We are always looking forward to the SIU Guitar Festival. Over the years we have enjoyed a national and international roster of artists coming from our home state as well as other states of our union,  Brazil, Serbia, Australia, México, and Puerto Rico.

  Unfortunately, the situation the world is in due to the COVID pandemic makes it almost impossible to present a festival such as ours. For example, at the moment only a small cluster of countries are within our access and in turn, only artists coming from a few places can come due to travel restrictions. Even our national artists face challenges that make traveling across our nation difficult and more so to do it  safely. 

  I would like that the next time we gather for the festival we can all enjoy each other’s company and only think about our love for guitar music.

  I regret to inform you that this year we won’t be having the guitar festival. In the meantime, let's cherish what we have enjoyed over the years. We will be back and stronger than ever.


Dr. Isaac Lausell
Associate Professor & Artistic Director of the SIU Guitar Festival


We have opportunities for local and national business and enterprises interested in sponsoring the guitar festival. For more detailed information of the levels of sponsorship, contact Dr. Isaac Lausell at


SIU Guitar Festival - 6th Edition

Featuring Luis Enrique Juliá, Samuel Morales, Isaac Lausell & George Brozak

Dr. Eric Lenz – Director of the School of Music
Artistic Director of the Festival – Dr. Isaac Lausell

September 20th & 21st
Southern Illinois University Carbondale


SIU Center for International Education


Costs & Registration

Schedule & Master Classes



A message from Dr. Lausell


   How does one keep a tradition alive? Is it by trying to conserve it and protect it from changes? Is it by allowing it to grow and evolve? Does evolution lead us way from tradition? These questions come to mind when I look at this year’s line up for the SIU Guitar Festival. Our headlining artists Luis Enrique Juliá and Samuel Morales are no strangers to tradition nor to modernism.

   Maestro Luis Enrique Juliá is the chair of the classical guitar program at Conservatorio de Música of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music). He is the heir to a guitar tradition that can be traced back to the origins of the instrument itself. Juliá is the disciple of Spanish masters such as José Tomás and José Rey de la Torre and Puerto Rican guitarist Leonardo Egúrbida. If we followed that lineage of teaching it goes to Miguel Llobet, Francisco Tárrega. Julián de Arcas and Dionisio Aguado. This wonderful heritage alongside with his master classes with Andres Segovia, Oscar Ghilia and Leo Brower places Juliá at the trunk from which the guitar emerged.

   With such a background one would expect Juliá to be a strictly traditional player yet his works encompass Puerto Rican popular music, improvisation and echoes of the Spanish guitar. This is all expressed through composition for various mediums such as ballet, theater, chamber music and even the Grammy nominated recording of his quintet for clarinet and strings featuring clarinetist Ricardo Morales, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pacifica Quartet.

   It is equally impressive to find him at ease in his new project with legendary jazz bass player Eddie Gomez. Regardless of an improvisatory context or a prescribed one Juliá’s elegance, tone and charisma always cuts through.

Samuel Morales is a like-minded accomplice. Having trained as a double bassist at the University of Puerto Rico where he currently teaches Morales found his calling in Jazz. Nowadays he expresses his art through composition and the electric bass guitar. Morales unveiling a musical that feels familiar and yet unique. His music has echoes of impressionism and modern jazz intertwined in a way that observes tradition but strives for more.

   Perhaps the best way to honor tradition is evolution. In this edition we will experience music that is traditionally rooted but catered for the 21st century. It seems only fitting that we pair up European, Puerto Rican and Spanish traditions with North American ones. Our very own Dr. George Brozak will be presenting a lecture on Rock & Roll History centered on the music of Chess Records, Chicago Blues and Chuck Berry.

I hope you enjoy all we have prepared. We are certainly excited, we hope you are too!

Dr. Isaac Lausell
Artistic Director of the SIU Guitar Festival