Among other distinctions, Mexican guitar virtuoso Gil Gutierrez can claim to have been discovered, for American purposes, by Doc Severinsen when the famous trumpeter and Tonight Show bandleader was on vacation in San Miguel de Allende. The retired Severinsen unretired to work with Gutierrez and ensure his exposure to a larger audience. It worked. The prolific recording artist and tireless live performer, now in his early 50s, has played Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has sat in with the Minneapolis and Florida symphonies and with the New York Pops.
Considering that he did not begin recording until 2002, Gutierrez’s 14 releases attest to a great run of productivity and exploration. In 2014, Gutierrez and Severinsen released Oblivion, a zesty swing date that effortlessly bridges Gypsy and Big Band pop swing styles. Gutierrez’s musical dialect is a truly international fusion born of jazz, Latin, Gypsy and folk. He can blaze like a great flamenco player or he can ruminate profoundly on simple melodies. His voice is equally at home in front of symphony or in the most intimate solo settings.
Speaking of intimacy, Gil Gutierrez with violinist Bob Stern will perform in the Barbara Fite Room at Opus 40 in Saugerties on Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. Admission costs $40. Reservations can be made on the Opus 40 webpage, www.opus40.org, or by calling (845) 246-3400.
Gil Gutierrez with Bob Stern, Saturday, May 9, 3 p.m., $40, Opus 40, 50 Fite Road, Saugerties; www.opus40.org.