February 2021 is turning to be a month with many loses. Yesterday, Jorge Morel, one of the most prominent classical musician for guitarist died yesterday.
Jorge Scibona, also known as Jorge Morel, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1931. After further studies with Amparo Alvariza and the virtuoso Pablo Escobar, Morel emigrated to New York in 1961. A Choro (literally “weeping”) is a popular Brazilian dance, originally performed by musicians called choroes. Morel also arranged for guitar the popular song Misionera by the Argentinian Fernando Bustamante.
I have played some of his compositions from the book pictured above.
Through his original compositions and arrangements, Jorge Morel has added substantially to the existing repertoire for classical guitar, while consistently challenging traditional, technical, and stylistic limitations. His impressive mastery of classical technique combined with his intimate knowledge of the physical and acoustical characteristics of the instrument have resulted in an innovative approach to the complex task of composing for classical guitar. His ability to blend his love of Latin American rhythmic textures with sophisticated jazz harmonies permeates his work with a musical imagination that is all his own, attested to by the many artists worldwide who have performed and recorded his works.
Morel performed nightly at the jazz lover’s haven, The Village Gate, sharing the bill with jazz legends such as Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, and Herbie Mann. Around this time, Jorge met Chet Atkins and established what was to grow into a lifelong friendship. Chet Atkins demonstrated his admiration for Morel in a very tangible way when he helped to arrange for the recording of Jorge’s sixth solo album with RCA Victor.
Classical guitar players lost one of our most beloved composers on guitar. May his soul keep playing his guitar in our Universe.