Bandleader of Surcari
Lorena Garay is an award-winning guitarist from Puerto Rico who performs a variety of guitar styles, including fingerstyle, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and percussive guitar. Her captivating guitar arrangements and passionate playing style beautifully blend the classical influence with her Latin sound. The result is an irresistible blend of classical guitar, Latin rhythms, Spanish melodies, and contemporary harmonies!
Lorena earned her Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where she received the Guitar Department Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, from which she received the String Department Gold Medal Award.
She has self-released two albums: La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, a featured album of the Greater Hartford Arts Council's 2004 United Arts Gift Giving Campaign; and Surcari, which won third place for Best South and Central American Album at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards. In addition, she composed, recorded, and produced two 15-track instrumental albums commissioned by the international TV Sports Network ESPN.
Lorena has received many awards, including the Identidad Latina's Latino de Oro Music Award. She performs regularly as a soloist, sidewoman, and bandleader of her award-winning ensemble, Surcari. Last year, Surcari received the Arts For Learning Connecticut's 2018 Performing Artist of the Year Award.
Ms. Garay has performed at numerous prestigious venues, such as Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; Colgate University, Hamilton, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; WV Cultural Center Theater, Charleston, WV; Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC; Festival Artscape, Baltimore, MD; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Bushnell, Hartford, CT; and Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, PR; among others. At the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Pennsylvania, Lorena was the opening act for renowned guitar duo Strunz and Farah.
Lorena and the members of her band, Surcari, are Arts for Learning Connecticut artists who give multicultural performances throughout the region.