University of St. Francis to host Latino music concert series

The University of St. Francis (USF) is pleased to present the USF Latino Music Immersion Project, with activities to take place throughout February and March. Funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, this initiative will include 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. 

Latin guitarist David Burgess will kick off the concert events with a 7:30 p.m. performance and reception on Friday, Feb. 1 in the university’s Sexton Auditorium, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet. A world-renowned guitarist whose performances have taken him to concert halls throughout North and South America, Europe and the Far East, Burgess combines popular and folk music elements with traditional guitar styles, and blends his masterful playing with a fascinating narration about Latin American history and culture.  

Over the past 10 years, Burgess has traveled extensively to Brazil and has explored guitar music from the country’s past, as well as many progressive contemporary Brazilian works. His Feb. 1 concert at USF will highlight the music of Brazil and some of the finest Brazilian guitarists of all time including Garoto, Raphael Rabello, Yamandu Costa and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Prior to the show, Burgess will lead 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.

Burgess has won rave reviews from critics and musicians. The Greenwich Times stated that Burgess’ performance “was hauntingly beautiful, tastefully phrased with exquisite nuance and yet with an aristocratic understatement that held his audience spellbound.”

The remaining two concerts in the series will showcase the Ondas Ensemble (Latin-American music on flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano) performing music of composer Elbio Barilari 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.

For more information on USF’s Latino Music Immersion Project activities and other performances, 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