The Assad Brothers took center stage and delivered a performance that could be called a musical and cultural journey through the power of two acoustic guitars Saturday at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.
The two Brazilian-born brothers, Sérgio and Odair Assad, have gained popularity through years of innovative performances and collaborations with notable artists like Yo-Yo Ma.
With nothing more than just two chairs, a small amplifier and a microphone, the Brazilian composers delivered an enjoyable performance with little theatrical elements.
The absence of percussions and various other instruments allowed the two acoustic guitars to be the main focus of the night.
The melodic versatility and musical ingenuity made the lack of other instruments virtually unnoticeable.
As the brothers sat directly across each other on stage, the musical duo covered a wide array of South American pieces that ultimately represent the history and background associated with their native country of Brazil.
The first half of the concert included the Assad Brothers performing a number of songs from famous South American and European composers like Domenico Scarlatti, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Joaquín Rodrigo and Ernesto Nazareth.
The harmonious cooperation of the guitarists allowed every note to represent an expression that was quite visible on each of their faces.
With the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall completely dark except for a light situated on the two brothers, the soothing sounds of the music served as a catalyst for imagination.
During the song titled “Tonadilla Para Dos Guitarras,” one could feel as though they were sitting in a café in Rio de Janeiro or at a music bar in Buenos Aires.
One of the most interesting and unforgettable aspects of the concert was how the Assad Brothers substituted the lack of vocals or singing in their performance with the constant fluctuations of their guitar notes.
As Brazilians with Lebanese heritage, the Assad Brothers concluded their performance with a song titled “Tahhiyya li Ossoulina,” which was dedicated to their ancestral roots.
Unique from all their other songs, the piece included traditional Assad-like melodies with a strong Middle Eastern influence that combined the sounds of South America and the Middle East.
The Assad Brothers are currently on tour and will be performing in various cities in the United States and Canada until February 2011.