Guitar Festival | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Guitar Festival

SIU Guitar Festival 2019 (6th edition)

Dr. Eric Lenz – Director of the School of Music
Artistic Director of the Festival – Dr. Isaac Lausell

September 20th & 21st
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Sponsored in part by the SIU Fine Arts Activity Fee (FAAF)
& the SIU Center for International Education

Message from Dr. Lausell

Isaac Lausell

How does one keep a tradition alive? Is it by trying to conserve it and protect it from changes? Is it by allowing it to grow and evolve? Does evolution lead us way from tradition? These questions come to mind when I look at this year’s line up for the SIU Guitar Festival. Our headlining artists Luis Enrique Juliá and Samuel Morales are no strangers to tradition nor to modernism.

Maestro Luis Enrique Juliá is the chair of the classical guitar program at Conservatorio de Música of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music). He is the heir to a guitar tradition that can be traced back to the origins of the instrument itself. Juliá is the disciple of Spanish masters such as José Tomás and José Rey de la Torre and Puerto Rican guitarist Leonardo Egúrbida. If we followed that lineage of teaching it goes to Miguel Llobet, Francisco Tárrega. Julián de Arcas and Dionisio Aguado. This wonderful heritage alongside with his master classes with Andres Segovia, Oscar Ghilia and Leo Brower places Juliá at the trunk from which the guitar emerged.

With such a background one would expect Juliá to be a strictly traditional player yet his works encompass Puerto Rican popular music, improvisation and echoes of the Spanish guitar. This is all expressed through composition for various mediums such as ballet, theater, chamber music and even the Grammy nominated recording of his quintet for clarinet and strings featuring clarinetist Ricardo Morales, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pacifica Quartet.

It is equally impressive to find him at ease in his new project with legendary jazz bass player Eddie Gomez. Regardless of an improvisatory context or a prescribed one Juliá’s elegance, tone and charisma always cuts through.

Samuel Morales is a like-minded accomplice. Having trained as a double bassist at the University of Puerto Rico where he currently teaches Morales found his calling in Jazz. Nowadays he expresses his art through composition and the electric bass guitar. Morales unveiling a musical that feels familiar and yet unique. His music has echoes of impressionism and modern jazz intertwined in a way that observes tradition but strives for more.

Perhaps the best way to honor tradition is evolution. In this edition we will experience music that is traditionally rooted but catered for the 21st century. It seems only fitting that we pair up European, Puerto Rican and Spanish traditions with North American ones. Our very own Dr. George Brozak will be presenting a lecture on Rock & Roll History centered on the music of Chess Records, Chicago Blues and Chuck Berry.

I hope you enjoy all we have prepared. We are certainly excited, we hope you are too!

Dr. Isaac Lausell
Artistic Director of the SIU Guitar Festival

View Complete Schedule and Master classes »

Costs & Registration

  • 2-day pass plus opening Gala – Includes admission to all the concerts, lectures and master classes during the entire festival: $40
  • 1-day pass - Includes admission to all the concerts, lectures and master classes for the festival on either 9/20/2019 or 9/21/2019: $25
  • Single event pass – This is good for a single admission to a master class, a lecture or a recital: $12 general audience/$6 students
  • ALL EVENTS are free to students, faculty and staff of the SIU School of Music.
  • All the events featuring Luis Enrique Juliá and Samuel Morales are sponsored by the SIU Fine Arts Activity Fee therefore they are free to students, faculty and to the staff of SIUC with an SIU ID. We require the ID to be presented at the door for admission. Everyone else not affiliated with SIU is required to pay admission.
  • You can register by contacting ahead of time or at the event
  • We have special rates for schools and non-profit organizations that wish to attend. Contact Dr. Lausell for more information at

To register, send a check made out to “Southern Illinois University." Specify in the memo line at the bottom that it is for the “SIU Guitar Festival” and fill out the provided form specifying the event you are registering for. Send form & payment to:

Betty Johnson (
Southern Illinois University — School of Music
1000 South Normal Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901
Registration Form (pdf) »


For questions regarding the festival and the guitar program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, send us an email at:

For other inquiries:
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1000 South Normal Ave
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Phone: 618-536-8742

Donations and sponsorship

We have opportunities for local and national business and enterprises interested in sponsoring the guitar festival. For more detailed information of the levels of sponsorship, contact Dr. Isaac Lausell at