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Daniel R. Gomez, Classical Guitarist

Posted on October 27, 2011

By Elissa Jones

Rogers Park has long been home to many diverse artists, one of whom is Daniel R. Gomez, 32.  He is a guitarist specializing in classical and South American folk music. Slender and unassuming, with a slight accent from his native of Lima [Peru], Gomez explained that he had emigrated alone to Chicago in 2006, to join relatives living here.

Often, musicians begin their craft at a young age. Not so with Gomez; he did not begin playing guitar until age 26. However, he made up for lost time, motivated by a search for passion in his life. Initially, he was self-taught.

“I started by learning some chords by myself, but could only get so far. Then went to the Old Town School of Folk Music and took a class in flamenco music.  I also took lessons with the Chilean maestro, Alfonso Chacon. He had been playing for 60 years. After studying with him for six months, I was asked to join a quartet that he had formed, Los Guitarristas. Ever since 2007, I have been playing with them – at Chicago Cultural Center’s World Music series, festivals such as Looptopia, benefits and private parties.”  (See website for more information at http://www.losguitarristas.com)

At the same time, he was taking classes at Northeastern University, majoring in music. Currently, he is in his last year of their bachelors program, which will be only the first of several degrees he plans to attain. He will stay on for his Master’s degree, and then transfer to Northwestern for his Phd in music.

Although Gomez also plays some piano and percussion, his focus is indubitably the guitar. He is diligent in his practice regimen, which is anywhere from two to eight hours per day. He clarified that quantity did not necessarily equal quality.

“You have to focus when you practice, on details. The more time I have, the more I will practice. It doesn’t work if I put in a lot of time, but my mind is in a different place.”

His guitar is handmade, crafted by German Vasquez Rubio in Mexico.  It accompanies him much of the time, and he is always eager to play, stating, “Music is my life.”

He has been taking private lessons in summer, in Peru with the renown guitar, Maestro Pepe Torres, focusing on Peruvian rhythms.  Additionally, Gomez gives lessons and is an inspiration to his private students. The lessons are tailored to their desires, which could be to learn to read music, or just to play. At this time, he is promoting himself as a soloist.

His goal is not predominantly fame – he stated that he just wants to play. When asked to play at the end of the interview, he delivered a splendid performance of Capricho Arabe, a haunting melody with complex chord changes, requiring considerable manual dexterity. It was a treat to experience.

Daniel R. Gomez is available for performances and lessons. He can be reached by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  and by phone at (773) 954-0790.

Note: http://www.rogerspark.com has arranged for Daniel to perform twice this upcoming week (1 hour set), at locations in Rogers Park:

Sunday, October 30th, 4:00PM, Duke’s Bar , 6920 N. Glenwood (performing prior to Klezmer Band.)

Thursday, November 3, 8:00PM, Lighthouse Bar 7301 N. Sheridan Rd. (actually, on Chase – no sign) Chicago, IL

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