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A Chat With Andre Ramos; Eastman Student, Classical Guitarist, & Composer

Written by The Sound Kate on Tue, 3/22

Sound Check Interview with Andre Ramos

An interesting video post caught my attention on Rochester’s Reddit sub last month; ‘A Formal Invitation to an Eastman Recital from an Eastman Student’ was being wildly upvoted, so I clicked to see more. The video did not disappoint - not only did musician Andre Ramos promote his upcoming classical guitar concert at Hatch Performance Hall, but also his Brazilian roots, his love for Rochester’s music scene, and a personal ‘thank you’ to Mark’s for their garbage plates. I immediately wanted to know more. 

Andre and I spoke over Zoom on a dreary Monday afternoon. Sophisticated, prepared, and polished behind our video screen, 22 year-old Andre told me about his fast-tracked musical career and expertise in classical guitar. 

His story starts in Brazil. As a kid he loved music, but he only had a few CD’s (The Beatles, Elvis, Queen) and his dad’s old acoustic guitar. In high school, Andre moved to Indiana for a student exchange program. His host family noticed his obsession with music and connected him with a professor at the nearby Jacob School of Music. He picked up a guitar and was a complete natural, never being trained before. His professor asked him to stay, so Andre moved to different host homes to finish his studies - just him, his guitar, and his backpack. 

Andre soon received a scholarship at Eastman and moved to Rochester. Aside from his studies, he also taught classical guitar at Music Lovers Shoppe in Greece during the pandemic. He is a private teacher now, loves performing, and is an avid livestreamer on IG, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Reddit. His most recent Reddit livestream had over 500K viewers. Andre connected with a fan in Switzerland who saw his livestream and was asked to travel and play classical guitar at a Swiss church. 

As always, I asked him some questions to get to know him a little better: 

What is the best garbage plate in Rochester?

‘Mark’s Garbage plate, the mac and cheese one. It’s the closest (in distance) to me, so I’m probably biased. It’s the perfect food at 3AM when nothing else is open and you’re done with a recital. It’s definitely my favorite.’

Where do you go to relax in Rochester?

‘I have a husky and he’s very high maintenance. I love to walk him down Park Ave, where you can see 100 years of evolution in Rochester in one street. I do this when it’s not too cold.’

What’s your favorite guitar brand?

‘For Classical guitars,  it’s Hermann Hauser. For Acoustic guitars, I like Taylor.’

What is your favorite instrument?

‘It changes so much. About a year ago I bought a theremin.  I do love guitar, but if I had to choose another one, it would be that.’

What is your favorite city you’ve ever been to?

‘I like Rochester more than NYC. But I’ve been to cities in Switzerland, and it’s so peaceful and quiet.  Somewhere between Rochester and Lucerne.’

Andre is currently working on second album now and has not set a release date just yet. The album is acoustic steel string guitar with folk/rock with jazz influences, and says it is very palatable because, ‘at the end of the day, our job (as musicians) is to perform If no one is listening, we’re not doing our job.’ 

Listen to Andre’s first album here (the songs are very unique + great) on Spotify HERE

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