Incendio's fiery, guitar-driven instrumentals draw as much from the music of Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan and Rush as they do Spanish guitar.
"You've got it," says frontman Jean-Pierre Durand. "We're a rock band that plays Spanish guitar. We carry ourselves like rockers on stage and it has served us well."
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10
Where: Kids Unlimited's Main 1 Arts Center, 821 N. Riverside Ave., Medford
For better or worse, Durand says, the group has always had its own sound. Formed in 1999 by Los Angeles musicians Durand, his wife, Liza Carbe, and Jim Stubblefield, Incendio became an expression of the trio's songwriting abilities — with echoes of rock, classical, jazz, flamenco, Celtic and even bluegrass showing up in its music.
"The prevailing sound of contemporary Spanish guitar is usually something like Gypsy Kings," Durand says. "There are way too many other influences to limit our sound to that one thing. The rock bands are important touchstones for the group. Their approach to composition and production is a huge influence on us. By virtue of that, we're going to sound different."
Incendio will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Kids Unlimited's Main 1 Arts Center, 821 N. Riverside Ave., Medford. Tickets cost $18 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/415423.
Guitarists Durand and Stubblefield play nylon-stringed, acoustic guitars while performing, and acoustic and electric while recording. Carbe — who plays acoustic, electric and bass guitars — was classically trained at California State University at Northridge.
"Liza's preferences run somewhere between English Renaissance composer John Dowland, contemporary classical like Elliott Carter's and Zeppelin. She loves John Paul Jones because she loves bass, and Jimmy Page because he was so expansive in his tastes," Durand says. "Jim is a big fan of Randy Rhoads' guitar work with Ozzy Osbourne."
With three guitarists influenced by a range of such styles at the helm, Incendio's music could be called instrumental world music.
"World guitar just seems to say it," Durand says. "We're playing synthesized 12-string steel guitars, nylon-stringed guitars and electric guitar and bass, but there's a lot more. I use a Roland GR-55 synthesizer to get the sounds of mandolin, accordion, keyboards and other sounds.
"We see people in the audience staring at the stage wondering where the accordion or keyboard player is," Durand laughs. "Sometimes I'll play the wrong note and lean on it so people know it's me playing that sound."
Grants Pass drummer Tim Curle — who performed with singer and songwriter Josh Groban for many years — will join Incendio for the Main 1 Center show, and Medford percussionist Stefano Carrera will sit in.Incendio's first significant release in four years, "The Shape of Dreams," was released in June. It's the band's eighth album and its first studio recording since "Seduction" in 2006. Longtime friends Bryan Brock and Nicole Falzone play percussion and drums, respectively, on the new album.
The group also was featured this summer on Baja Records' "Guitar Greats III," alongside nouveau flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, flamenco guitarist Armik and new age guitarist Luis Villegas.
"The most interesting thing about 'Dreams' is the collaborative songwriting," Durand says. "All three of us have our fingerprints all over this one. We chiseled out every song together. It's the culmination of a process we started in 2009 with 'Vihuela.' That was one we really started working together in a way we hadn't on earlier work.
"Earlier the songwriting was more partitioned. We worked as solo writers or in pairs. Now, the band has reached a place where we can put our ideas out there without anyone getting bent out of shape. Songwriting is a personal thing. We've evolved to a point where we can check our egos at the door and be confident that we'll come out with something good."
Incendio's early work could be characterized as part of the "new flamenco" or "rumba flamenco" craze of the '90s. While categorization often seems necessary, Incendio's music is really something much different. The group's members sometimes call it "a blessing and a curse." The blessing being the extent of influences available to draw from, and the curse being the lack of attention that instrumental music receives from mainstream media.
Incendio can be heard in smaller radio markets, on college radio and, more recently, internet radio such as Pandora and Jango.
Call 774-3900 for information about the show at the Main 1 Arts Center.