Born: June 30, 1974
Violinist Duane Padilla began his musical career much in the “traditional” way. Beginning classical violin lessons at age 4, he went on to earn a Masters Degree from Yale University and a Bachelors Degree from Northwestern University. While still a student, he earned fellowships to perform with the National Repertoire Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. In 1995, he founded the highly acclaimed chamber ensemble The Gemini Duo, semi-finalists in the Concert Artists Guild Competition in NYC. In addition to a busy touring schedule, The Gemini Duo won outreach grants from Chamber Music America and the American Federation of Musicians and earned positions on the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Performing Artist Roster and the CMA Rural Residency Artist Roster....
Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Jazz Album of the Year 2011
with Hot Club of Hulaville
Review of Sentimental Swing
Honolulu Star Advertiser, June 22, 2011
by Jon Berger
Padilla stretches wings, strings
Duane Padilla (self-published)
Here’s another album that the Hawai’i Academy of Recording
Arts (HARA) might have a hard time classifying when time
comes to prepare the ballot for the 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano
Awards. Is it jazz or instrumental? And, although violinist
Padilla is a founder and leader of the Hoku Award-winning
group Hot Club of Hulaville (Jazz Album, 2011), this is
officially a solo project, so can he go for most promising artist
Wherever it ends up on the Hoku ballot, this is beautiful and
imaginative work. Americans tend to think of the violin either
as a classical music instrument or as the fiddle of country
fame, but so much for conventional perceptions. Padilla
applies his violin to a collection of 10 American pop classics
from the pre-rock era � “Body and Soul,” “Autumn Leaves”
and “Embraceable You,” to name three. He shares the
spotlight with pianist Tennyson Stephens, while Stephen
Jones (aka Steve Jones) provides unobtrusive support on
acoustic bass. It’s an all-star trio, and Padilla’s violin makes it
something fresh and unusual for the local jazz scene.
What’s more remarkable is that Padilla describes the project
in the liner notes as “a celebration of ‘ideas of the moment’”
that was recorded live and without rehearsals. The three
musicians stretch out on songs they all know, playing in a
style “somewhere between Frank Sinatra and Stephane
The project gets off to an excellent start with “How High the
Moon.” The contrasting textures of violin and piano are clearly
displayed in the opening bars; then Padilla steps back a while
to let his sidemen shine.
Stephens’ solo intro on “Cry Me a River” sets an appropriately
somber mood that Padilla builds then builds on with the
emotional tones of the violin. There’s a nice change of tempo
along the way before the trio brings the tune to a satisfying
Padilla strikes a deceptively jaunty tone on “Don’t Get Around
Much Anymore” in an arrangement that brings Jones’ bass to
the fore and gives Stephens well-deserved time in the
spotlight as well. It is one of the best numbers in a superb set.
“Our Love Is Here to Stay” is a joyful delight as well.
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Willing to teach:
Violin Faculty Punahou Music School, Honolulu, HI
Masters Degree - Yale University
Bachelors Degree - Northwestern University
Past President/Board Member
Hawaii American String Teachers Association
Suzuki Association of Hawaii
Suzuki Talent Education of hawaii
Introduction to Improvisation for Classical String Orchestra
Programs, junior high, high school, and college levels
Sorry, no recommendations at this time.