Esteban, Live at EncanterraOct 21, 2012
What They Saw:
Sunday, October 21st, 2012
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Much adored by music lovers in Arizona, legendary guitarist Esteban kicked off the Good Life Festival fall concert series on Sunday October 21st at Encanterra Country Club with his unique fusion of classical and Flamenco sounds.
Hundreds of guests gathered at the Mallorca Events Center to enjoy the always captivating and sometimes improvisational rhythms, spanning multiple genres of music. His old-world-meets-new-world sound paired perfectly with the intimate ambiance of Encanterra’s La Casa clubhouse. Decked out from head to toe in black, his mysterious look drew fans in while the slick sound of his guitar accompanied by his violinist daughter Theresa Joy kept them entranced. Esteban warmed guests up with songs like “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles and “Mediterranea” then cooled them down with “Malaguena.”
Before his evening performance, ticketholders were able to enjoy a complimentary wine tasting with varietals from Campo Viego, Marques de Riscal, Ramon Bilbao, Volteo, Radio Boca, and Massimo. After the concert, Bistro 1528 served up delicious appetizers and entrees to those who were ready for a gourmet dinner to top off their Good Life experience.
Don’t miss the next show in our fall concert series line-up when Hotel California, a Tribute to The Eagles, will perform on Sunday, November 18th. A complimentary craft beer tasting will precede the concert.
His name was given him by legendary classical guitarist Andres Segovia, who called him “Esteban” during his years of study with the master in Spain (1974-1978) and in the United States. Born Stephen Paul in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, son of a steelmill worker, Esteban saw his first guitar in a shop window when he was 8 years old. His uncle bought it for him and Esteban says, “It never left my hands.”
From that moment on, he focused on the guitar, teaching himself to play and practicing every spare moment. Esteban’s dream was to be able to express his deep inner feelings through his music. He wanted to study with legendary classical guitarist Andres Segovia, but being self taught, it seemed impossible, since Segovia only accepted students of other classical guitarists, in the traditional settings of master classes. So he gave up on that quest for a while, attended college, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1972, majoring in guitar and English literature. 1968, his first year at university, was the first year guitar was offered at Carnegie Mellon, and the guitar teacher was a cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He really was not an accomplished guitarist, so Esteban was basically on his own once again, teaching himself. He stunned the juries with his amazing self-taught technique, playing his own compositions and performing the Spanish gypsy flamenco-style guitar.
Upon graduation, he began teaching guitar at music studios and performing local gigs, but his quest of studying with Segovia was always with him. He decided to try another way to meet the maestro, since he could not gain entry into any master classes. Esteban left hundreds of messages for Segovia on bright yellow index cards, while Segovia was on his world tours, saying, “My life is meaningless unless I can study with you.” Year after year he sent them everywhere Segovia went.
After a relentless pursuit in Los Angeles, Segovia finally permitted Esteban to play for him in 1974. Segovia gave him a long list of specific pieces of music to learn and promised Esteban that he would listen to him again the following year, when he returned to Los Angeles for concerts. When Segovia returned and heard Esteban play, he invited the student to Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain, for master classes. After these classes, Segovia invited Esteban to Madrid to study privately with the maestro in Segovia’s famous 4th floor studio on Avenida Concha Espina. These were memorable times in Esteban’s life, never to be forgotten.
For four years Esteban studied with the master whenever possible, in Spain and in the U.S., and in 1978 Segovia gave Esteban his endorsement. Esteban returned to the U.S. and began touring.