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SO2O Guitar: A Window into the Soul of Guitarist, Lolivone de la Rosa


Last September, I had the privilege of introducing the guitarist, composer, producer Lolivone de la Rosa to Jazzdelapena’s readers. At the time, the pandemic was raging and de La Rosa was forced to temporarily discontinue her studies at the Berklee College of Music. Frustrated by events beyond her control, she found solace in composing the tune, Resilient Terrace (inspired by British guitarist, Allan Holdsworth’s 1999 classic, 54 Duncan Terrace). 

I’ve been keeping up with de la Rosa’s exploits and I’m happy to announce she graduated from Berklee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Writing, Producing, and Performance. Also, she relocated to New York.

Earlier this week, she released a cathartic 5-track EP titled, SO20 Guitar, whose repertoire includes 2 original compositions and 3 “covers.” De La Rosa’s liner notes tell the story: “This EP is very meaningful to me as it captures conversations I had with me throughout the pandemic and documents how it inspired my music and strengthened my guitar playing. It was the first time I had such a vulnerable, raw and honest interaction with my guitar. There was nowhere to hide!”

The repertoire is based on a series of guitar studies designed to revisit the fundamentals of the guitar in a musical way. In guitar speak, Belleza Rustica (Rustic Beauty) is an improvised search for colors, textures, delay, reverb, and “clusters” inspired by guitar legend, John Scofield. Lullaby for B pays tribute to guitarist Peter Bernstein, who composed the tune for his son, Bruno. Thelonious Monk’s Reflections finds de la Rosa striving to overcome her weaknesses and tame “the perfection dragon.” Luiza (Samba de Maria Luiza) is inspired by the Brazilian composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s indomitable and eclectic style. Etude No. 1’s objective is to expand on the instrument’s range and visualize the fretboard horizontally instead of vertically.

Emerging guitarists will find the material and de la Rosa’s creative process inspiring and instructional. Listeners who appreciate music from the heart will find the selections short, sweet, and enjoyable. SO2O Guitar offers listeners an intimate glimpse into the mind of an emerging artist on the path to enlightenment.

The production was mixed, mastered by de la Rosa at her home studio in San Juan, Puerto Rico between 2020 and 2021. 

PURCHASE SO2O GUITAR (Name your price): www.lolivone.com

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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