For more than forty years Brazilian guitarist Odair Assad has been concertizing worldwide with his brother Sergio, forming an exceptional guitar duo.

In 1998, Odair first began to play alone and has now finally made a recording and decided to play this and other material live on stage.  It is of little surprise that he is a sublime guitarist in this setting. The reviewer, Colin Cooper said this about Malcolm Arnold’s short Serenade for guitar and strings as recorded with Leo Brouwer conducting the Orquesta de Cordoba (GHA  Records).  “Odair Assad reveals himself to be a soloist of awesome talents, which is no less than observation has always suggested.”

One year later  the same reviewer says this about the album Fuga y misterio, ”Odair Assad has one of the most fluent left hands (he has) seen in a guitarist : seemingly attached to the fingerboard, it performs its function without obvious effort and to the maximum musical effect.  This CD gives him the chance to shine in solo splendour.”

While Odair had, at times, wondered about playing the guitar as a solo artist, he owes much of his motivation to his dear  friend Thomas Humphrey, who had made guitars for both brothers for many years. Thomas had for years encouraged Odair to make the leap.  That same year Tom would pass away suddenly.  But Odair had already been inspired and now he was committed to honouring his friend, playing a concert in New York within months of his sudden and heartbreaking loss, and of course dedicating the concert to Thomas  as the most sincere homage of an artist to the loving memory of his best friend.

The brilliant Cuban composer Leo Brouwer wrote the piece “Sonata del Caminante” for him at that time, followed quickly by Egberto Gismonti who wrote “Memoria e Fado” and, of course, Sergio Assad created “Brevidades’ to create a program of new and extraordinary repertoire that Odair was able to premiere and record. Leo Brouwer said of his new work, that it contained  “impossible challenges for any guitar virtuoso, but common hurdles for Odair.”  In the Spring of 2010, Odair’s first recording “El Caminante” was released on the GHA label.

Odair’s first North American concert tour began in February 2011, and featured concerts in Montreal and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  Odair continues to enjoy playing with his brother Sergio, who has been nominated for two more Latin Grammy’s for Best Contemporay Classical Composition in 2010.  They will take to the road with Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott  in April 2012.