WHERE: Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving St., Rahway, NJ. TICKETS: start at $10 and can be purchased through UCPAC.org.
“We are thrilled that world-renowned acoustic guitarist Francis Goya will join us from Europe as the featured soloist of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Holiday Concert,” said Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of Wharton Arts. “Collaborating with him is a real coup and we look forward to the flair and artistry his presence will bring to this concert.”
Said Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo, “Francis Goya’s music is beloved globally beyond cultural boundaries. I attribute this to his unique ability to communicate deeply through seemingly simple melodies that touch one’s soul and speak to the common human experience. I can’t wait to share the stage with Francis and the talented New Jersey Youth Symphony in presenting our annual holiday concert.”
“I am so excited to join the award-winning New Jersey Youth Symphony for this very special occasion,” said Francis Goya. “Performing with students, the professional musicians of tomorrow, is very dear to my heart especially as I recall the challenges of my own career path. I’m really looking forward to this concert and it is my way to give back to communities all around the world.”
Born to a family of musicians, Francis Goya touched the guitar for the first time at the age of 12. At 16, Francis Goya formed his first group (Les Jivaros) together with his brother who played the percussion, and several friends. In 1966 he became acquainted with producer Lou Deprijck, who joined Goya’s rock group, The Liberty Six (Later, Lou was also the producer for Plastic Bertrand and composed for him the hit song Ça plane pour moi which gained success all over the world). In 1970, Goya was invited to join the professional soul music group J.J. Band, with which he recorded two albums, the second produced by Brian Bennett, percussionist of The Shadows. This recording was made in London for CBS. Thanks to the J.J. Band, Goya took part in a tour all over Europe and Africa. He also became an in-demand studio guitar player, and played on stage with performers of different styles, such as Demis Roussos, The Three Degrees, Vicky Leandros, and many others.
In 1975, he released his first solo recording “Nostalgia,” which quickly reached top positions in the charts all over the world. “Nostalgia” was a tender and romantic melody written by Goya and his father. That was the beginning of his now very impressive international career as romantic acoustic guitar player. Goya continues to tour all over the world, from Asia to Latin America, South Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, and the US. Between each tour, he records at least one new album and that number has now already grown to over 50 albums and most of them have the status of a gold or platinum disc. As of today, Goya has sold over 8 million of his albums globally. He is also renowned as the artistic producer of many hit recordings and is the co-composer of “New York S***,” one the biggest hits of US-based rapper Busta Rhymes. Goya also conducted the Eurovision Symphony Orchestra in Rome in 1991 and in Millstreet in 1993, representing the country of Luxembourg. Francis Goya and his family currently live in Marbella, Spain.
Francis Goya’s music can be enjoyed on Spotify and YouTube. More about him at www.francisgoya.com.
Wharton Arts’ mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities.
Wharton Arts’ vision is for a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community to be accessible for everyone.
Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving nearly 2,000 students through a range of classes and ensembles. The 5 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, an auditioned choral ensemble program for students in grades 3–12, encourage a love and appreciation of choral music while nurturing personal growth and creative development. The 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve over 500 students in grades 3–12 by audition, inspire young people to achieve musical excellence through high-level ensemble training and performance opportunities. Based in Paterson, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music education as a vehicle for social action by empowering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School has a robust musical theater and drama program and offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and that performing arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton Arts offers need-based scholarships.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 12 counties. All of Wharton Arts’ extraordinary teaching artists, faculty members, and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.