This afternoon's performance will feature a program of mixed styles on account of the fact that life moves on and I have incorporated different styles of music alongside my Flamenco and electric guitar performances. Life has reached a full circle. My life in music began with the plectrum guitar better known as a pick and I now incorporate both styles as well as different types of music. I compose my own music and listen to the works of many other artists such as Vangelis, Yanni, as well as Ambient music, Rock, Jazz and Bachata and Trap music for the younger generation that listen's to this type of music. The difference in what I do lays in the fact that the guitar is my voice and I let it sing within the particular style of music that I am playing. My performance this afternoon reflects this variation of musical styles.
Mr. Omar Blanco began studying guitar at the age of 8 with Victor Sainz, a local guitar instructor in Elizabeth, NJ. A turning point in his life came in 1976 when he began his classical guitar studies under the tutelage of another local Cuban guitarist, "Evelio Colina" in Elizabeth, NJ. Omar was also heavily influenced by his local high school band leader and pianist Mr. Dean Poulsen. Upon returning from Spain where she had been studying, Omar's sister told him about the amazing Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia who at that point in time started gaining international acclaim for his mind boggling technique on the guitar. Omar was intrigued that someone from the fingerstyle perspective could be just as fast or faster than his favorite guitar player who back then was Jazz Fusion guitarist John Mclaughlin. Paco de Lucia later went on to become Flamenco guitar's greatest 20th -21st century guitar virtuoso. Paco later became friends with John Mclaughlin and they would tour together with another famous Jazz fusion player "Al Dimeola". " In my formative years as a Jazz fusion player, I was heavily influenced by Carlos Santana, John Mclaughlin, Pat Metheny, George Benson and especially the legendary Jazz guitar master, "Pat Martino". Starting In the 1980's Omar Blanco began his studies with another legendary Master of the Flamenco guitar in New York City. His name was"Mario Escudero".
" My experiences with Mario would later become the major highlight of my guitar studies". One evening my mom and I were invited to Mario Escudero's apartment in Manhattan for a taste of Paella Valenciana, a southern Spanish seafood dish and was surprised that another legendary grandmaster "Agustin Castellon" better known as "Sabicas" was present and I had the opportunity to play for Sabicas at the instigation of my teacher Mario. Boy! I said to myself, "he really put me on the spot". Sabicas later told my mother that I was an expert on the guitar and that you could tell that I had studied with Mario Escudero. I was able to play for Sabicas one of the main Flamenco forms known as Soleares.