- Instrumental Duo
Guitar Passions: Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin started the Juilliard guitar program. Her new album, Guitar Passions, features collaborations between Isbin — who studied with Andres Segovia, among others — and artists with very unclassical careers: jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, rock singer Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, soprano saxophonist Paul Winter and several others.
One of her collaborators on the album is veteran rock guitarist Steve Vai, who may not have studied with Segovia but was discovered by Frank Zappa and went on to play with David Lee Roth after he left Van Halen. When two first sat down to play, they gave each other a lesson on their respective instruments, which turned Isbin on to the wah-wah pedal.
"It's hilarious, because my guitar has what's known as a tremolo bar or a whammy bar," Vai says in an interview with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel. "And the whammy bar is probably the most alien thing on my guitar that could possibly relate to a classical guitar. And to just see her grab the whammy bar and the wah-wah, and just start going for it, it was funny. And then me, my form on the classical guitar is just like, you know, awful."