A guitar for all genres

Los Angeles-based Incendio combines the romance and passion of Latin music with rock-style enthusiasm and technical sophistication.

The Latin-guitar, world-fusion group formed in 1999 possesses a do-it-yourself mentality, writing its own music, booking its own shows and self-producing several albums. The band is scheduled for nearly 120 shows nationwide this year.

"We've been told by fans that when they receive our email (updates), they get carsick," says guitarist and Incendio co-founder Jean-Pierre Durand.

Incendio is acoustic and electric guitarists Jim Stubblefield and Durand, bassist and acoustic guitarist Liza Carbe, percussionist Bryan Brock and drummer Nicole Falzone.

The group will demonstrate its fretwork wizardry and original, genre-bending arrangements at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Brock will not be present at Saturday's show.

While the band does showcase a variety of Latin music forms and its members play flamenco guitars, they do not conform to the rules of music tradition.

"We are just imposing our guitars on all genres," says Durand.

Instead, the band takes a rock 'n' roll attitude to its Latin roots and incorporates elements of Indian, Arabic and Celtic music.

"It's really hard to find a pure musical experience anymore," says Durand.

The group's musical tapestry reflects the heritage and background of its members.

Stubblefield possesses an affinity for Middle-Eastern and flamenco music as the result of an association with Kuwaiti vocalist and instrumentalist Waleed Hamad. Carbe studied flamenco guitar as a teenager and classical guitar at California State University in Northridge. A Peruvian, Durand is partial to Latin music, which he combines with his fondness for rock and blues. Complementing his inherent skills, Brock studied at North Texas University, in addition to studying various indigenous percussion styles in Africa and Cuba. Falzone, whose father was acclaimed saxophonist Sam Falzone, is more inclined to jazz, pop and R&B and has played with artists such as George Benson, Katey Sagal and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter.

Incendio has a catalog of seven albums, including its 2009 release, "A Vihuela," featuring raw guitar sounds and minimal percussion. Other albums include the jazzy "Seduction" (2006), the live "Dia y Noche" (2005), the eclectic and progressive "Incendio" (2003), the live-in-the-studio "Intimo" (2003), the electronica- and European-influenced "Illumination" (2001) and the debut "Misterioso" (2000). Durand says the group also has an album's worth of material, which they will begin recording at the end of the month.

Members of Incendio will offer an exotic guitar and percussion workshop from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at the Geos Building (formerly Headwaters Environmental Center), 84 Fourth St., Ashland. Bring your guitars and/or percussion instruments. The workshop costs $25.

Tickets to their show at the Unitarian are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for ages 12 to 17 and free for children younger than 12. Tickets are available at Music Coop in Ashland, www.stclairevents.com or by calling 541-535-3562.

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