Clarice and Sérgio Assad in Concert

Musical Connections | Friday, April 19, 2024, 7 p.m. | Simms Center for the Performing Arts, Albuquerque Academy

Proud to Sponsor Tonight's Concert

Greetings from the Director of Levanta

Dear friends and music enthusiasts,

Welcome to an evening of music performed in our stunning Simms Center for the Performing Arts. We are in for a real treat.

As we gather, it is impossible not to reflect on the indelible mark left by the Assad family in the realm of music. The legacy of Sérgio and Odair Assad, known affectionately as the Assad Brothers, resonates deeply within the hearts of countless musicians, including myself. Their recordings have served as beacons of transcendent beauty, artistry, and passion, spurring my generation of guitarists onto a single-minded pursuit of great music-making, modeled after their perfection.

Generations of guitarists have revered the Assad Brothers, aspiring to emulate their unparalleled mastery and grace on the concert stage. Here at Albuquerque Academy, their influence is palpable, with esteemed alumni such as Adam Larison ’03, David Gonzales ’04, Elliot Simpson ’05, Eric Sandoval ’09, Tony Mariano ’11, Natalka Georgievova ’13, and Sydd Urgola ’14 having studied under Sérgio's guidance at the San Francisco Conservatory. Many more of our students have had the privilege of participating in Sérgio's masterclasses worldwide, sharing in his genius for interpreting music on the guitar.

Now, a new chapter unfolds as we forge a meaningful connection with Sérgio's daughter, the remarkable Clarice Assad. A luminary in her own right, Clarice embodies the essence of consummate musicianship, infusing every note with a profound love for life and artistic expression. Through the Levanta Institute at Albuquerque Academy, we are honored to welcome Clarice for the first time to Albuquerque Academy.

This concert marks the culmination of the Levanta Institute’s inaugural season, a celebration of music, education, and artistic innovation. To each of you, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for joining us. As we set our sights on the horizon, know that the Levanta Institute is poised to achieve even greater heights, guided by our unwavering commitment to musical excellence and artistic innovation.

Thank you for being a part of this beautiful experience.

Warm regards,

Mickey Jones, Director, Levanta Institute for Music & Creativity

The Program

“Se Você Jurar” – Ismael Silva

“Conversa de Botequim” – Noel Rosa

“Menina Flor” – Luis Bonfá and Maria Helena Toledo

“Angela” – Sérgio Assad

“Receita de Samba” – Jacob Bittencourt

“Bebê” – Hermeto Pascoal

“Chega de Saudade” – Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes

~ Intermission ~

“Los Pájaros Perdidos” – Astor Piazzolla and Mario Trejo Menino

“Lua de Paris” – Clarice Assad and Antoine Loyer

“Medley” – Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes

“The Man I Love” – George and Ira Gershwin

“Yo Soy Maria” – Astor Piazzolla

“Influência do Jazz” – Carlos Lira

About Sérgio Assad

Sérgio Assad has developed a life as a performer and composer, along with his brother Odair, as the acclaimed Assad Brothers Guitar Duo. As a composer, Sérgio has completed over 300 works for guitar, many of which have become standards in the classical guitar repertoire. Pieces like “Aquarelle,” “Fantasia Carioca,” “Farewell,” “Sonata 1,” “Uarekena,” and “Eli’s Portrait” are part of the repertoire of many well-established guitarists today. In 2008, Sérgio was awarded first prize in the Latin Grammy for his original composition “Tahhyya Li Ossoulina.”

Sérgio’s orchestral compositions include the ballet Scarecrow; the concerto Mikis for guitar and strings; Interchange, a concerto for guitar quartet and orchestra nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2010; the concerto Originis for violin, guitar duo, and orchestra recorded live with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo featuring the Assads and Nadja Sonnemberg as soloists; the concerto Phases for guitar duo and orchestra premiered in 2011 by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra with the Assad Brothers as soloists; the Concerto Popular do Rio commissioned by the GFA and the Cordoba Guitar Festival that premiered in June 2015 with Pablo Villegas as soloist. In 2020, Sérgio wrote Voyages for guitar and strings and in the same year wrote the Naousa guitar concerto. Both concertos were premiered in 2022 in Miami and Naousa, Greece, respectively.

In 2013, Sérgio was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Arizona in Tucson. He also received, along with his brother Odair, an award for artistic life achievement from the Guitar Foundation of America in 2015. Sérgio was nominated twice for the Grammy Academy in 2022 as a composer and a performer for the album Archetypes in partnership with Clarice Assad and the Third Coast Percussion Ensemble. Also in 2022, Sérgio was featured as an innovative voice on the PBS show Now Hear This.

Sérgio and Clarice Assad, 1984

About Clarice Assad

A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres and is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range. A prolific Grammy Award–nominated composer with more than 70 works to her credit, she has been commissioned by internationally renowned organizations, festivals, and artists and is published in France, Germany, Brazil, and the U.S.

An in-demand performer, she is a celebrated pianist and inventive vocalist who inspires and encourages audiences’ imaginations to break free of often self-imposed constraints. Clarice has released seven solo albums and appeared on or had her works performed on another 34. Her music is represented on Cedille Records, SONY Masterworks, Nonesuch, Adventure Music, Edge, Telarc, NSS Music, GHA, and CHANDOS. Her innovative, accessible, and award-winning VOXploration series on music education, creation, songwriting, and improvisation has been presented throughout the world. Sought-after by artists and organizations worldwide, the multi-talented musician continues to attract new audiences both onstage and off.

Performance of “Beatriz”

The Assad Family History

The musical history of the Assad family began in the 1950s with Seu Jorge, a self-taught mandolinist, and his wife Dona Ica, praised by the L.A. Times as “The Billie Holiday of Brazil.” Together they passed on to their children, Sérgio, Odair, and Badi, their passion for music, but they never imagined that it would blossom into the phenomenon that would make Assad musicians known all over the world.

“Brazil’s First Family of Music” may be best known to American listeners via the astonishing guitar duo of Sérgio and Odair Assad. By way of standout recordings for Nonesuch and Sony Classical — including collaborations with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Assad Brothers have become one of the preeminent guitar duos of our time.

Sérgio Assad’s daughter, Clarice Assad, is hailed for her artistic depth and her music is revered for her emotive palettes, intricate layers, and broad stylistic spectrums. The idea for their collaborative venture came from Sérgio Assad, who dreamt of introducing multiple generations of the family on stage together, performing a century of Brazilian music of disparate styles. Whether the songs flow from a shared formative experience of musical tradition or a shared genetic makeup may be impossible to know, but when the end result is emotionally moving to the listener, that question is probably irrelevant.

After touring for over a decade with the family at such prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Palais de Beaux Arts in Belgium, and Le Casino de Paris in Paris, Sérgio and Clarice embarked on a duo project and have toured extensively in the United States, recorded a duo album for the label Adventure Music in 2016 called Relíquia. Most recently, the duo began a collaboration with Third Coast Percussion, recording the celebrated CD Archetypes. Clarice and Sérgio share their timeless passion for music composition and performance, together reimagining old classics and writing new works as a collaborative team. The family essence is ever present, wrapped in the warmth and intricacies of ancestry and connection.

Live Performance of “Hero”

Opening Act

Albuquerque Academy’s Advanced Guitar Orchestra & Soloist Students

Performing “Dusty Grooves” by Clarice Assad | Conducted by Genevieve Leitner

  • Meryem Anderoglu ’25
  • Matthew Delaney ’25
  • Ella Drescher ’25
  • Theo Gallant ’25
  • Elizabeth Hiller ’25
  • Julia Kelly ’24
  • Micah Lim ’25
  • Layla Logan ’25
  • Sydney Marks ’24
  • Taryn Ortiz ’25
  • Ross Quinn ’25
  • Cruz Sandoval ’25
  • Petra Sipos ’25
  • Ethan Varley ’25

Academy Residency

The Levanta Institute at Albuquerque Academy has been proud to host Clarice and Sérgio Assad for a three-day residency packed with performances, teaching sessions, and coaching for Albuquerque Academy students. Their visit included collaborating with the Advanced Guitar Orchestra, particularly in refining Clarice Assad's challenging piece, "Dusty Grooves." Additionally, they conducted a two-hour masterclass featuring the Albuquerque Academy Honor Guitar Quartet's rendition of Sérgio Assad's "Uarakena." The masterclass also involved participation from Academy student Andreas Hofer ’27 and Colette Myers ’26 from Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School.

Notably, Clarice Assad led a dynamic VOXploration workshop for Albuquerque Academy's Vivace Chorus, directed by Edmund Connolly, encouraging students to explore music-making through their voices and body percussion. The Assad residency enriched the musical experiences of Albuquerque Academy students across various levels and disciplines and has been fun and inspiring for everyone. This is the kind of experience and opportunity that can change the lives of our children.

About Levanta Institute at Albuquerque Academy

Levanta Institute for Music and Creativity is an Albuquerque Academy public program, open to all, that encourages creative experience and expression in every stage of life. Through performing and visual arts classes and workshops, performance opportunities, concerts, and other creative presentations, youth and adults alike can discover and develop their creativity in a welcoming environment that values personal reflection and artistic action. To learn more, visit

Sign up now for adult summer classes at

With Appreciation

The Levanta Institute at Albuquerque Academy would like to extend a special thank you to these donors for their generous support. Their commitment to and passion for music and arts education are deeply inspiring and have helped make this remarkable event possible for our community.

  • Fabio Fleitas ’12
  • Diane Sansonetti and John Batty (parents of Clare Batty ’10 and Luke Batty ’12)
  • Madison R. Jones ’12 and Aarya Engineer ’11
  • Design Plus Architects (Rupal Engineer)
  • Fogo De Chão

An initiative the size and complexity of the Levanta Institute doesn’t happen without a lot of hard-working, sincere, and joyful people. We’d also like to extend an additional heartfelt thanks to: Julianne Puente, Shawn Ricketts, Sandy Timmons, Amy Keller, Francesca Garcia, Rocío Torres-Glidden, Becky Richards, Anne McLusky, Jesse Korman, Richard Hogle, Jeremy Mayne, Genevieve Leitner, John Truitt, Maddie Jones and Aarya Engineer, Gus Jones, Eli Jones, and Michelle Jones. You all are the best!