Captain America once said, "'Twas music that soothed the savage beast." Although he was talking about his short-lived nemesis, Dr. Parakeet, it's just as true for animals of the human persuasion. Soothe your savage insides with today's Groupon: for $18, you get a balcony-seat ticket to see De Volta As Raizes, a virtuoso guitar performance from Sérgio and Odair Assad at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park. The concert will take place Sunday, April 11, at 6 p.m.
Brothers in arms, strings, and reality, Sérgio and Odair Assad hail from Brazil, where they were steeped in the Brazilian musical tradition like two man-sized sachets of tea. Over the years, they studied with some of the best guitarists in South America, honing their skills and musical partnership. More recently, the duo began further exploring the music of their ancestral homeland, Lebanon. Following the success of Sérgio's Lebanese-influenced composition Tahhiya II Oussilina, the Assads arranged a show that explores modern and ancient Lebanese work, the rhythmic motifs that Brazilian and Middle Eastern music never realized they had in common, and new, original compositions. The result was De Volta As Raizes, Portuguese for "back to our roots." Joining them on tour are the thoroughly embodied vocals of Lebanese-American singer Christiane Karam, the intricate dum-tek-kas of percussionist Jamey Haddad, and the double-handed support of pianist and singer Clarice Assad.
A gorgeous evening of live music is a secret garden on the edge of everyday life, an escape into a world controlled by the vibrato of strings, the pulse of drums, and the tug and push of soundwaves into the external auditory canal, against the tympanic membrane, and around the delicate ossicles. The Dekelboum Concert Hall inside the Performing Arts Center is a spacious and acoustically superior space in which to partake of this feast for your hearing holes. A balcony seat provides a breathtaking view of the entire stage and the auditorium itself, with its symmetrical, modern design and 1,100-seat capacity. Sit back as the synchronous strains of the Assads' guitars waft upward, calming erratic souls and clearing congested sinuses.
- The Assads have often opened their concerts with their own transcriptions of Scarlatti sonatas, and in past visits it was the keyboardesque clarity and precision of their playing that made the strongest impression in this music. Those qualities remain intact, and one almost takes them for granted now. – Allan Kozinn, New York Times
- The Brazilian-born Assad brothers, a guitar duo, perform with almost telepathic unity. Barely glancing at each other, eyes often closed, they trade lead and supporting roles with astonishing fluidity. – Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe
- Here they impressed not only with their lightning runs and groovy rhythmic measures but with a meditative, nostalgic movement, as slurred, two-note groupings descended the scale over a soft string-section blanket, with winds coursing through the musical space. – Adam Baer, Los Angeles Times
Clarice Smith Center
College Park, Maryland 20742Get Directions