Ask Andre Feriante a question about his long musical career, and he’ll most likely pull the answer from his well-worn rosewood classical guitar.
It’s traveled with the Whidbey Island man around the world the past four decades as he’s mesmerized audiences with a blend of classical, flamenco and Brazilian instrumental styles.
Feriante says his guitar is the reason he came up with the idea for a Valentine’s Day show that he’ll perform Feb. 15 for the 20th consecutive year at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.
“I thought Valentine’s Day would be a great day for a Spanish guitar concert,” Feriante said. “The Spanish guitar can’t help itself, it’s has a voice that is sensual, nostalgic and romantic. It just makes you feel good.”
Feriante is well-known around the Northwest and Seattle region, where he’s lived the past 30 years. He’s played at The Triple Door, performed the national anthem for sporting events at Key Arena and Qwest Field and shared the stage with the Northwest Symphony, Heart and Alice in Chains.
He’s also played at Carnegie Hall in New York City, regularly toured northern Europe and released 14 albums.
Feriante’s first “Day of Love” concert was 1991 at Seattle Art Museum. The shows moved to Benaroya Hall, where he played first as a solo act and then with an ensemble.
Every year, he tries to bring a new element and theme into the lineup.
“This year, the name of show is ‘Anatomie de L’Amour,’” Feriante said. “We explore an array of human emotion in music and some of the songs speak directly to love, but it’s not a straight-ahead Valentine’s Day concert where we play a lot of standards. It’s about the exploration of beauty through music, lyrics and dance.”
Feriante wants the show to inspire people to let go of their busy lives, and take a few moments to de-stress and feel a spark of energy from the creative forces of music and movement.
More dolce vita Italiana perhaps, and less Americano frenetico.
Born in Naples, Italy, to an Italian father and an American mother from Sunnyside, Feriante moved to Yakima at age 17. A few years earlier, he’d heard a sound he says changed his life forever — the dancing notes of the flamenco guitar.
He studied under well-known classical guitarist Henry Rivas of Colombia. At age 21, Feriante was accepted to perform and study with the Spanish guitar maestro, Andres Segovia.
Two years ago, Feriante moved to Whidbey Island, where he started the Whidbey Island Guitar Festival. He’s become a regular on the Whidbey scene, appearing at wineries, private patio parties and fundraising events where it’s just him and his trusty guitar.
But his Benaroya show is an entourage of artists and instruments and a blend of cultures and musical diversity, including opera. He plans to play eight different instruments: baglama, cuatro, harp guitar, ukulele, charango, electric guitar, banjo and Spanish guitar.
The many performers in his entourage include Anil Prasad on East Indian tabla, Eric Fridrich on blues guitar and Shawn Berit, one of several vocalists. Another vocalist, Steve Thoreson, is a tenor who topped “Sweden’s Got Talent” in 2011. Also, flamenco dancer Deseo Carmin returns to perform, while belly dancer Nalani makes her debut at the annual show.
Troy Chapman, another Whidbey Island resident, will also join Feriante on stage. Chapman played in the well-established band, Pearl Django, among others, and now leads the gypsy jazz band, Hot Club of Troy.
The two have teamed up for various shows, including “Cythara: The History of the World According to the Guitar,” performed at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in November. The duo collaborated on an instrumental show, playing two dozen stringed instruments that spanned the globe from the Old World to the new, from the wooden oud to a Gittler guitar made of titanium.
Chapman and Feriante have distinctly different styles and love to meander into joyful jamming sessions.
“Andre and I are definitely two sides to the same coin,” Chapman said. “He’s the consummate classical guitarist. I studied jazz guitar and played in rock and jazz bands.
“The thing that brings us together is a very deep and abiding love for the guitar itself.”
If you go
Andre Feriante and the Bohemian Entourage perform “Anatomie de L’Amour” at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. Tickets are $42 for adults; $32 for youth and seniors. Go to www.andreferiante.com or call 866-833-4747 for more information.