Strunz & Farah, performing together since 1980, have created an entirely new expression for the acoustic guitar. From Costa Rica and Iran respectively, Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah have brought the cultural riches of their native lands to their highly virtuosic, rhythmic, and improvisation-rich original instrumental compositions, profoundly influencing guitarists everywhere. The duo's music is perhaps best described as original international acoustic improvisational guitar music, world guitar, or ethnojazz. Their style is saturated with their cultural roots, which include Afro-Caribbean, Latin American folk, flamenco, and Middle Eastern music, and it draws heavily from the jazz concept of improvisation.
The first meeting between these two musicians in 1979 marked the first time that Latin American and Middle Eastern music came together on the guitar. The travels of his diplomat father brought Strunz to the United States, while Farah arrived as a student of architecture. Farah came to see Strunz perform with his Latin jazz group Caldera and decided to meet him. Upon meeting, it was instantly obvious that the two were brothers of the guitar from opposite ends of the earth. They quickly prepared a repertoire, began performing, and recorded their first project, Mosaico, in 1980. Although record companies at that time were not ready for this exotic new music, jazz radio embraced it, and world/jazz industry pioneer Richard Bock got the duo signed to the prestigious jazz label Milestone, on which Strunz & Farah cut the records Frontera (1983) and Guitarras (1984). These records defined world music on guitar years before the world music category even existed.
Since their genre-defining beginning, the duo has continued releasing complex and beautiful albums, most of which have been on Selva, the duo's own artist-friendly label. Notable efforts included Primal Magic (1990), which won Billboard's World Music Album of the Year award, and Americas (1992), which won a Grammy nomination. Both albums spent months on the top of Billboard's World Music chart. In addition to their own recordings, Struntz & Farah have collaborated with dozens of renowned world, jazz, and classical musicians, including Dr. L. Subramaniam, Ashish Khan, Heyadeh, Manoochehr Sadeghi, Bijan Mortazavi, Jihad Racy, Edwin Colon Zayas, Stanley Clarke, Hubert Laws, Liona Boyd, Joan Baez, and Jackson Browne. Their latest album, Journey Around the Sun, came out in 2011.
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