About Lou Ubriaco
Playing for over 40 years and teaching for over 30 Lou began his career as a professional musician at age 19. Fueled by passion and discipline he practiced over 12 hours a day to achieve unrivaled technical prowess and to become one of the area’s most reputable guitar players.
While blues players such as Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton and Ritchie Blackmore were his early influences he broadened his horizons to include John McLaughlin, Joe Pass, Django Reinhardt and Ruggiero Ricci (1st violinist to record Paganinis 24 Caprices) who still influence him to this day.
In the mid 1970’s Lou became very interested in teaching as he found it a great way to expand and progress. Lou also became involved in numerous studio and performance projects one of them being Flash (an offspring of Yes with Peter Banks and Tony Kaye).
While committed to Flash he declined many invitations to join national acts who were in need of his talent and work ethic. His performances drew numerous accolades from his peers as well as many well known international artists. In the late 70’s as his reputation grew he would eventually perform at venues like the NY Coliseum, Radio City Music Hall, The Waterbury Palace Theater and even NBC Television Studios.
By the 1980’s Lou’s student base had grown exponentially. He was the only guitar teacher to go to if you wanted to learn the ambitious techniques of the day. At this point he was fully schooled in the styles of Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Frank Gambale, Al DiMeola and Greg Howe. Also due to his versatility Lou was in constant demand as a session player for commercials and bands. During this time he also put a lot of effort into his work as a solo performer. Lou would eventually put together a repertoire that included highly challenging jazz and classical selections which were performed at special venues.
By the 1990’s Lou had developed an impressive repertoire in all genres of music including classical, jazz, rock, blues, country, and fusion. Proficiency in techniques such as flatpick, fingerstyle, tapping, harmonics and legato had made him the most sought after instructor in the area. At this point he began focusing on transcribing music. A true labor of love he paid attention not only to melody but also incorporated many compositional details which necessitated an even higher level of technique. Lou decided to steer clear of the “run of the mill” compositions so he challenged himself by transcribing pieces such as: Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Mozart’s Rondo a la Turk, CPE Bach’s Solfeggietto, Chopin’s Minute Waltz, Vivaldi’s F Minor Conc. (Winter) and G Minor Conc. (Summer), and Rimsy Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee. He also tackled pieces by Allan Holdsworth, John Coltrane, Joe Pass, Charlie Parker and John McLaughlin.
Also in the 90’s after listening to players like Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Berlin and Michael Manring he decided to begin studying bass in earnest. Carving his own niche as a two handed tap player (chord melody etc) he developed the interdependence to play the bass as pianist would play a piano. He began to arrange pieces such as Flight of the Bumblebee, Greensleeves and Teen Town, Donna Lee, Bourree, Freedom Jazz Dance and others for solo bass performance.
2000+ Lou has been able to fulfill his dream of opening his own music school (located in Buchanan NY). At this point he has students coming from as far away as Manhattan, Queens, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Canaan, Patterson, Poughkeepsie, Yonkers, Harrison, Katonah and Rockland County. Many of his students have gone to become professionals in music and teachers themselves. In fact after graduating from college level music programs many of his students come back for more knowledge and inspiration. He has begun writing his own technical etude book and he is also putting together a text which will contain his most challenging transcriptions. In his project Clockwork with, Tom Bitondo (keyboard) and Jason Brower (drums) he performed dazzling renditions of his classical arrangements at local venues including the Paramount Theater in Peekskill NY. Lou received rave reviews for his live performances. In the future he plans on writing a book dedicated to music theory and its application to the guitar. As he continues to learn and evolve as both a player and a teacher Lou wholeheartedly believes that he will always be a student of music, never a master.