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The guitar duo you didn't know you needed - Olli Soikkeli and Cesar Garabini

By October 23, 2018 November 4th, 2018 News

Remember when Billy Joel said the piano sounds like a carnival? That’s what it’s like being in the room with Olli Soikkeli and Cesar Garabini when they get their irrepressible energy flowing:

With this rendition of the great Brazilian bandleader and composer Pixinguinha’s classic composition “Um A Zero”, we’ve tried to give you a sense of the room-filling magic these guys put out.

Olli is gypsy jazz guitarist with bluegrass-style alternate picking technique. And Cesar is a thumb-picking Brazilian choro player with jazz influences. If there was a rulebook for either of their respective styles, they clearly didn’t read it. But when they fire up their twin approaches, the groove is immediately and thoroughly captivating. Cesar’s pulsating choro bass lines blur the distinction between melody and rhythm instrument, And Olli’s fearless arpeggio roll patterns float over the top like ragtime piano reimagined for guitar.

Given the limitations of pixels and samples here on the internet, I can assure you we’ve hardly done justice to their twin-guitar dynamism. We were lucky enough to get them both into the studio for a handful of duet recordings on the day of Cesar’s interview with us. And it’s a humbling reminder of what a privilege it is to sit down with such great players.

We’ll have both Olli and Cesar’s individual interviews, along with another blazing duet performance, will be coming to Cracking the Code soon. In the mean time, if you’d like more Olli and Cesar, you have no choice but to see them live at any of their frequent New York City gigs to experience the magic for yourself.

Top Comments

  1. Avatar for Troy Troy says:

    These guys came in last week and we all had to pick our jaws up off the floor. They hail from different parts of the guitar landscape but it all works so well together. The world is a little less boring now that these guys have somehow found each other.

    We have Olli’s interview coming up, and we did one with Cesar too where we talk about the choro playing style, which is a very cool thumb pick / fingerstyle hybrid with relentlessly funky bass groove on a seven-string acoustic. Amazing stuff.

  2. As a hybrid picking I’m super interested to hear about Ceasar. Not sure if I’d want to play with a thumb pick permanently… but that may change once I see it, who knows?! Look like interesting interviews.

  3. Hi Troy.

    Is the Cesar interview separate from the Olli interview, or is it part of this interview too, like when you interviewed Strunz and Farah?


  4. Damn that was wild. Nonstop thrills!

  5. Avatar for Troy Troy says:

    They’re separate. But a brief interview with them together would actually have been cool, because there are lots of cool topics there like working out the arrangements and trading off rhythm and lead playing. They have obvious musical chemistry together and you can see that when they’re both in the room even just warming up. But I didn’t really notice that until they showed up and even then we were a little swamped just trying to get all the duets and Cesar’s interview done.

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