Julia Florida (Agustin Barrios Mangore)


Homenaje (Manuel de Falla)

Cordoba (Isaac Albéniz)

Shangri La Audio Download


Shangri La Series

Aloha Friends,

I hope this finds you in great spirits and health!

I am writing to inform you that soon I will be posting a series of videos of three pieces that are dear to me. Two of the three are compositions by legendary Spanish composers and the other by a legendary South American Guitarist-Composer. With that much information I will let them be surprises as we progress through the series.

How this came about was to some degree haphazard and organic. In June of this year I had the urge to record these pieces. I asked my great friend John Kiehl if I could come down to his studio and record. He, in his endless generosity, complied and we had a wonderful time recording.

I then thought that perhaps I should make guitar-video “art pieces” in which the guitar would be featured but in some exquisite location.

That led to me asking the great folks at Honolulu’s Shangri La if I could do a video shoot there.  The Shangri La was the home of the great Philanthropist Doris Duke who was a passionate collector of Islamic Art. It is unlike any pace I have ever been and is a renowned museum. Much to my surprise and utter delight the  wonderful people at the Shangri LA said yes!

At this point, I just needed a videographer. “Wait a minute…” I says to meself. My daughter just graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA, maybe she will be up to the task of working with her father? Yikes, not easy for anyone!!! She said yes and the journey began. We had a blast doing the shoot at such an extraordinary location. Anyone who has visited the Shangri La after a few minutes starts to wonder “hmm…how can I live here?” It is that magical.

I want to make it clear that these are Mitsuko’s creations visually with some executive help from her older brother John. My brother Don will be posting on the various platforms with some much appreciated outside assistance.

We have now arrived at the final stage of the journey. Accompanying each video will be a short article about each of the pieces you will find on my web site under Ben’s Deep Thoughts.

In closing, I want to say what an honor it was to record these pieces and to shoot them at the Shangri La. I’m extending a huge mahalo to all who helped them come to fruition, and you know who you are.



Maui Class 2015

Aloha Friends,
I’m thrilled to announce my 16th guitar class on the island of Maui in Hawaii from Tuesday, July 7 through Thursday, July 16, 2015. Joining me as guest teacher this year will be my dear friend Andrew York, who needs no introduction but just in case he’s a virtuoso guitarist, composer, and former member of the Grammy Award–winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Joining again this year as guest ukulele teacher and ensemble assistant will be Hawaiian guitarist, ukulele player and Maui class “family” member Ian O’Sullivan, currently on the faculty of the University of Hawaii.

The application deadline is February 15, with acceptance notifications sent by March 1.

Please see for more details on the class and the application procedure.

As in the two previous years helping me with class organization is guitarist and great friend John Olson. John is the man to direct any questions to by emailing him at Also, feel free to forward this announcement to friends, colleagues, and students who may be interested.

Hope to see you on Maui next summer!
Have a wonderful Holiday season!
Peace, Love and Guitars!!!!

Reflections on Agustin Barrios Mangore’s Julia Florida

A primary reason we play any piece of music is because it touches us in some deeply personal manner. There exists within the piece some musical truth that resonates within us. Such is the case with Agustin Barrios Mangore’s Julia Florida.

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Reflections on Manuel de Falla’s Homenaje


(click photo to download PDF file)