Don Ross: Louder Than Usualdonrossltu.com
Canadian guitar legend DON ROSS has been touring internationally for the last 30 years, bringing his trademark groove-based style to audiences in Canada, the USA, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India and Australia in the process. His new project, Don Ross Louder Than Usual, is a new collaborative unit that Don has started to achieve some of the arrangements of many of his tunes that, though they work well in the solo context, were actually conceived as working well in a band context.
The core of the band is a quartet consisting of Andrew Craig on keyboards, Jordan O’Connor on bass, Marito Marques on drums and Don on guitar and vocals. The band got its start in 2018 when Don was invited to perform in ensemble at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. Their sold out show was very well received, and made the band eager to showcase further.
Don Ross was born and raised in Montreal to an Indigenous Canadian mother and a Scottish immigrant father. His bilingual, multicultural upbringing was, perhaps, one of the most quintessentially Canadian experiences one could hope for! He eventually graduated with a Music degree from Toronto’s York University, and then embarked on an award-winning solo composing, recording and performing career that has taken him to dozens of countries over the course of 18 CD releases. In addition to guitar, Don plays about a dozen other instruments, but is certainly well-known primarily for his groundbreaking work as a solo “fingerstyle” guitarist. His music shows affinity for the music that influenced him along the way, including the traditions of urban music (jazz, funk, R&B, soul), traditional music, world music, and 20th and 21st century composers, such as Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny.
Don Ross Louder Than Usual is a quartet that can grow to a larger group with the inclusion of a four-piece horn section, led by luminary wind player and bandleader Colleen Allen. The band consist primarily of Toronto-based musicians. Despite living on Canada’s East Coast, Don still considers Toronto (where he lived for many years) as his musical home, and from whose awesome talent pool he often chooses his collaborators. Given the realities and expenses of touring, however, Don plans to form regional versions of DRLTU in order to open up performance possibilities in other parts of the world.
Pipo Romero, is a gifted composer and acoustic guitarist from Cádiz, a beautiful city south of Andalusia (Spain).
One of Spain’s busiest session guitarists and producers, Pipo has recorded and toured with the country’s biggest names (El Canto del Loco, El Sueño de Morfeo, Lagarto Amarillo, etc.). Pipo’s true passion was realized when he discovered a new way of playing the acoustic guitar. Critics and journalists have labeled it “Spanish Acoustic Fingerstyle” and it brings together the musical influences of Pipo’s childhood, the carnivals of Cadiz and a pastiche of folkloric influences from around the world.
Pipo’s first album “Folklórico” was released worldwide in September 2017 by Legacy Label (Sony Music Spain) and is receiving excellent reviews, including El País, the most respected newspaper in Spain. The album immediately climbed to the top ten of WMCE (World Music Charts Europe, Nov 2017). “Folklórico” comes from the heart. It is a compendium of musical styles which blend seamlessly, creating Pipo’s unique and original sound. The result is a delightfully innovative and eclectic album that offers captivating soundscapes beyond the realm of instrumental acoustic guitar.
Pipo Romero has been performing his music internationally to enthusiastic audiences. He performed at the Barcelona Guitar Festival, “Los Matinales del País” in Madrid (Spain’s most important concert series), as well as concerts in the EU and North America.
Early in 2018, Pipo was featured on the cover of Fingerstyle Guitar Journal with an extensive interview naming him one of the most promising artists of the acoustic guitar world. His growing international recognition led him to share the stage with pioneering legends of the acoustic guitar Don Ross and Pierre Bensusan.
Luthier Michael Greenfield (Canada), a world reference in handcrafted guitars, is working with Pipo as one of his touring artists. This partnership between guitarmaker and artist has resulted in Pipo performing on a guitar with the perfect voice for his music.
After the successful start of his musical career and having found his perfect sound, on October 2018 his second album will be published with Universal Music. “Ideario” promises to be an album full of contrasts with changing moods that travel through folk, flamenco and classical music through a unique and innovative approach to acoustic guitar.
On September 14th, his first single saw the light: “Calle San Pedro”, a flamenco tango where he mixes the idiosyncrasies of the acoustic and the flamenco guitar with the participation of virtuoso and world-acclaimed harmonica player Antonio Serrano.