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Guitarist Billy Newman has been performing for over 20 years. Starting in Jazz, he performed in the 80’s with artists such as Dave Douglas and Vincent Herring. Since 1992 he has been traveling to Brazil, spending months there to investigate the myriad forms of music. In 1995 he began forming groups to perform principally Brazilian instrumental music at New York cultural institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and MOMA, as well as at colleges, clubs and libraries. After 1998, Billy developed a serious passion for Choro music, studying and playing with musicians including Rogerio Souza and Rodrigo Lessa in Rio de Janeiro
Through outstanding collaborations like the Brazilian
Acoustic Ensemble, guitarist
and composer Billy Newman has emerged as a leading exponent
of the music of Brazil.
Exploring far beyond the well-trodden bossa nova path,
Newman unearths the full
range of styles the country offers, including choro, baiào,
valsa and samba, and gives
American audiences a rich panoramic glimpse into Brazilian
art, highlighting its parallels
with progressive jazz. A recipient of composers residencies
at Yaddo and
MacDowell Colony, he is the curator of a three-day series at
the club dedicated to the
Willing to teach
I have been teaching for many years now. My instruction goes
beyond guitar to include improvisation for other
instruments, Ear training, Harmony and composition. My
Schedule is flexible just inquire. I've been teaching online
since 2009 via Skype or Google. I've instructed in recent
times horn players in improvising and even a steel drum
player. Some have found me useful for my sight reading
methods. I am always enthusiastic to help someone who has
strong passion for music and especially one who can find the
time to practice. Over the years there have been those
students who have improved by doing their practice just in
the hour lesson every week. I will work with you and show
you how to work by yourself.
I've often found much Joy teaching students and beginners
but I think I can be very useful to advanced students. I
have amassed a body of transcriptions fingered for guitar by
some of my favorite horn players and pianists. These include
Frank Strozier (alto sax), Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Wayne
Shorter, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, etc. I have over 30
solos already in digital form and I will do a guitar book on
horn and piano solos adapted for guitar one day. Most of the
work is done. To recuperate all the solos for a
demonstration CD would be quite a challenge! I have definite
ideas about positions and slurring to make these solos as
easy on the neck and strings as possible. These ideas are
always evolving of course.
The development of a "Brazilian solo guitar repertoire" in
order to play these types of gigs had led me to amass a vast
collection of chorinho and other Brazilian guitar material
directly from Brazil. I've spent hours at the Biblioteca
Nacional in Rio de Janeiro and in the file cabinets of many
generous friends. I've been sharpening my arranging powers
over the years and also have a collection of my own
arrangements of many sambas, bossa novas and baiãos. This
includes a number of arrangements of Pixinguinha which are
far more playable than Barbosa-Lima's. It would be my
greatest pleasure to help someone on this path.
I have a lot more to offer my students in developing within
Brazilian music than what is in the fairly condensed 50-page
book I did for Alfred in 2002. Of course this book is still
highly recommended! It can be purchased from
GuitarWorkshop.com, or by contacting me directly.
Rhythmic training is an integral part of learning Brazilian
guitar as well as instruction in classical guitar
techniques. My students improve vastly in their ability to
recognize and play rhythmic motives. I was trained in
pandeiro and will encourage percussion playing and the
exploration of basic polyrhythm.
Billy Newman Sextet
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