Garay, Lorena

Contributed by: Mike Iñigo

Lorena Garay, a native of Puerto Rico, plays guitar music that reflects her unique background - her roots in Latin music and her formal training in classical guitar at the Hartt School, and the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. She plays a range of solo styles from traditional classical guitar, to a beautiful blend of Spanish guitar and lively Latin rhythms - an unforgettable journey through the strings of Latin America, Spain and Puerto Rico.

She performs actively in the U.S. and abroad as a recitalist, and with her own “Latin Quartet”. Her beautiful guitar arrangements are a characteristic feature of her singular musical style. Her Latin roots are not only heard and felt through the music, but can be seen in the way her body moves to the rhythms. Her performances are a shear delight.

Also a respected, and sought after teacher, she delivers wonderful presentations and workshops which are recognized for their fun, and engaging way of experiencing the irresistible beat of Latin music.

Lorena earned her Master of Music degree from the Hartt School (W. Hartford, CT) where she received the Guitar Department Award, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, from which she received the Strings Department Award. Lorena is also a summa cum laude graduate of both schools. In addition, she graduated with high honors from the School of Fine Arts in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Lorena Garay’s first recording, La Guitarra de Puerto Rico (which also features her original cover art) has been praised for her original compositions and fresh arrangements of Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and South American music. These pieces reflect Lorena’s unique style of combining classical influences with her Latino sound. The CD is an enchanting blend of classical guitar and Latin percussion, with the additional sounds of the Andean Zampoña (pan pipes). Her wonderful arrangement and emotional playing of the Puerto Rican classic “Verde Luz” (lyrics), tugs at the heartstrings.

Lorena is also featured on two compilation CD’s produced by the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society: “New England Landscapes” and “The Gift of the Guitar”. In addition, she performs on Daniel Salazar’s newest CD: “Mosaico”, as a member of his contemporary ensemble, and on José Gonzalez‘s newest CD: “Bomba Le Le”, which features his “Banda Criolla”.