Thursday, August 19, 2004
Twenty years ago, Italian-born guitarist Peppino D’Agostino sacrificed everything to pursue a career in music. Italy’s most popular guitarists were classical guitar players, so D’Agostino moved to San Francisco to play acoustic guitar and expand his musical horizons.
He had to take odd jobs to survive, and it was not easy for D’Agostino to communicate with other San Francisco residents.
“My English was very poor at that time,” he says.
D’Agostino learned English by watching television and he played guitar on Fisherman’s Wharf for tips.
“People need to be motivated to stop and listen to you,” he says. “People don’t listen to street performers unless they grab people’s attention. Unless they’re good.”
On his 2002 album, Every Step of the Way, songs like “Grand Canyon” and “Mediterranean Spark” start off slow, then gain momentum. “Grand Canyon” evokes the blue waters of the Colorado River, sloshing and racing through the canyon during the faster sections of the tune.
D’Agostino says that some songs were inspired by his trips to the regions.
“It’s kinda like my way to filter through the music the emotions that I felt at the Grand Canyon and Costa Rica.”
In addition to writing and recording songs that sound like a mix of finger-style, classical and flamenco guitar, D’Agostino is a member of a 10-guitar orchestra called World Guitar Ensemble, and he is trying to release an Italian vocal CD of Italian songs by 2006.
“I enjoy going from one musical world to the next,” he says.
Peppino D’Agostino plays Viva Monterey, located at 414 Alvarado St. in Monterey, Sunday at 7pm, $10. 646-1415.