Wildflower Center and Austin Classical Guitar Collaborate on Streaming Concert

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Pressroom

Photo of man holding a guitar and a close-up photo of a yellow flower surrounded by a black background

Guitarist Gabriel Santiago and a chocolate daisy. PHOTOS courtesy of Austin Classical Guitar and the Wildflower Center

The Wildflower Center is excited to announce “Flowers of Life,” a multimedia collaboration with Austin Classical Guitar and Brazilian musician, composer and improviser Gabriel Santiago. Santiago’s music embraces multiple influences, from Brazilian to classical and jazz. With the input and expertise of Wildflower Center Director of Horticulture Andrea DeLong-Amaya, he has created an original piece that evokes winter, the snowstorm that shut down our city in February, and the journey back to the vital brilliance of spring in Texas.

DeLong-Amaya selected images and provided interpretation related to seasonal shifts at the Wildflower Center. Every spring, she and her team tease out the beautiful colors and shapes of the Center’s native landscape. For this unique livestream experience, she teamed up with Santiago to capture this transformation in music and spoken word. Gabriel will perform live from the Wildflower Center accompanied by the wisdom of Lady Bird Johnson and selected texts read by DeLong-Amaya.

“It’s been wonderful exploring ideas about weaving various media into a coherent message about nature, transition, anticipation, renewal — and of course the beauty of music and native wildflowers,” says DeLong-Amaya, who will also speak from her own experience during the performance. “Gabriel’s resulting creations evoke nuanced emotion with a bright overlay, which in turn inspired my text selections. What a thrill it is to see it all come together!”

Wildflower Center Director of Community Engagement Dawn Hewitt says the collaboration “felt naturally harmonious from the moment [Austin Classical Guitar Artistic Director] Joe Williams proposed working together,” adding, “I am excited that the Center gets to play a role in bringing the compelling music of Gabriel Santiago together with Andrea’s passionate understanding of nature, especially within the Center’s all-native-plant gardens. I would say ‘inspiration’ is the key word of the collaboration. Both organizations brought elements of what they do best, creating a bouquet of inspiration.”

About the Collaborators

Born in Brazil, Gabriel Santiago is an award-winning composer, arranger and acoustic and electric guitar player with 14 albums released. JazzTimes magazine called Santiago “a young master at both the acoustic and electric guitars.” He holds a doctoral degree in music composition from The University of Texas at Austin and his music carries influences ranging from Brazilian music to jazz and classical. Read Austin Classical Guitar’s interview with Gabriel here.

Andrea DeLong-Amaya is director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. With nearly 30 years of experience in horticulture, she guides staff in the design and management of our 9 acres of native gardens and nursery operations and leads our biannual plant sales. You will also find her teaching, speaking and writing about native plant gardening. While she won’t be performing for this event, Andrea has a love of music and plays the violin.

Santiago will perform “Flowers of Life” via YouTube stream on Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m. The performance is free but requires registration; donations to the Wildflower Center and/or Austin Classical Guitar encouraged. A conversation with Santiago and DeLong-Amaya will be hosted on Zoom after the concert.

Press Contact

Scott Simons, Director of Marketing and Communications, [email protected] 

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