Paraguayan rhythms coming to Peebles

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THE music of Paraguay’s most famous guitarist will be heard in the Tweeddale town this month.

Labelled as one of the UK’s leading imaginative and accomplished concert guitarists, Richard Durrant will perform the songs of great Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios Mangoré on Thursday, January 26.

Titled after his latest album The Number 26 Bus to Paraguay, the show includes Mangoré’s greatest and most popular guitar works alongside those of musicians such as Los Paraguayos, Manuel de Falla, Debussy and Django Reinhardt.

A spokesman for the show said: “Durrant is recognised in Paraguay as one of the greatest interpreters of Barrios in the world today. “Now he is using his stage craft and theatrical talent to show Mangoré in an international context. The result is a fabulous and intriguing night out.”

Durrant has played music all his life but the guitar has remained his favoured instrument throughout.

He was eight when his passion for Barrios’ music began after he was given an Alirio Díaz record for Christmas.

Durrant says three tracks in particular fuelled his Barrios obsession. “Those three pieces changed everything,” he says. “I loved those tracks even more than my dad’s Django records.”

He attended the Royal College of Music in London as an already experienced performer and spent much of his time in the capital playing Bob Dylan songs in tube stations.

Following his debut recital at the South Bank in 1986, Durrant turned to electro and acoustic music, improvisation, composition and multimedia.

He has only returned to his childhood passion of playing the guitar latterly, and his proudest moment came in May last year.

Durrant had been invited to launch The Number 26 Bus to Paraguay album in the country’s capital, Asunción, and, whilethere, in recognition of his services as a champion of Agustín Barrios Mangore, he was officially proclaimed an Illustrious Visitor to the nation.

He will be returning to South America for more concerts in 2012.

Tickets for Richard Durrant’s gig, kicking off at 7.30pm, at the Eastgate Theatre are priced at £14 and available from 01721 725777.