Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate
Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate
PERSONAL BIO I am a North American flamenco guitarist currently living in Austin, Texas. My music is grounded in traditional flamenco and incorporates elements of jazz, classical, and world music. My fascination with music and the guitar began early, and I picked up the instrument in earnest at the age of 19. Starting on electric guitar, my focus switched to flamenco after a few years. My initial curiosity towards flamenco quickly became a full-fledged obsession, as I was enamored with the strength, depth, and complexity of the art form. Initially self-taught, I later refined my playing with several of North America’s top flamenco guitarists. In spring of 2014, I independently recorded Punto Lejano, my first full-length studio album, at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle, WA. This original flamenco-jazz album draws on a variety of musical sources. In 2017, I was awarded a Fulbright performing arts fellowship to pursue intensive flamenco studies in Sevilla, Spain, at the Fundacion Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco. Here I deepened my knowledge of flamenco under the tutelage of master guitarists Pedro Sierra, Pedro Barragán, and Paco Cortés. I then spent another year with maestro Eduardo Rebollar of Artes Escenicas Rebollar before returning to the States. I'm also influenced by the music of Paco de Lucía, Pepe Habichuela, Manolo Sanlúcar, Tomatito, Moraíto Chico, and Miguel Ángel Cortés. TEACHING APPROACH My approach towards teaching prioritizes the student's self-described goals. If students want to be challenged and pushed hard, I push them hard. If simply enjoying the instrument is most important, that's perfectly okay too. I believe it's impossible to separate technique from other aspects of one's musicality, such as expression. Therefore, all students will start with the fundamentals of technique and will build on this as they move into the study of rhythm, harmony, accompaniment resources, and more. The responses to the Student Questionnaire, along with a short, introductory discussion, will allow us to create a plan tailored to each student. I believe all healthy learning relationships start with respect, and not just from student-to-teacher, but also from teacher-to-student. I've always felt the best teachers are those capable of uncovering and giving life to the strongest qualities already present within a student. Therefore, I encourage all students to be proactive and engage in their own learning plan. My primary role is to be the guide. To paraphrase the great flamenco singer Enrique Morente: "In flamenco there are no teachers, only disciples."
ReviewsWrite a Review
Absolutely excellent flamenco guitar teacher. Very knowledgeable, impressive player, and comes well prepared with teaching material to each lesson.
I've been studying guitar for about 15 years, primarily jazz before I met Gustavo. I've never had an instructor that even comes close. He makes a difficult and seemingly inaccessible style of guitar accessible and fun! He's incredibly well educated, not only on the music itself but also on the history and culture of Flamenco; you're getting much more than just a guitar lesson. On top of that, he's also just a wonderful person.
I have been gearing up for some extensive travel in Spain combined with some immersive flamenco guitar studies. Prior to studying with him, I had played various forms of guitar for several years but only had minimal exposure to true Flamenco styles. Gustavo has been extremely helpful in getting me ready for the experience with techniques, fundamentals, in-depth palos knowledge, rhythm and timing, interactions with Dancers and Singers, etc.. He is extremely knowledgeable and talented in all areas of Flamenco and he is very good at explaining it all to a non-native (extranjero) like myself! His depth of musical theory combined with in-depth experience studying in Spain make him a uniquely qualified Flamenco Guitar Instructor. This was my first experience with online instruction and within the first lesson, I felt like I had known him for months. I highly recommend studying with Gustavo no matter how much experience you have when you start this path!!