José Manuel Lezcano
Concert guitarist and composer
Professor of Music, Keene State College
As a twice Grammy-nominated guitarist / composer (in two categories: "Best Contemporary Composition" and "Best soloist with orchestra) Dr. José Lezcano has captivated audiences on four continents. In programs of Spanish, South American and original works, he has appeared in major venues and festivals, including Carnegie Recital Hall, the NYC North-South Consonance Series, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Spain, Portugal, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China, Germany, Crete, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as recitalist, collaborative artist, and concerto soloist. As Professor of Music at Keene State College, Dr. José Lezcano teaches and coordinates the guitar program, and courses in Latin American music. His guitar students have been frequent winners of the College's highest awards and scholarships. He has been a frequent guest artist at numerous chamber music series in New England, including Apple Hill, Electric Earth, Wisteria, Portland Chamber Music Festival, and Athaneum concerts in Portsmouth, NH. Described by Fanfare Magazine as "an excellent guitarist as well as an imaginative composer," Jose has earned numerous professional recognitions, including first prize in the MTNA National Guitar Competition, the NHSAC Individual Artist Fellowship, NHMTA Composer of the Year (twice), KSC Distinguished Research Award, and a Fulbright Award to Ecuador.
Jose’s educational workshops have included school residencies (Claremont School District, Henniker Middle School) where he has introduced students to Andean music and performance on panpipes, with Jose on guitar and charango. A Fulbright Lecture-Research Award to Ecuador and Whiting Grant enabled Jose to pursue and present research on Indigenous guitar traditions at conferences and for the NH Humanities Council and informs his workshops; he continues to present lecture-recitals on the “Guitar In Latin America” for libraries & civic groups throughout the state. He also frequently includes a clinic on Brazilian and Cuban guitar rhythms to guitarists of all ages, skills, and styles; these clinics prior to his solo concerts have been enthusiastically received.
He also appears in concert with cellist Rebecca Hartka (http://www.rebeccahartka.com/duomundo.htm) in various themed programs: “From Bach to Brazil”; “From the Bolero to the Tango.” These programs also include Jose’s original compositions for cello & guitar, including his critically acclaimed Sonata, and Key West Suite.
Jose has also performed at Bach Festivals in North Carolina and in Gorham, New Hampshire, and peforms “Bach, his contemporaries and admirers” with Bach’s Chaconne; Prelude, Fugue, & Allegro, and First Cello Suite, along with works by Scarlatti, Frescobaldi, Villa-Lobos, and Barrios Mangoré.
Other collaborative duos include programs with pianist Virginia Eskin (Music of Immigrant Communities); harpist Franziksa Huhn (Bards and Troubadors); mezzo Jazmina Macneil (Spanish Nights: Music of Falla, Rodrigo, and songs from Schumann’s Spanischliederbuch); and soprano & musicologist Dr. Patricia Caicedo (Songs of Absence). All programs include Jose’s original works for these Duos.