“Just love them. From the sturdiness/feel of the chord to the sonic difference – it’s pretty exciting. The nylon string guitar plugged in is so sensitive to noise that i can’t imagine going back to using anything else.” -Russ Hewitt
With a work ethic that is surpassed only by his incredible talent Russ Hewitt is fast becoming one of the most significant protagonists of nuevo flamenco and jazz guitar around today. Equally comfortable in a live setting or the recording studio Hewitt enjoys a performance schedule that would phase the most dedicated of artists and in late 2008 released his debut album, ‘Bajo el Sol’. It has since garnered critical acclaim and delivered the first radio single (the title track) that is currently riding high on the smooth jazz indie chart.
The evocative music that the recording so dramatically delivers is based in part on Hewitt’s experiences while travelling through Europe, Turkey, Egypt and China. Not only does it show off an almost spiritual connection with the music he loves but also showcases to perfection his burgeoning ability as a songwriter. Hewitt has collectively described the tracks of ‘Bajo el Sol’ as his ‘Latin World’ that extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of South America and embraces the myriad of cultures and styles that has come his way. His rumba flamenco rhythms and lightning guitar runs are a feature throughout and are complemented in no small measure by a stellar line up of backing musicians. Former Miami Sound Machine percussionist Raphael Padilla plays a considerable part as does drummer Walfredo Reyes Jr who, in his time, has played with both Santana and Ricky Martin. Bob Parr contributes hugely on bass while Hewitt also finds time to include the exciting flamenco guitar prodigy Alfredo Caceres. That said ‘Bajo el Sol’ is very much Hewitt’s project and the title, which translates literally to ‘Under The Sun’, brilliantly sums up how well his concept of creating a universal language of music has been realized.