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Music series to offer something new

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By Kirsten Laskey

Something new is wafting into the Guitars and Gateaux series. A different sound will be floating around Fuller Lodge from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday. It is a sound that should tantalize people’s ears and draw them into the lodge to hear more.

The source of this music will be Los Amigos which, on Thursday, will be comprised of Omar Villanueva, who plays the guitar, requinto — or a smaller, higher pitched guitar — and sings, and Roberto Gomez, who sings and plays guitar.

The two performers will play songs from different regions of Mexico as well as songs from different countries throughout Latin America, Villaneuva said.

“We feel great to have the opportunity to do what we do,” Villaneuva said.

These songs may be new to the Guitars and Gateaux series, but in Villaneuva’s eyes, this music is steeped in tradition.

He said most of this music comes from rural areas and was first played in 1940s and 1950s.

They come from the Latin Trio era, which featured music performed by a guitar and maracas.

A middle school teacher influenced Villaneuva to perform this music and soon he had developed a passion of this music and played in more and more. Villanueva said he basically grew up on this music.

Villanueva pursued his musical passion in school. He earned a bachelor’s and maters’ degree in guitar performance from Conservatorio de Música del Estado de México. It was at the conservatory that he met Gomez.

Villanueva said they shared the same classes and in the 1990s, Gomez and Villanueva started playing professionally together.

“We’ve always been playing the Latin music and classical repertoire,” Villanueva said.

He added they are always looking for a chance to share their music.

“We’re always looking to have more opportunity to perform,” Villanueva said.

Not only does Villanueva share this music with the public, but he also teaches others how to play it.

Villanueva teaches Latin-American music in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He also teaches full-time at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque.

The Los Alamos Arts Council sponsors the Guitar and Gateaux series. Tickets cost $10 for LAAC members and $15 for non-members.