CLASSICAL GUITARIST DANIEL ROEST lives and performs in Northern California. Roest ("roost"), of Folsom, CA, has given countless solo and ensemble performances in nearly every kind of venue. With a broad range of styles to select from, his performances shift gears through continents and periods, aimed at pleasing all ages. With teaching, performing and presenting, he leads a full life in the arts, putting his training and decades of experience to work.
Following legendary Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, Roest focused on the beauty of classical guitar. As President and Artistic Director and a founding member of the South Bay Guitar Society, Roest became involved in producing guitar concerts in and around San José. He presented a long list of competition winners and international touring artists and put San José on the map as a center of classical guitar excellence. The Society became a non-profit under his tenure, winning grant support from local, regional and state arts agencies, presenting sell-out concerts and dozens of school visits. After relocating to Folsom, CA, Roest joined and now leads the Sacramento Guitar Society.
SIX-YEAR-OLD STICKS WITH IT
Roest first saw Segovia at age 11 in Berkeley, having taken guitar lessons from age 6. He was then sent to study with the Maestro's late protégé Bunyan Webb, and entered college as an ambitious guitar major, eventually earning three degrees. He later taught guitar and music fundamentals at California State University Stanislaus, De Anza, Foothill and San Jose City Colleges and now maintains a full-time teaching studio in Folsom, CA. "Slow and steady wins the race," he reflects on the decades since. "Sometimes I pinch myself when I think of all the dads in my neighborhood and how they make their living and how I make mine." Roest runs a full-time teaching studio out of his Folsom home. "The commute to work is great - walk from the kitchen to the front room!"
Though the Segovia tradition held strictly to unamplified nylon-string playing, Roest and many of his contemporaries prefer to amplify for increased dynamic range, if the venue calls for it. "I strive for the best musical experience for the entire audience," Roest says. "I remember seeing Segovia in a large hall in San Francisco, and I could barely hear him. Still, he was able to achieve a wonderful sense of intimacy, like you were in his living room, but were going deaf."
Roest noticed a distinct lack of real-world savvy in his undergraduate coursework. "Isn't College's promise to prepare you for life after college in your chosen profession?" he asks. "I can't tell you how many guitar majors quit the path some time after graduation. There were no business courses, no seminars on building a studio, getting gigs, managing a career. I learned many of my professional chops outside of the university environment, on my own." Roest enjoys sharing his hard-earned lessons with young guitarists who ask for advice. "If you can do it faster than I did, I'm delighted." His free MiniLessons and Columns share that experience.
TEACHER WHO CAN
Can a musician do well in both performing and teaching? Does the saying that 'those who can't, teach,' hold up? "Sure, you take time away from one for the other, but they both definitely help each other," Roest says. "I certainly feel a pull in both directions. If I didn't like teaching, I might focus only on performing, but with me it's not an option. And my performing experience enhances my teaching, because I come from what works for the listener. Both performing and teaching are things a musician can do into old age." Mel Bay Publications' online magazine, Guitar Sessions, invited Daniel to contribute advice on teaching for guitar teachers, leading to a series of columns on teaching and performing.
Having CDs to sell comes late in Roest's career compared to most performers. "You have to understand the Segovia paradigm:absolute perfection. And the bar kept being set higher and higher with each new virtuoso to come from under his tutelage - Williams, Parkening, Lorimer, Barrueco, Fisk and many others - just Olympic calibre virtuosity. Then you go into the market and just disappear - a drop in an ocean of product, part of a tiny sliver of the recorded music pie." Roest solved the problem of getting representation and the costs of studio recording by building his own home recording studio. "I'm a tone hound - and the models I emulate are just gorgeous. The sound I'm getting out of this gear I have is really great, and I'm loving it." His Great Guitars! 2004 CD has received several Five Star reviews. His original solo composition, February 4th, was selected from hundreds of submissions by the ERMMedia “Masterworks of the New Era” CD series.
"My father had a double doctorate in anthropology and sociology," Roest notes, "so I guess it figures that I'd enjoy observing people like he did. My profession has given me an amazing variety of performing situations, and yet it seems like a parade is going by. And some of the settings are unique - like giving concerts aboard an Alaskan cruise ship, helping a guy propose to his girl, being right there as a bride walks in to get married, playing to a packed concert audience at Lick Observatory an hour up a windy mountain road, playing at the Guitar Stage at San Jose's largest arts festival, and so many others."
Family life keeps Roest grounded, literally and figuratively. "I have presented dozens of touring artists, and many pay a price in their relationships," Roest observes. "I may not have made it to the biggest stages in the world, but I have found what's most important to me. Follow your passion, but have love in your life. Without it, the spirit suffers. I feel much more 'solid' as an individual now than before marriage and family. You can still practice late into the night, as I do, and enjoy your family during the non-vampire hours."
“an explosive standing ovation... fun and entertaining, ... would be great for any audience.”—William Jenks, Presenter, Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series.“Fantastic! Our highest attendance ever. Daniel Roest’s concert was the highlight of the year... The audience was delighted and enthralled and asked for Daniel to return next year! His relaxed manner and conversational style with information between the pieces was wonderful!” —Susan Covington and Diane Knight, Folsom Public Library“BRAVO! An artist, a polished performer with a sense of drama, a keen sense of musical content... most satisfying in every way... What a pleasure!” —San Jose City College Music Department“Very fine. Mr. Roest performed with grace and precision.” —Reed Magazine“Master of the instrument, limpid in execution, precise in his movements, listening to him, we get the feeling that we are with one of the great players of the guitar.” (Translated from Spanish) —Tiempo Latino MORE
5 out of 5 stars“Stunning performance!” "Beautifully played and very relaxing. Never heard Moorish Dance played with such emotion.” Reviewer: Eric Ayzenberg
5 out of 5 stars“Excellent music .” “This CD is a great collection of classical guitar music. I especially like the last piece-Moorish Dance. Every piece was played with great precision and skill. I highly recommend it to everyone.” Reviewer: Don Chiu
5 out of 5 stars“Highly Recommended. Musical, joyful and intimate.” “A highly enjoyable musical experience is presented here on Great Guitars!, Mr. Roest’s first album. The songs are all great, but the best part is how they are performed. Rather than just presenting selections intended only to show off a performer’s technique as seems common today, Mr. Roest has instead focused on musicality. As a result, there is a unique smoothness and flow to each piece, which leads to greater musical pleasure. There is also an underlying joyfulness that I found quite uplifting. The sound quality is topnotch, giving a feeling of intimacy and aliveness. I highly recommend this CD.” Reviewer: David Pardee MORE
“Daniel—It looks really great! You are sooo good at this!” —Michael Chapdelaine, Professor of Guitar, University of New Mexico, Winner, National Fingerpicking Championship, Winner, GFA International Solo Guitar Competition
“...really, really good... versatile... I’ll require it in my classes.” —Lawrence Ferrara, GSP Recording Artist and Professor of Guitar, City College of San Francisco and San Francisco Conservatory MORE
My mom took a college poetry-writing class in the 70's and came up with this winner. It reminds me how she paid for guitar lessons for me and was so encouraging and supportive along the way. I hope you enjoy it. If there's a lesson to be had here, it's to do with the value of having someone rooting for you.
By Jean Marie Roest
They might be carved from the same tree
Fused into one instrument,
My son and his guitar
Thrumming out music in the sunlight.
He holds his treasure intimately,
Braced against chest inside of right thigh,
Top of left thigh, and inside right elbow;
They might be carved of the same tree.
His hands pluck, stroke, press
Strings worthy of Segovia.
Profound absorption cloak the two,
Fused into one instrument.
Bent into the struggle to perfect a faulty phrase,