Howland plays Brouwer "Guajira Criolla" - In the classical guitar world, Cuban guitarist Leo Brouwer is one of the most significant composers. I've loved playing a long list of his guitar music most of my life. This Guajira is a gem, with the characteristic 6/8, 3/4 rhythmic groove, and beautiful melodic lines and harmony - it's a perfect short example of latin classical guitar music!
Howland plays "La Paloma" - To many people, the classical guitar is the Spanish Guitar, with it's rich history and influence. My dad was an avid classical and jazz record collector, and he loved classical guitar music, so I grew up with this music. We knew all the favorites by Albeniz, Granados, Llobet, Rodrigo, Tarrega, etc. I've collected, studied, and played all of this music ever since. The "La Paloma" theme is a beloved spanish melody with many settings over the last 140 years, with it's distinctive habaneras rhythmic groove and beautiful melodic lines - it's a perfect short example of lyrical spanish classical guitar music! This arrangement basically follows the well known Romero one, although I've kept the bass line going a little more and refingered passages.
Howland plays Bach "Air" - Hands down, the music of JS Bach has always been one of my biggest sources of inspiration. His mastery of harmony and musical figures shows a very rare seamless grace and beauty. His music is a "well" that I almost religiously draw from, studying, playing, and adapting for solo guitar, guitar ensembles, and guitar and piano settings. I did this arrangement of Bach's famous "Air" as it is a frequently requested and beautiful selection for ceremonies.
Howland - To A Wild Rose - In Graduate school I was drawn to the short-lyrical piano pieces of American composer Edward MacDowell because of the song-like melodies, simple extended harmonies, and Henry David Thoreau-like poetic aesthetic. I came across his music just going through the music library shelves. "To A Wild Rose" was his first piece that I arranged for the guitar. I went on to arrange all ten of his "Woodland Sketches," performing them in one of my Graduate recitals, and then using them as the core of my Doctoral dissertation. I recently acquired a copy of "Woodland Sketches" that my Grandma had, and I learned that she studied with a student of MacDowell!
Swing Promo:... - Swing has been a feel good music throughout my life, music intertwined with good feelings, whether listening, playing in big bands, dancing, celebrating, singing around the house,... As a gigging musician, swing is the perfect live music for many events, whether background, as here, or as music for dancing. In this clip, my quartet plays several classics, "It Don't Mean A Thing," "Honey Suckle Rose," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Sunny Side of the Street," "Mean to Me," and "Somebody Loves Me." As a musician, swing is the perfect music to stimulate a free flow of creative playing and a good time for all!
Howland - 2017 PLU Guitar Festival Jazz Set Collage - I play Jazz because it has always been part of my life, from my Dad's record collection, the regular jazz radio programs we listened to, going to see live performances, jazz classes in school, playing in big and small bands,... In this short jazz set from the annual Guitar Festival that I direct at PLU, My festival quartet interprets one of the many beloved Jobim classics, two new Original Songs, and a tribute to Al Jarreau, who had just passed and whose music was a dear part of my own past.