Sharon Isbin: Troubadour

(Rochester, NY) – Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, airing Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 11:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV, profiles the unusual and inspiring musical journey of two-time Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin. Isbin’s catalogue of more than 25 recordings — ranging from Baroque, folk and Latin to rock, pop and jazz-fusion — reflects her remarkable versatility. Her most recent recording, Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions (2011) rose to number one on's bestseller list. Her 2010 Grammy-winning CD, Journey to the New World, spent 63 consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard charts. Her Dreams of a World earned her a 2001 Grammy for "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” — making her the first classical guitarist to receive a Grammy in 28 years. Her CDs have even traveled with astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Sharon Isbin: Troubadour charts Isbin’s progression from amateur to professional musician. Along the way, the Minneapolis native encountered and overcame numerous obstacles — from resistance to the guitar as an orchestral instrument to her struggles working within a traditionally male-dominated field. Isben explains, "There is always a duality with this instrument and being a woman playing it. In the guitar world, I always had to fight as a woman. And in the musical world I always had to fight as a guitarist."

A who’s who of the music world — rock guitarist Steve Vai, folk icons Joan Baez and Janis Ian, jazz greats Stanley Jordan and Paul Winter, and pop singer Leslie Gore — discuss Isbin’s groundbreaking contributions to her craft.  Music critics praise Isbin’s lyricism and technique, while her friends, including actor David Hyde Pierce and tennis great Martina Navratilova, talk about the person behind all of the acclaim.

In intimate interviews, Isbin explains her distinctive style of playing her instrument, her passion for reconceiving classical pieces for the guitar, her collaborations with composers, her philosophy on performance, and her approach to improvisation, among other insights. The film also explores Isbin's role as teacher to a new generation of guitarists at both The Julliard School, where she created the first guitar department in 1989, and later at the Aspen Music Festival.  


Pictured: Sharon Isbin



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