Latin guitar world fusion group Incendio has been wowing crowds since formed in 1999, right up to their most recent album Summoning the Muse. They will perform at Boulevard Music this weekend, and guitarist JP Durand told the News about what they have in store for Culver…
When did you start playing and performing?
Incendio formed officially in 1999, and released our first album, Misterioso, in 2000. Prior to that, bassist Liza Carbe had started playing with the Jim Stubblefield group. Jim was already playing this Spanish guitar style, and I tagged along one day to see what was going on – I am Liza’s husband. I started sitting in and we gelled really well. The three of us started regularly playing and writing together, and it took on a life of its own. Liza and I have been together since 1994 and married in 1997. The band now has 11 albums and two DVD’s, all from the same core trio that started the band.
Describe your sound/style?
We have described it as “world guitar” or “Latin guitar world fusion”. We perform it on flamenco guitars, but it isn’t flamenco. Our style has more in common with rumba-style percussion and latin american song forms, also incorporating middle eastern, celtic, and jazz forms. Our music is all instrumental.
What are your career highlights so far?
For the live show, we were doing about 150 shows a year since 2000 (up until COVID), so we’re pretty proud of that. There are so many shows that have been important to us: our first show outside of L.A., the 2001 Carbondale Mountainfair in Colorado, received a great response that led us to think that maybe our music could flourish outside of our hometown.
Playing to about 20,000 people in multiple years at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. All our shows at the Levitt Pavilions across the country have been an undeniable highlight – we had two great shows at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Westport CT, and the Levitt Pavilion Dayton just last year. And we’ve done shows at the Ford Amphitheater, the Ambassador Auditorium, Musikfest in Bethlehem PA, Albuquerque Bio Park, Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s really gratifying to continue to build our fan base with our live performances. Away from the stage, being over 100 million streams means folks are hearing our indie music, and that’s excellent.
What recorded music is available — particularly the most recent?
Our most recent CD came out in 2019 – Summoning the Muse. We play most of that album on these recent tours, especially as we could not really tour a lot behind it when COVID hit. Our other albums are Misterioso (2000), Illumination (2001), Intimo (early 2003), Incendio (late 2003), the live album and DVD Dia Y Noche (2005), the slightly more jazz-oriented Seduction (2006), the guitar trio album Vihuela (2009), The Shape of Dreams (2013), the Christmas album O Night Divine (2015), the Incendio EmbersEP (2017) and then the 2019 release. All of these are available on streaming, on YouTube, etc. We also have a lot of great live footage on YouTube.
Have you performed at Boulevard Music before?
Gary Mandell has been very kind to have us there. It’s just a really different and rare space to play for not only people, but in the presence of so many beautiful instruments. I feel differently, maybe play a little more reverently, if that makes sense, surrounded by so much beautiful art that happens to be instruments. There are fine electric and acoustic instruments, and it can inspire one to play just that little bit extra. And because of this unique space, there are a lot of great guitar players that come to the show, and great guitar players that are part of the series of shows there, so we have to try to keep up the tradition. There’s no food or drink, just snacks. It’s about the music – Gary has set up the space really beautifully to focus on this concept.
Additionally, I grew up in Westwood. My mom used to take my brother and I to the Fox Hills Mall (as it was then called) all the time. I bought the “Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume 1”, a seminal purchase for me, at the Musicland downstairs in that mall which is about two miles south of Boulevard Music. Also right there was Delian Music, where my parents bought me my first electric guitar, an Ibanez Roadstar, in the 8th grade. So that whole ride down Sepulveda from Santa Monica Boulevard down to Culver City is a well-traveled corridor for me, which is another reason Boulevard is very special – it’s right there in the middle of my childhood!
What can the audience expect from the set this time?
We rarely play as a guitar trio these days, so the amazing groove from our longtime drummer, Timothy Curle, won’t be there. We’ve got to work a little harder to generate that groove ourselves and try to play beyond. So that can be challenging, and often sets up for an intense show! It’s the only trio show like this all summer, so far, so it should be a good edge-of-your-seat ride.
What else do you have coming up?
All of our details can be found at incendioband.com
Elsewhere this week
The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys, and Scotty Bramer. Go to culverhotel.com for more info.
There’s a full program of music at the Cinema Bar this week, as usual. The Hot Club of Los Angeles plays every Monday, and Wednesdays are singer/songwriter and open mic night. Other artists performing this week include Tony Zamora, Tremoloco Band, Potential Suitors, Juke Joint Dogs, Rick Shea, and Garrick Rawlings. Go to thecinemabar.com for more info.