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It might not carry the shock value of Bob Dylan plugging in at Newport in 1965, but the news that six-string virtuoso Sergio Lara is now playing electric guitar (with synthesizer capabilities, no less) might surprise some of his old fans.

Lara, best known as half of the world-music acoustic duo Lara & Reyes (with Buttercup/Swindles guitarist Joe Reyes), has always harbored a love for blues as well as the fusion work of guitarists such as Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin. With Lara & Reyes now a “closed chapter” for him, he’s put together an electric trio (Greg Norris on bass guitar and Deano Stevens on drums) that steps away from the complex arrangements he’s known for, in favor of a more relaxed, spontaneous approach.

“This new chapter is based on positive energy, nice rhythms,” Lara says. “I’m not too interested in playing to dazzle, like a gunslinger, anymore. For me now, it’s more of a storyteller kind of thing.”

Lara debuts his new trio with a performance at the Jazz’SAlive Festival on Sunday, September 21, at Travis Park. Admission is free and Lara’s group is scheduled to play at 3:45 p.m.

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February 24, 2021

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