Many who were raised in Latin America hold a special place in their hearts for the guitar. The music of Lisa y Josué offers that personal experience to new audiences, while encouraging those who are nostalgic for it to rekindle that passion. Audiences will experience the pulse of the guitar almost as if is coming from within themselves. Musical selections may be from Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia or Spain, but are not chosen by nationality, but for a beautiful melody, unusual texture or intriguing rhythm which can be given a new interpretation through the natural voice of the guitar. This is what drives the compositions of Josué Pérez, what Lisa y Josué have named "Guitarrazón" (the way or reason of the guitar).
Lisa and Josué began performing as a flamenco duo in the ‘80's at Teatro Rincón Taino. This was followed by a stretch of long-standing Manhattan gigs at The Ballroom, Charmant, Mesa de España, Kavehaz and Xunta.
While both are accomplished soloists, they each bring additional strengths as artists: Josué as a composer and improviser, Lisa as a classical guitarist and flamenco dancer. Live and on their five CD recordings, the duo offers a captivating array of Latin music, flamenco and original pieces. They have performed at many notable events and venues, including the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Newport Music Festival Gala, Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, El Museo del Barrio, The Whitney, MOMA, Paso Fino Grand Nationals, and Equitana USA. Return concert engagements include the RISD Museum, First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum, Vista on the Hill Music Series, Hamilton Park Hispanic Heritage Month Concerts, Wakefield Music Company, and the Rubin Museum.
Lisa y Josué’s concert series, Noche de guitarras, was featured on New York City’s Channel 13 City Arts, with live performances at Cami Hall, Abrons Arts Center, Julia de Burgos Theater, The Aurora Gallery and others. Media appearances include HBO en Español, Univisión, WADO and WPAT Radio. The duo often performs in community outreach settings, parks, libraries, and schools.
Lisa began her guitar career as a child at the Henry St. Settlement Music School. She studied with Robert Paul Sullivan of the New England Conservatory, and in master classes with Oscar Ghiglia, Lagoya and Paco Peña. A graduate of Brown University with an M.A. in Music Performance from NYU, Lisa has received MCAF awards for her projects New Works for Guitar...by Old Friends 2008 and 18 originales 2019. She is active as a teaching artist through Carnegie Hall’s LinkUp! program, NYC Parks Dept., NYC Public Libraries, Su Casa, and Lifetime Arts.
Concerts include BAM, National Opera Center, Bargemusic, the Spanish Institute, and Temple E'manuel in Staten Is. Festival performances include DanceNow NYC, with Nydia Ocasio and Tito Sandoval, and 1992 Istanbul Sephardic Music Festival with Daisy Sadaka Braverman. Dance collaborations include Asturias at Second Stage with flamenco dancer Manolo Rivera, Danzules with Regina Quintero in Mexico City, and original music set to modern dance choreographed by Mariko Tanabe, Jolea Maffei, and Jen Dev in NYC.
Born in Puerto Rico, where the guitar was always present at family gatherings, Josué began playing with choral groups and on the radio in his town of Fajardo. While in the army, he tapped into the emerging San Francisco flamenco scene, and upon his return to NY, played nightly on 14th Street’s “Little Spain.” He studied with Brazilian composer/guitarist Silas Antonio Santo, and later studied jazz guitar which led him to composition.
He was commissioned to compose a score for MTC's premiere of Sam Shepard's Eyes for Consuela, at City Center, directed by Terry Kinney. Josué's live guitar playing on this production was described as "evocotive" and "exquisite" by TimeOut, NY. Ama Dablam and the myriad pieces featured on the duo's recordings were to follow, as well as a folio of studies for guitar. In 2006 he received a MCAF award for a staged version of Guitarrazón, with flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance, and another in 2015 for La hoja, renewing Puerto Rico's guitarist-composer tradition. New compositions include Indigena, Sepia and Chevín de Huánter performed in an "All-Pérez" Program in 2019.