Grace Nono, guitar greats stage ‘Gugma’

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FILIPINA singer, ethnomusicologist and cultural worker Grace Nono, together with guitarists Arthur Erskine Basilio, Ryan “PePe” Ednave and bassist Glenn Reniel Bondoc will perform on stage today, 5 p.m., in a concert dubbed as Gugma at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.

Gugma—which means “love” in the Visayan language—is a musical offering that features Visayan love songs popularized by various singers in the 20th century. Majority of these songs were also featured in Grace Nono’s recording Dalit: Songs of Love, Loss, and Finding Heart Again (Tao Music, 2009).

Grace Nano

Nono learned the performance of most of these songs from elderly singers not in the Visayas but in Mindanao where many Visayans have migrated for centuries. She also learned a few songs from recordings and performances of other singers.

The instrumental arrangements for the Dalit recording and the Gugma concert were provided by Hiligaynon-Visayan composer Bob Aves while English translations of the Visayan lyrics were provided by poet Gemino Abad who is also of Cebuano-Visayan origin.


Erskine Basilio

Nono is known for her performances that draw from Philippine sung oral traditions. She has performed in over sixty cities and venues in over twenty countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. These performances have included solo concerts at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila.

Basilio, on the other hand, was awarded “Best Filipino Guitarist” during the 2011 Philippine International Guitar Festival and Competition. His performance credits include “Concierto de Aranjuez” at the UST Museum and a number of performances at the CCP together with the UST Guitar Ensemble. Erskine is currently a guitar faculty member at the UST Conservatory of Music.

Glenn Bondoc

Meanwhile, Ednave started playing guitar at the age of 14. A graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, he became a member of the UST Guitar Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, Jazz Band, and Ethnic Ensemble. As a faculty member of the Band Camp Inc. and UST Community Development, he teaches General Music and Guitar to indigenous communities in Botolan, Zambales.

Ryan Ednave

Finally, Bondoc graduated from the UST Conservatory of Music where he received a Bachelor of Music Degree majoring in Music Education. He has worked with various artists like Jireh Calo, Tots Tolentino, Johnny Alegre, Pete Canzon and others. He currently teaches at Rizal Elementary School in Tondo and is the bassist of Brass Munkeys and the 137 Trio.

For details, contact CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

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