Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

DU musician joins Venezuelan ensemble for Newman Center show

Though they were both trained in Venezuela and are considered masters of Venezuelan music, it took Denver’s Biennial of the Americas to finally bring Eddy Marcano and Ricardo Iznaola together.

Although they didn’t perform together publicly at the 2010 celebration of the arts in Denver, Marcano and Iznaola — director of the conservatory program and chair of the guitar and harp department at DU — did find time to sit down together and play. Marcano, a Venezuelan conductor and violin master, was in town to conduct the YOA Orchestra of the Americas.

That collaboration was the spark for Marcano’s upcoming Nov. 13 appearance at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The violinist will perform with his Trio Acústico, and Iznaola will join the group for a handful of numbers, including his own composition “Vocalise.” Originally written for piano and voice, the piece has been rearranged for guitar and violin.

“I am very excited to do this collaboration because it’s an opportunity for me that I usually don’t have,” says Iznaola, who recently released a double CD of Venezuelan guitar music. “My specialty is more in the classical tradition, and so this will be both a challenge and a great, exciting opportunity.”

A classically trained violinist and conductor, Marcano is a member of Venezuela’s famed Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and has appeared on stages across the Americas and Europe. With the Trio Acústico he performs a vibrant repertoire of traditional Venezuelan folk music, spiced with jazz improvisations and buoyed by classical technique. The other members of the ensemble play guitar, bass and cuatro, a small Venezuelan guitar.

“All of them are highly trained musicians in the classical tradition, but also with a great background in traditional Venezuelan folk-inspired music,” Iznaola says. “So it’s a mixture of the folk traditions of Venezuelan music with influences from jazz and popular music, but with a great backbone of classical music. It’s interesting because of that mixture of skills and traditions.”

Eddy Marcano and Trio Acústico with special guest Ricardo Iznaola perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in DU’s Hamilton Recital Hall, 2344 E. Iliff Ave. A free “Behind the Curtain” lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $30; visit for tickets and more information.

For more information about Ricardo Iznaola and his new CD, visit

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