recorded with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, Sting, and Gloria Estefan.
Las Guitarras de Espana (The Guitars of Spain) is a "world music" ensemble, with a "Spanish guitar twist," that performs a fusion of Cuban son, rumba, R&B, Latin-jazz, blues and African percussion with an underlying flamenco music and dance focus. From the start, the ensemble has presented traditional Spanish guitar music along with traditional flamenco forms in collaboration with music and musicians from other genres and cultures. The ensemble has sought to unite music, dance, travel, poetry, and culture in recordings and performances.