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Guitar With Gusto

February 18, 1993

When it comes to acoustic guitars attacked with gusto and exoticism, Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah are at the head of their class. The pair will cook up cross-cultural musical ideas and brandish their dazzling guitar technique when they hit the Ventura Theatre on Friday.

Strunz began his career as the founder of the jazz-Latin fusion group Caldera in the '70s. Born in Iran, Farah came to Los Angeles, where he met Strunz in 1979. A duo was born.

Strunz and Farah have been concocting their unique hybrid of Spanish and Middle Eastern styles since 1980, and had a nice steady cult following throughout the '80s. They released albums on such labels as Fantasy and Waterlily Acoustics, a Santa Barbara-based audiophile label.

Then something happened in 1990, when their album "Primal Magic," on the Mesa/Blue Moon label, went straight to the top of Billboard's World Music chart. Their latest album is "Americas."

Strunz and Farah, joined by bassist Guillermo Guzman, percussionist Long John Oliva and drummer Paul Tchounga, will play at the theater, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. Show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $16.50. For information, call 648-1888.

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