USF begins Latino music concert series

The University of St. Francis (USF) is pleased to present the USF Latino Music Immersion Project, funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This initiative includes three public concerts and five music workshops for students of Joliet high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools– all showcasing music of Latin-American countries.

World renowned Latin guitarist David Burgess kicked off the concert events in early February at USF. Prior to his show, Burgess led a private afternoon guitar workshop for high school and college guitar students, focusing on Spanish, African, Indian and jazz influences on the music of Mexico, Central America and South America.

The next two concerts in the series will feature the Ondas Ensemble on March 1, and guitarist Robert Gruca on March 15. Both of those shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. in USF’s Sexton Auditorium.

Since their first concert in 2007 as part of the Chicago Latino Music Festival, the Ondas Ensemble has been delighting audiences with their inventive and unique programming of new and historic works. Their core instrumentation is flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, and they often work with contemporary composers such as Elbio Barilari, whose music will be featured at their March 1 performance at USF. Ondas Ensemble is also involved in exciting collaborations with other music groups and artists such as Orbert Davis (trumpet). Past performances include the Chicago Latino Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival and various live shows on WFMT-FM radio and WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.”

Guitarist Robert Gruca is classically focused. Recent concerto performances include “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre,” by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, with both the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic Orchestra. Gruca possesses powerful musical interpretation and complete technical command over his instrument, and his solo performances have captivated audiences in numerous states in the midwestern and eastern U.S.

For more information on USF’s Latino Music Immersion Project activities and other performances in USF’s Music at Moser series, or to purchase tickets, visit or call (815) 740-3520. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens (65+), USF alumni and non-USF students.

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit