By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Arguably one of the world’s finest guitarists, Al Di Meola is arriving in Rio tonight, August 1st, at Barra da Tijuca’s ‘Teatro Bradesco Rio’ to play one night as part of his ‘Opus’ Acoustic Tour, which is supporting the release of his new album, also titled ‘Opus.’
With his acoustic band, Di Meola celebrates his 45th birthday on stage, presenting his legacy as well as focusing on his current ‘Opus’ studio album. This most recent album aims to explore the last four decades of his career while also making a positive statement about his new perspective on life.
Di Meola states, “With ‘Opus’ I wanted to stimulate my composing skills because I think the evolution of this part of me has labeled me more as a composer/guitarist rather than as a guitarist/composer.”
This new album also marks a new era in Di Meola’s life. “For the first time in my life, I wrote music about being happy. I am in a wonderful relationship with my wife, I have a little girl and a beautiful family that inspires me every day. I believe this appears in the songs.” He says.
Di Meola is widely respected in the music industry as being a pioneer in the genres of world music and jazz-fusion. Over the last four decades, he has explored the musical influences of flamenco, tango, the Middle East, Brazil and Africa, all while maintaining a reputation as an impeccable live musician.
Having sold over eight million albums worldwide, more than any other jazz-fusion artist, Di Meola can lay claim to being the best-selling artist in this genre. He first shot to fame in the seventies after being hired by Chick Corea for the band Return to Forever, who were early pioneers in the genre of jazz-fusion.
Since then he has recorded many classic albums such as 1976’s ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’ and 1977’s ‘Elegant Gypsy’ which made him famous for his incredibly fast and intricate guitar-work. In 1980 he recorded the famous live acoustic album ‘Friday Night in San Francisco’ along with Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin, which has since gone on to sell more than two million copies worldwide.
Throughout his career, Di Meola has won almost every award there is for a guitarist and consistently tops polls of the greatest guitarists of all time. He has recently been honored as the 22nd recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award, created in 1994 to honor a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician’s influence in regenerating the jazz idiom.
What: Al Di Meola
When: Wednesday, August 1st; 9PM
Where: Teatro Bradesco Rio, Shopping VillageMall – Av. das Américas, 3900 – 160 – Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22640-102
Entrance: Tickets from R$110, available here.