Ottmar Liebert brings Winter Rose into town | VailDaily.com
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Ottmar Liebert brings Winter Rose into town

Ian Cropp
Special to the DailyClassical and flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert performs at the Vilar Center on Friday night.
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BEAVER CREEK – If you take a look at the typical audience for an Ottmar Liebert show, it may give you a good glimpse at the variety of his music.”There will be teenagers to people in their 70s and 80s,” Liebert said. “I’ll see couples walking in, as well as head-bangers in leather with piercings.”Liebert, a classical and flamenco guitarist, will be showcasing pieces from his new album, Winter Rose, at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek with his touring band this Friday at 7:30 p.m.Winter Rose isn’t a typical holiday album, much like Liebert isn’t the typical flamenco guitarist.”It’s more of a hybrid,” Liebert said of his style. “I play flamenco rhythms. For this album, I didn’t want it to be completely holiday songs, but I wanted to mix it up a bit.”

The album has six original pieces, three classical tracks and several traditional songs infused with Liebert’s flamenco style. One song that showcases Liebert’s ear for music and creative ability is “O Little Town of Bethlehem/City of Tijuana.” The song mixes the traditional Christmas song with a slow flamenco guitar rhythm. Halfway through the song, melody transitions into a light electric guitar solo, then seamlessly moves back into the previous melody.While Liebert can describe his music, he’s glad to say he can’t define what it means.”That is the beauty of instrumental music,” Liebert said. “It really depends upon the listener. If there is a tree in a movie, that’s what the tree looks like. If you read about a tree, that tree doesn’t exist until you grow it in your mind. Instrumental music is like growing that tree.”Path to playingWhile growing up in Germany, Liebert picked up the classical guitar. One day while at the supermarket, Liebert picked up a solo flamenco album.”I was intrigued,” Liebert said. “Then I discovered Pablo Lucia (a classical Spanish guitarist). But in the meantime I wanted to play loud and electric. In 1987 I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I decided I preferred classical and flamenco.”

Instead of studying music while in Santa Fe, however, Liebert pursued other interests.”I went to art school. Up until I was 20, I really wanted to be a designer,” Liebert said.Ultimately, Liebert chose music as it allowed him to have the broadest form of artistic expression.”Why do you play an instrument? It’s like any art form,” Liebert said. “It goes back to being a little kid, throwing a rock and watching the ripples. The more ripples, the more fun it is. More people put ripples out there, they meat and become more interesting. That’s what making music is about.”During a trip to Asia, Liebert had an experience that solidified his belief as to music’s broad reach. “I had my guitar with me and there were lots of other musicians, from percussionists to flute players,” Liebert said. “We weren’t able to speak each other’s languages, but we were able to make music. That was really exciting to me.”The show



As Liebert strums away on his guitar, he is accompanied by bassist and keyboarder Jon Gagen, percussionist Davo Bryant, as well as a string quartet. Carla Ecker and Alexis Velasquez are on the violin, James Shaw plays the viola and Karla Lehmeier is the cellist.”We put out a lot of sound,” Liebert said.For the show, Liebert said they will perform four songs from the Winter Rose album, and another eight to 10 pieces from any of his previous albums.”There are a bunch of pieces that sound really interesting with a string quartet,” Liebert said.Liebert’s music is available for listening on the web at http://www.ottmarLiebert.comDaily Staff Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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