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Argentinian guitarist performs concert in Hagerstown

June 08, 2011|By TAYLOR ECKEL |
  • Guitarist Marcello Berestovoy will perform a concert at HCCs Elliot Center on Saturday.
Submitted photo

Marcelo Berestovoy began playing guitar at age 11 because he idolized The Beatles.

“I wanted to be John Lennon, and then I discovered other styles (of music),” he said, adding that his father was an amateur violinist whose love of jazz also influenced him.

The Argentina native said he knew from the beginning that he wanted to make a career out of his music, and loves to perform and teach all styles of music.

“If it’s guitar music, I’m in,” he said.

 On Saturday, June 11, Berestovoy will share his love of the guitar with participants in Hagerstown Community College’s fourth annual Guitar Mini-Fest. One of four workshop instructors, Berestovoy said he will teach participants how to play the rumba flamenco rhythm.

In the evening, Berestovoy will perform a free concert with Candice Mowbray and Anita Thomas. Mowbray is the artistic director of the mini-fest and an adjunct professor of guitar at HCC, and Thomas is a renowned jazz saxophone player.

Berestovoy said the three will perform a variety of music including flamenco, Argentinean jazz, Brazilian tango, gypsy jazz and pop tunes.

Berestovoy said he came to the United States in 1985 to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology because he wanted to learn how to improvise a jazz melody over chord changes, something that he wasn’t able to learn in Argentina.

“Back in ’85 (in Argentina), only a very closed circle knew how to do it, and they weren’t very willing to share,” he said. He added that improvisation remains a learning process because it can be risky, but said it is a risk worth taking.

“It’s boring to play it safe,” he said. “To make it interesting, you take the risk of playing the wrong note, but I welcome that challenge.”

Berestovoy began teaching guitar lessons when he was a teenager in Argentina.

“I stated teaching in my home, out of my bedroom, when I was in high school,” he said.

Now a faculty member at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, Calif., Berestovoy said he teaches a variety of classes and lessons ranging from electric guitar technique to Spanish guitar rhythms.

“My favorite part of teaching is when the student does something I have never heard, and I say, ‘Wait a minute! Can you show me how you did that?’”

Berestovoy said he also loves the moment when a student grasps a new technique.

“You can tell that the other person has gotten it, and you can see their joy ... and the energy multiplies.”

An experienced artist, Berestovoy has recorded and toured with some of the biggest names in Latin pop and his playing is featured in a number of films. He said he frequently performs in the Los Angeles area, although he rarely performs solo.

 “I really enjoy playing with other musicians,” said Berestovoy, “That’s how I define happiness.”

Submitted photo
Guitarist Marcello Berestovoy will perform a concert at HCC’s Elliot Center on Saturday.

If you go ...

WHAT: Marcelo Berestovoy in concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11

WHERE: Hagerstown Community College’s Elliot Center in the upper level of the Career Programs Building, off Robinwood Drive, east of Hagerstown

COST: Free; open to the public

CONTACT: Call 301-790-2800, ext. 236, or go to

If you go ...

WHAT: Guitar Mini-Fest

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 11

WHERE: Hagerstown Community College’s Elliot Center in the upper level of the Career Programs Building, off Robinwood Drive, east of Hagerstown

COST: Costs $60; to register go to and click on Guitar Mini Fest.

CONTACT: Call 301-790-2800, ext. 236

MORE: Classes offered include Advancing Your Lead Rock Skills, with Tobias Hurwitz; Intro to Jazz Chord Melody, with Danny Webber; Expressive Fingerstyle Playing, with Michael DeLalla and Latin Rhythms, with Marcelo Berestovoy. Participants should bring a guitar and packed lunch. Music stands are optional. Registration will continue until day of event.

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