The Instituto Cervantes in Kalaw, Manila is Father’s favorite hang-out. No, that’s an understatement.

The Instituto Cervantes is Father’s haven and heaven. Here, he gets to gobble up Spanish mags and novels for his eternal gratification. Except when his 77-year-old eyesight demands some rest. Here, he gets to view celebrated Spanish films, whether of the classical, modern existential, or surreal variety. Except when his eyestrain compels him to doze off. Here, he gets to be informed of the various cultural shows organized by the Instituto but held elsewhere. Then, he takes me along to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) or RCBC Plaza or Greenbelt and we both relish the ingenuity and magnificence of Mediterranean Jazz or modern ballet or flamenco or multi-media modern dance performed by world-renowned musicians, dancers and artists.

Last Saturday, Father and I caught a concert by cello-guitar duo Michael Kevin Jones and Agustin Maruri. Held at the Instituto’s Salon de Actos, we felt fortunate not to be among those the organizers had to politely turn away due to the theater’s limited seating capacity.

Jones and Maruri were splendid. Bravo gid! Their music took me to romantic hideaways, to majestic ballrooms, to tranquil beaches, to soothing lamentations, to thrilling conspiratorial gatherings, and to that warm quiet place within.

I bought their CD, and had it signed. ๐Ÿ˜›

Below is their profile in the concert programme.

THE JONES & MARURI (cello-guitar duo)



Since British cellist Michael Kevin Jones and Spanish guitarist Agustin Maruri decided to experiment in the chamber music field and play some music together in a summer concert series in Madrid in 1990, The Jones & Maruri cello guitar duo has become one of the few established cello guitar ensembles in the world and enjoys a very active concert and recording career. Although they keep their respective solo activities they meet every year to play together some concerts and to prepare new programs and new recordings.

Michael Jones and Agustin Maruri have since played concerts in Europe, North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. Their first US tour was in 1991 and included concerts in New York and St. Augustine. Since then they have performed each year in the USA, giving recitals in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Atlanta, Toronto Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa at venues such as the Lincoln Centre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hancock Centre, Woodruff Arts Centre, Salle Vincent Dindy and at several festivals in Cuba, Argentina, Mexico and throughout South America.

Agustin Maruri has investigated the original historic repertoire for this unusual combination and their discography includes a first world recording of rare compositions from the nineteenth century for cello and guitar, presenting music by Leonhard Von Call, Thomas Matiegka and Friedrich Dotzauer. They have also recorded the original repertoire of the twentieth century for this combination and have inspired living composers to write for them such as Pedro Sienz, Francesco Telli, Erik Marchelie, Nicholas Marshall, Jose Maria Sincez-Verd, Stefano Catalano and Drew Hemenger.

In 1996 due to their special success in Asia they were invited to record a CD of Chinese traditional melodies for the Taiwanese record label Maysun.

In 1999 Agustin Maruri started a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the first of a series of recordings was The Charm of Spain; a collection of Spanish romantic melodies from the nineteenth century performing on instruments from the museum’s exclusive collection.

In 2005 they released a new album: Don Quijote y Dulcinea, a compilation of original compositions for the duo including music by Erik Marchelie, Ferdinad Rebay, Hans Maria Anton Hauswirth, Drew Hemenger, Walter Jentsch and Radames Gnattali.

One of the characteristics of this singular duo is their devotion to the original repertoire and the creation of new music by outstanding young composers who, attracted by the special sonority and rare beauty of this instrumental combination have written new music for them. This coexistence of original XIX century repertoire and the arise of new works gives the Jones & Maruri duo a wide range and musical diversity in their live and recorded programs.