Jim Falbo (classical/romantic guitarist) Reviews
 
WeddingWire Jim Falbo (classical/romantic guitarist) Reviews, Best Wedding Ceremony Music in Minneapolis - 2015 Couples' Choice Award Winner
 
Anyone interested in booking Jim for a wedding ceremony, wedding reception,
private event, corporate event, concert, house concert, birthday party, restaurant event, funeral, memorial services, and more should contact Jim at:



e-mail- jimfalbo@hotmail.com

cell- 651-283-8901

Prices available for each event available on request.


 
Check out some videos I have recorded on my YOUTUBE channel

My past performance locations and clients include: Minnesota Landscape Arboratem, Black Bear Crossings (Lake Como), Pinstripes (Edina), The Science Museum of Minnesota, Lake Harriet Bandshell, Camrose Hill Flower Farm, Stillwater Public Library, Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, Bigelow Chapel, Lowell Inn, Germanic-American Institute, The Woman's Club (Minneapolis), The Summit Manor House, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Porter Creek Restaurant, Bohemian Flats on Boom Island, Legends Golf Course, Woodbury Central Park, Boom Island Park, W.A. Frost, Aster Cafe, St. Paul College Club, Regency Plaza (St. Cloud), Kellerman's Event Center, Aria, The Walker, The Red Carpet, Lafayette Club, Legends Golf Course, Olympic Hills Golf Course, Elm Creek Park Reserve, Noerenberg Memorial Gardens (Orono), St. Paul's Chapel (little Chapel), State Fairgrounds, St. Paul Hotel, Minikahda Golf Course, Harriet Island, and many more.

Rewarding gigs, and maintaining composure 

I have been fortunate to be asked to play in so many weddings, anniversaries, memorial services, concerts, among others that sometimes I reflect on the many amazing experiences I have encountered, and I how I have learned to deal with emotions in important gigs. I will never forget an early wedding I played when I first started gigging. I was playing a piece of music and I could hear people in the front row crying at a wedding. One of the guests in attendance (who actually happened to be a father of the bride) later came up to me with tears in his eyes, thanking me, and telling me the music I was playing (The Beatles) was his Dad's favorite, and was played in his wedding. I realized early on at the power of music to invoke emotions in people of any age, and it's effect on my emotions in response to those in attendance. Sometimes when you are playing you can get caught up in the feeling of an event, and it's best to think of the chords, and notes that are coming and forget what is happening around you. Crying bridesmaids/brides/grooms etc. can throw a novice for a loop, but it's best to just play on and think of the music and the emotion you're trying to convey. I also find it rewarding after playing a piece of music at an intimate concert, and seeing the waterworks in someones eyes. I recently had a woman come up to me aftet and concert and tell me she loved my rendition of "At Last" by Etta James, as it was played at her wedding. Her husband had recently passed away, and she felt connected to him through the music. The connection humans have through music is so powerful and inspirational. Quite frankly, I've gotten to the point where everything I play is on auto-pilot, especially pieces I have played for years.

Another one of my fondest memories recently was playing a memorial service, where I was asked to play Joni Mitchell's "All Sides Now" after the daughter of the man who had passed away gave a moving speech on his life, and what the song meant to him. I played it while the room was clearly in tears, with open crying, and held back tears while hitting every note to make sure the man's life and memorial would be remembered even more vividly. I had to duck under my music stand when the piece was over and wipe tears off of my eyes, as the mood in the room was contagious, and I couldn't help but be drawn into the beautiful speech his daughter made, and the way he would be remembered. The gift of playing such memorable music for people has really given me meaning in life, as some can forget that there's more to a lot of gigs than just showing up and playing and getting the check. Not only do you have to be accurate, and play during adverse weather and other conditions (heat, cold, wind, insects, etc) you have to play with such emotion that people can feel it, and never forget the moment. This can't be faked, and can only come from the soul. 

Through many gigs played I have realized which pieces work in each situation, and am grateful for the repertoire I have built up over the years, which is a reflection of Minnesota/Wisconsin folks musical tastes. These things I cherish, and am so grateful to be asked to play at so many wonderful people's events. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you at a gig! Until than, I will keep bringing the music to the people!

 

New YouTube videos/my pursuit of playing the most beautiful music 

I have been busy this summer with weddings, corporate events, and private parties but I have found some time to upload some videos I have been making over the last few months. The musical selection is wide, and eclectic including recordings of the Beatles, gypsy jazz guitar recorded using a looper pedal, Stevie Wonder, classical/Spanish pieces, and of course some Brazilian pieces.

The longer I play guitar the more I feel like I could cover all the great music that has ever existed regardless of genre. If you check out my repertoire, you can see the range I cover.  I hope to one day be able to say that I came closer than anyone in playing the most beautiful and meaningful music known to mankind. Sure, it's a lofty goal, but one worth pursuing!

Check out some of my new videos, and subscribe to my channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChsIXGji61zRPFipr-yYLuA.

Memorizing music - no more flying sheet music!  

I have recently been working on new repertoire for my various gigs I have been playing and will continue to play this year. While I could spend my practice time writing new pieces, I find it not worth the effort lately when so many great pieces have been written. I recently discovered a work by a living guitar great Gary Ryan named "Hot Club Francais." It is truly a great work, which sounds like you are sitting in a café in Paris on a spring or summer afternoon. I received the transcription for my Birthday last week, and much to my surprise, I have the whole thing memorized. 
While I understand not everyone can memorize music so easily, for some reason I have never had a problem with the process. There are a lot of musicians who stick to reading sheet music, and never memorize anything. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach, I find it easiest to memorize as many pieces as possible, particularly during wedding season, when any gust over 10 miles per hour can wreak havoc on your sheet music. I remember one time I was playing a piece of music at a wedding that I had not yet memorized, and I was near the Mississippi river, when a gust of wind ripped the sheet music off and would have gone down the river if it wasn't for the braveness of someone attending the wedding that chased it down. Luckily for me, my memory kicked in, and I was able to continue uninterrupted. This was my primary reason for trying my best to memorize every piece, no matter how long it took. 
My approach is usually to listen to the piece of music as many times as possible to get a feel for what the composer had in mind, and start getting those notes stuck in my head (that is of course after I panic briefly looking at the notes, as is totally human and normal).  From there I look at the score, and start putting the notes on the page in my head, doing a mental preview. Usually after a while I then pick up the guitar and start slowly, finding sections of the piece, and putting an alphabetic letter next to the section and really getting it down, until I can play it 5 times in a row without mistake. Next, I simple start playing the sections and repeating. 
The brain needs rest to process what it has learned, so I usually do this for days at a time, depending on the difficulty of the piece, letting a few good nights sleep do the magic. I always make sure to listen to the piece of music and look at the sheet music again, until I'm confident I have every note down. The most rewarding part of this process is when you can play without the score anywhere near you. I'm sure everyone has a different approach, but this has worked wonders for me, as I have around 7 hours of repertoire memorized, and continue to add to the repertoire all the time. I like my approach, lest any wind gust ever take my sheet music for a ride!

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  1. Capricho Catalan (Isaac Albeniz)

New Years 2017 - Music for every gig 

I have been pushing myself to learn many new pieces as 2017 is now underway. My current repertoire list is extensive, and it becomes tougher to keep up the pieces I have learned in the past, while adding new ones to the mix. I find that people who hire me for weddings, corporate events, or other private events really like a wide variety of music. I find certain clients like a specific kind of music for an event (ie Spanish, classical, latin, jazz, or pop classics). While other clients appreciate the variety in my repertoire, and wish to hear the widest range possible. A reasonable goal I have made is to find a new piece of music from each respective music category and work on a new one once a week. When a person stops learning new pieces and advancing, it turns into a musical purgatory, where no new growth occurs. Sometimes it occurs from being too busy, with teaching, and performing, particularly in the summer. Which is why the brutally cold months of January through March are perfect to enhance the craft of guitar playing. Here's to a great 2017! Hope to meet new people at all the gigs I perform in, and see some familiar faces.

Guitar Reveries CD Release Concert 

I have spent a considerable amount of time working on my newest album "Guitar Reveries." It is always difficult picking pieces to put on the album with such a large selection of pieces to choose from. My previous album's mostly focused on classical pieces that fit a specific geographic area (Sounds Of Europe, Latin American Guitar Legends). I wanted to create an album that combined classical pieces with contemporary pieces from many different areas ie Spain, Brazil, France, America, etc. The result is an album that will please many a listener.
The pieces on Guitar Reveries are connected by a deep nostalgia, and filled with romantic charm. 
A piece that I enjoyed recording was Dilermando Reis's "Valsa da Despedida" (Farewell Waltz). This is a piece he recorded for Brazilian radio, possibly in the late 60's. His arrangement was taken from the Scottish folk song "Auld Lang Syne" and is most often heard at the turn of the New Year around the world. This may be the first transcription and recording of Dilermando's arrangement. I remember learning the piece on an afternoon I had open before a wedding, which I would play later that same day as the bridal party wanted romantic Latin and Spanish music. The original recording by Dilermando sounds very poor, with a few sections briefly cut out. I think it may be the most beautiful piece ever played on guitar. 
 The combination of classical guitar favorites like Asturias, Capricho Catalan, Lagrima, Andaluza, with contemporary favorites like Can't Help Falling In Love, La Vie en Rose, What A Wonderful World, to a modern day acoustic guitar arrangement of Baby, I Love Your Way, the album is truly diverse.

Many of the pieces I have included have become popular staples in my gigging repertoire, and it will be a real pleasure to play these pieces at my next concert at Studio Z  in St. Paul on Friday, November 4th. I hope to see you there to celebrate the release of this album!

Concert info - Get your tickets here!

Purchase Cd's/Mp3's through my website here!

Album also available on I-Tunes

New album "Guitar Reveries"  

I am currently in the middle of a new project that I'm extremely excited about. I have been working on a new album entitled "Guitar Reveries" which will feature the widest mix from my repertoire including classical pieces from Spain, Brazil, and contemporary arrangements from famous artists including The Beatles, Etta James, Edith Piaf, Louis Armstrong, and Elvis Presley among others. My past albums had the pattern of playing classical pieces from a region of the world like "Sounds of Europe," and  "Latin American Guitar Legends." 
Over the years of playing many weddings, my repertoire has shifted to include many more contemporary and nostalgic pop classics that people have grown to recognize and love. I love nostalgic music, and this album will be chalk full of nostalgia. I think it will be fun and ironic to mix Albeniz's legendary, and "virtuosic Spanish right of passage "Asturias" with Etta James "At Last." The difference in timbre between the two makes me smile. Also, Elvis Presley's music next to a Brazilian Choro by Dilermando Reis. The eclectic mix will make the album stand out from the rest of my previous recordings.
With my album, I'm hoping to bridge the gap and play music that celebrates the guitar in all its eclectic beauty, containing both classical and steel string guitars. I hope to have the album completed by the end of summer, and released in the fall or early winter. Thanks for reading, and check back often for updates on the album, and to hear samples from the new album in the store. 

Tags: #minnesotaclassicalguitarist #twincitiesacousticguitarist #twincitiesclassicalguitarist #minneapolisfingerstyleguitarist #stpaulfingerstyleguitarist #twincitiesweddingguitarist #stpaulweddingguitarist

Wedding music favorites 

I am currently in the depths of a very busy wedding season throughout the Twin Cities, and Minnesota, and it's always great to provide music on people's happiest day. I am often asked what are the most common pieces from my repertoire that people choose for their weddings. I would have to say these are the top twenty most requested pieces over the past few years from my repertoire and not including the obvious Canon in D! 

In no particular order: 

1) All Of Me by John Legend
2) Sounds of Bells by Joao Pernambuco
3) Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by J.S. Bach
4) At Last by Etta James
5) Wonderful Tonight  by Eric Clapton
6) A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
7) Raspberry Beret by Prince
8) Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles
9) In My Life by the Beatles
10) Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley
11) Alma Apaixonada by Dilermando Reis
12) Somewhere Over the Rainbow 
13) Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles
14) I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
15) What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
16) La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf
17) Deve Ser Amor (It Must Be Love) by Baden Powell
18) Cavatina by Stanley Myers
19) Linus and Lucy (Peanuts Theme) by Vince Guaraldi
20) Stand by Me by Ben E. King

All of these are great pieces, and I think they sound spectacular on classical and acoustic guitar. I really enjoy playing these out at ceremonies and other gigs in town! 

Tags: #minneapolisweddingguitarist #stpaulweddingguitarist #minnesotaweddingguitarist #twincitiesweddingguitarist #minnesotaclassicalguitarist #midwestclassicalguitarist

Virtuosic music selection- Evening Serenade concert  

Selecting pieces of music for a concert is difficult when you have 7 hours of repertoire to choose from. I decided early on that my April 15th "Evening Serenade" concert would feature some of the most famous and virtuosic pieces of music in the classical guitar repertoire from Europe and South America. I have blended classical and acoustic steel string guitar concerts in the past, but am going to stick with the classical guitar this time around. Works by the great Paraguayan guitarist Agustin Barrios Mangore including: Mazurka Appassionata, Julia Florida, and Vals No. 3 are standouts and express the greatest form of musical poetry and guitar virtuosity. All three pieces are similar in structure to works by the great pianist Frederic Chopin, particularly the Mazurka Appassionata which is a Polish dance form that Chopin explored in his unique way throughout his life. Chopin wrote many Mazurka's and the form of music incorporates elements of folk music from Poland with strong accents on the second and third beats of a triple meter time signature. 
Also included in the program are pieces made famous by Andres Segovia including Granados' Spanish Dance No. 5 "Andaluza," Francisco Tarrega's beloved Recuerdos de la Alhambra, and Isaac Albeniz's Spanish serenade entitled "Granada." Also, I have a piece made famous by guitarist John Williams entitled Cavatina (Theme from the Deer Hunter)  which was immensely famous in the 70's and 80's and continues to inspire both guitarists and music lovers alike.  Anyone that has been to my concerts knows I like to make the concerts as diverse as possible. I have incorporate a series of popular samba's included a samba arrangement of the Beatles' "And I Love Her" that I have made  and even a few arrangements of romantic pop classics, and a surprisingly uplifting instrumental  piece of music Eric Clapton wrote and inspired many after the death of his son in the early 1990's entitled "Signe." I have included a couple of original compositions of mine including my flamenco inspired piece "Shores of Infinity" and the upbeat South American flavored "Sixteen Raindrops." Closing out the concert is the upbeat and virtuosic "Joropa" by Argentinean composer Jose Merlin that people always enjoy.
 Get your tickets here: Studio Z Evening Serenade Falbo 4/15/16. Tickets should be available at the door as well, but it's cash only. 
Here is a link to the planned set list for the concert: 

Set list 4/15

I really hope you can make it out to this concert. I am about to enter a very busy wedding season, and I have all sorts of private gigs that will keep me away from public concerts for quite a long time.
 

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  1. Cavatina (written by Stanley Myers)

Selecting music for concerts  

I've been busy putting together a program and practicing for my next concert on Sunday, February 14th at Studio Z in St. Paul. I have developed such a large repertoire, that's it's getting harder and harder to select pieces to play in concerts. I have classical, romantic, Spanish, Latin, oldies, and contemporary hits that I try my best to mix in, To keep the concerts appealing to a wide array of people, I have so many classical/romantic, Spanish, Latin, oldies, and contemporary pieces that it's tough narrowing in on which ones will work best. I'm always wondering "am I alienating people in town who have come to only see a classical concert? Am I alienating people who want to hear new abstract, and lengthy pieces? (I'm convinced this crowd is dying off, but they still exist nonetheless).
 While I believe I have the most eclectic mix of music possible, sometimes it becomes a burden.  If you haven't seen me in concert in a while, my repertoire has become highly catered to arrangements of popular oldies, acoustic fingerstyle, and contemporary music, away from a strict all classical concert. Part of the change is the unbelievable amount of weddings and private events I have been playing in over the past few years. I just feel trapped as an artist playing the "standard" guitar repertoire that everyone who considers him/herself a classical guitarist falls into. I feel more connected to audiences when they hear a piece of music they are familiar with, and arranged in such a way that they have never heard before. I still love to play music from the "classical" repertoire, but I think it pigeonholes anyone who starts calling him/herself a classical guitarist. What does that even mean? Classical music is such a broad term. I know guitarists who play mostly modern South American, and Spanish music, and still call themselves classical guitarists. To me, "nylon string fingerstyle guitarist" makes more sense than "classical guitarist." I guess labels are what define people, so I have gotten used to being known as a classical guitarist, even though I enjoy playing many different guitar styles.
With all that said, I guess it's nice having the freedom to play what I want.  When people say " I haven't heard such a wide mix of music on guitar before," I know it was worth the time and effort to put together such an articulated event. Ever wonder what it's like to hear South American, and Spanish music rub elbows with oldies hits and artists like Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Clapton, The Beach Boys, and Elvis? Also, I have put together a killer medley that I will unleash upon the audience. Come out and watch me in concert, hope to see you there!

Back to the Future day -10/21/15 (worlds collide) 

Alright, I just started this makeshift blog a few weeks ago, so I thought I would post something important from a month ago. My favorite movie as a kid was "Back to the Future Two" and obviously the first and third edition's were close behind. I actually started playing guitar because I thought Michael J. Fox as "Marty" from Back to The Future was really cool. Riding around town on his skateboard, and hanging out with "The Doc" while discovering how to travel through time without disrupting the "space time continuum"  while jamming on guitar from time to time seemed like a great way to live your life!
As a guitarist nowadays, if I were to put "inspired to learn guitar from Marty McFly from Back to The Future" in a bio, I  would probably be laughed at and  would struggle to be taken even remotely seriously. In my defense, kids are highly impressionable, and I couldn't help but have a "hip" role model to look up to.  With that said, that's why I have this blog, so I can keep it real with you all. 
On a side note, while I initially wanted to learn how to play Chopin tunes as a classical pianist, the guitar was a more interesting option, as all my favorite bands had at the time (Nirvana, Metallica, The Beatles, Oasis, etc) had guitar's blaring out of both ends of the headphones on their recordings. Of course Marty McFly was pretty hip as well, so I just HAD to learn how to play the guitar. 
I basically listened to the radio from the age of 5 though-out my childhood and adolescence non-stop. Hits from the 50-70's on the old "Kool 108" were a favorite of mine, as well as the alternative music of the 90's that I really miss hearing on today's radio. Needless to say, radio and Back to the Future have always had a special place in my heart. 
For those of you who are not aware of what "Back to the Future Day" entails, it is the day that Doc, Marty, and Jennifer traveled to October 21st, 2015  from the year 1985. 
With that said, it was a great day on "Back to the Future" day this year (10/21/15) when both of my past world's collided. 99.5 Classical MPR played my recording of "Julia Florida" by Agustin Barrios from my newest album "Latin American Guitar Legends." I had a concert on the 22nd of October, so MPR sent some loving by playing the track! I have had my recordings played on MPR before, and it's always a pleasure, even though I've only heard myself on there while my music was being played twice. If I could time travel back to the year 1995 when I first picked up a guitar and told my "1995 self" that I would have my music played on high frequency FM radio on "Back to the Future Day" I would have probably said something along the lines of "wow, that's heavy."