Flamenco guitarist Esteban is practicing scales, just as he does for two hours daily. He demonstrates a few licks, and it is just a snippet of the 73-year-old musician’s talents.
“It’s the thing I’ve been doing since I was 9 years old,” said the effervescent Esteban.
“It’s something that’s really deep in my heart. After all these years of performing, I have a lot of wisdom and intelligence in this music. When I get in front of a crowd, magic just is happening every time we play. It’s a really amazing, great life.”
Esteban of Prescott is bringing his “magic” to the Musical Instrument Museum for two shows: 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28.
“This year, it’s a semi-Christmas show, and the rest is ‘Bach to rock,’” he said. “It’s a composite of music that’s eclectic in nature. I play songs my classical training in Spain and then I work in some rock ‘n’ roll tunes that I’ve loved to play when I was growing up.
“It’s beautiful. It’s very ethnic. There is some ethnic music in there. I really enjoy playing the music of India, Arabian scales and then we do Christmas songs. It’s an eclectic mosaic of music from all walks of life. When you come to our show, man, you’re going to get a taste of the world.”
At the show, he will be joined by his electric violinist daughter, Teresa Joy, the pride of his life.
“My daughter is one of the greatest violinists in the world,” he said. “It started when she was 5, with these fingers that were meant to play the violin—and boy, can she ever play. It’s beautiful to have a father and his daughter playing music for people at a level that is just unbelievable, and people respond that they love it and feel it. We make people feel good.”
Music, he added, inspires everyone and is the perfect medium for lifting spirits in the pandemic’s wake.
“People come to our concerts feeling like crap because the world is upside down,” he said. “When they leave, they’re on cloud nine, girl. When people feel this music go into their soul, they tell us afterward that that was the best thing they ever heard.
“I’m very blessed. I’m one of those diamonds in the rough. I’m not internationally famous, but I’ve been all over the world and lived all over the world, trying to help people and inspire kids.”
Born Stephen Paul in Pittsburgh, Esteban has not had the easiest career. Just when he was embarking on a concert career in 1980, he was hit by a drunken driver just as he returned from Spain. He is blind in one eye and, for years, lost the use of his arm.
“I say, ‘To improve life is to be in a constant state of change,’” he said. “‘To be perfect is to change often.’ I had a car accident, and I couldn’t play for 10 years. He hit me going 80 miles per hour on my door’s side.
“I lost (use of) my left arm. The nerves severed in my spine and blinded me in one eye. I was endorsed by the greatest guitarist in Spain. My first professional gig was supposed to be in 1980, but I never got to play it. I was in the hospital.”
Through acupuncture and a variety of modalities, Esteban gained the use of his arm.
“I came back with a vengeance and mission to make up those 10 years,” he said. “Not a lot of people get to come back from a thing like that. I had to relearn the guitar. It was something I had to do. I love my little guitar that’s always in my hands.”
That instrument is inspiring lives, too. Esteban said that’s the most gratifying part of his career.
“Music can change a life,” said Esteban, who produces instructional DVDs. “That’s my legacy. I was on TV for so many years. We changed millions of lives I sold millions of guitars and instructional DVDs on TV. All these kids picked up the guitar. I’ve received emails from moms, dads, kids. They just love the fact that their lives were normal and after they got the guitar and watched the DVD on their TV screen, their lives were changed.”
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28
WHERE: Musical Instrument Museum,
4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
COST: Tickets start at $44.50
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18
WHERE: Sound Bites Grill, The Shops at Pinon Pointe, 101 N. State Route 89A, Sedona
COST: Tickets start at $59