This week, Ira spoke with Grammy Award nominee Ottmar Liebert, performing in Club Madrid at Sunset Station, September 7. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Liebert talks about starting out playing the guitar at age 11 (and beginning to meditate at age 15); how trumpet players influenced him as a teenager; creating music that is not easily definable (he views it as hybrid); why he turned down a banking scholarship; when he decided to move to Santa Fe and remain there; and why Las Vegas is unique.
Liebert founded the first incarnation of his band, Luna Negra, in 1989. His debut album began as a self-produced release called Marita: Shadows and Storms, copies of which local Native American artist, Frank Howell, distributed in his art galleries. After the record made its way to radio stations, it began generating a buzz among programmers and received unprecedented response among listeners. Higher Octave Music picked it up and released a fully remastered version, Nouveau Flamenco. Recorded for less than $3,000 on an old analog machine in a shack beside a gravel pit, this CD became an international sensation, establishing Liebert’s unique border-style flamenco, and becoming the best-selling instrumental acoustic guitar album of all time.