Fab four to perform

The New Zealand Guitar Quartet (from left), Owen Moriarty, Jane Curry, John Couch and Christopher Hill, will perform at Meccaspresso cafe in Tay St next week. Photo: Supplied

FOUR guitar masters will be playing their unique blend of classical guitar music in Invercargill on Tuesday, July 11.

The New Zealand Quartet, featuring Owen Moriarty, Jane Curry, John Couch and Christopher Hill, will perform at Meccaspresso cafe, in Tay St, during their Arts On Tour New Zealand tour, presented by MASSAV Productions.

Curry said the performance would include a variety of styles including bluegrass, gypsy jazz, Celtic and Spanish music.

“We’re planning basically a salute to all our guitar heroes,” she said.

“We’re sort of covering all our favourite tunes really. It’ll be a combination written originally for the quartet and arrangements.”

The musicians play classical guitars, which featured a combination of wire wound and nylon strings and were not amplified, she said.

“Classical guitar is more similar to the Spanish flamenco guitar in terms of its structure. It’s quite different to a steel string.”

She said the guitar produced a different sound to an acoustic guitar, and musicians had to work hard in terms of developing their classical technique.

“It’s a very specific technique and we also spend a lot of time preparing our nails, making them the right shape and making them very smooth to get the best tone from the instrument.”

Curry said she started playing guitar when she was aged about 10 after learning it at school.

“It’s just been something I really enjoyed playing and I just carried on with it and took it to the next level, and the next level, and the next level.”

She finished with a doctorate, and is now senior lecturer and head of the guitar programme at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington.

Curry said the quartet was established at the end of 2010. Along with performing many concerts in New Zealand, it has recorded two CDs and has played overseas in China and Australia, and will perform at the Guitar Foundation of America convention in Louisville, Kentucky, next year.

She said feedback from audiences was that people really loved the programme for this tour.

“They love the contrast of styles, they love that there’s something there for everybody,” she said.

“Come along and try it out.”

New Zealand Guitar Quartet, Tuesday, July 11, 8pm, Meccaspresso, Invercargill.

Tickets available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or Southland Chamber of Commerce.

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