Carlos Barbosa-Lima may have been playing the guitar for as long as he can remember. He may have toured all over the world since he was a teenager. Playing music may be his job, but simply put, guitar is his passion.
“When I play concerts, I play for friends,” the guitarist said in a phone interview with Mission Loc@l. “And I when I play for friends, I play a concert.”
Barbosa-Lima, a world-renowned guitarist who incorporates Latin, jazz and classical elements into his playing, will make a stop in the Mission on Nov. 12 to play at the Brava Theatre. The concert will be dedicated to music of the Americas, with arrangements of compositions by artists from Brazil, Latin America and the United States, including George Gershwin and Dave Brubeck.
“There will be music from all kinds, like classical and popular, but everything sort of blended,” Barbosa-Lima said.
“The process is to get inspired,” he said, explaining how he arranges guitar music. “First of all you have to like the music. The process is to just hear in your own head first, and then try to put that into reality.”
Barbosa-Lima hails from a country with a rich and diverse musical tradition. Brazilian music has been influenced by Europeans, Africans and native Brazilians, and Barbosa-Lima said this legacy of diversity has had a strong influence on him.
The 67-year-old musician, famous for championing the technique of “multilinear” playing, where one guitar sounds like an entire set playing together, celebrated his 50th recording release last year. He currently records for Zoho in New York.
When he was 7, Barbosa-Lima said, he started observing his father’s guitar lessons. He picked the instrument faster than his father, and within a short time, Barbosa-Lima was dubbed a prodigy. He began touring all over the world at age 13, at first extensively around South America. At 23 he made his U.S. debut.
“I think everywhere I go I meet friends,” he said, explaining why he doesn’t have a favorite city to play in. “I just love to play for them, just for the simple fact they are sharing my music.”
So dozens of records and perhaps thousands of concerts later, does the master ever get tired of performing?
“Some people play like it’s a job,” he said. “I play because I love it. This is why I’m never getting tired.
“A performance doesn’t end with the last note,” he continued. “I love what I do.”
Carlos Barbosa-Lima plays the Brava Theatre, 2781 24th St., on Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are for sale here.