A couple of years ago, I was having late afternoon drinks with a friend in Manila Hotel’s Tap Room Bar. I was engaged in discussion when live music started playing. On stage were 3 ladies… one of whom was Marga Abejo – a lady I already know to be a talented musician and a sorority sister of mine. My goodness! It was Triple Fret!
I immediately posted it on Instagram then. I had already known of Triple Fret at that time, but they were still just rising stars then. Besides the music and the undeniable hottness of these three women, I loved the name. “Triple Fret”… it’s just so edgy and catchy!
Since then, Triple Fret seemed to be all over. I would here of gigs abroad, fantastic receptions at different concerts and I think even some product endorsements. They were a hit at 3rd International Guitar Festival, performed at the Pasinaya Festival, participated in the 1st Philippine Jazz and Blues Festival, and wowed the ecclectic crowds in the long-running Fete dela Musique.
This sexy, talented and entertaining trio has taken classical guitar music into mainstream. Possessed with the desire to educate and entertain, the ladies of Triple Fret are driven by their mastery and love of their music. I mean, just look at them (and try not to be intimidated by their impressive bios):
Jenny de Vera began her love affair with the guitar at age 12 and by age 15 had progressed to the classical guitar. Under the auspices of Prof. Lester Demello, Jenny became the first female to graduate Bachelor of Music Major in Guitar at the University of the Philippines College of Music. She was a soloist for the UP Guitar Orchestra and one of her most memorable performances includes her Philippine Premiere of Handel’s Harp Concerto in A Major for Guitar and Guitar Orchestra. After her graduation, Jenny recorded her first CD entitled “Guitar Journey” where all proceeds went to the “Adopt a Lumad Child to School” project of the Tri-Peoples Concern for Peace, Progress and Development of Mindanao (TRICOM), Inc. She has performed all over the Philippines and Thailand and had masterclasses with Flavio Cucchi, Tomonori Arai, Steve Lin and Angelo Favis. At present, she is teaching at the UP College of Music Extension Program and at the Miriam College Center for Applied Music.
Angelica Asuncion “Iqui” B. Vinculado is a cum laude graduate of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music major in Classical Guitar Performance under the supervision of Prof. Arthur Erskine Basilio. She was an active member of various groups featured under USTCM for almost six years, namely-‐-‐ the UST Guitar Ensemble under the tutelage of Prof. Alberto Mesa, the USTeMundo Ethnic Ensemble under the tutelage of Ms. Theresa Montes, 24 Strings Guitar Quartet, and the UST Guitar Quartet. She is also an experienced performer at disnguished venues in different events like the Annual Sampung Mga Daliri Concert held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) where she performed as a singer, guitarist and a percussionist all in a single event, and at the UST Conservatory of Music Winners’ Concert last February 2009 which featured students who won various compeons in the Philippines. In the said event, she won first prize in the “Komposisyong Kwerdas” for her interpretation of the winning piece “Sa Kanyang Sinapupunan” by Kim Nimrod Cruz, which also premiered at the Philam Life Auditorium. She aended Masterclasses with Rafael Nera, Angelito Agcaoilli, Agusn Avila, Meng-‐Feng Su, Tomonori Arai, Rafael Serrallet, Joseph Mirandilla, Steve Lin, and Shin-‐ichi Fukuda.
Marga Abejo started playing guitar at 16. In between breaks, she learned how to play guitar with the help of some classmates. She then enrolled in the UP extension program in third year high school under Barney Fojas. After that, classical guitar became her favorite medium of expression. Marga graduated from DCPMA-‐BM Music Educaon (classical guitar concentraon) in the UP College of Music. She was trained in guitar concentration by Professor Lester Demello and Maestro Jose Valdez. Currently, she is under the guidance of Carsten Linck. She was given the opportunity to travel and play with the UP Guitar Orchestra, as well as participate in guitar festivals abroad and in the Philippines. She has also written a guitar method book entled “String Theory: A Classical Guitar Book For Kids and Kids At Heart” which she presented in a lecture concert in the UP School of Economics. In this concert, she trained high school students from the Makabata Foundaon to play in a classical guitar ensemble. She wishes that one day, she will make a posive impact for change on naonal educaon, arts, and literacy.
These days, they’re busy preparing for their album launch and send-off concert. On May 30, 2014, at the Ayala Museum, Triple Fret will unravel to the world their first album, “Gitara Filipina”, a compilation of Filipino classics and other classical guitar favorites by Vivaldi, Bizet and Bellinati to name a few. The affair will double as their send-off concert-party for their European Tour which starts this June and ends in August. The highlight of their tour will be their performance at the Guitarra Festival in Siguenza, Spain on July 26, 2014. The Festival is a prestigious event to be attended by some of the world’s best guitarists, guitar-makers and other music performers, and is hosted by world-renowned guitar-maker Jose Romanillos. The tour will also take them to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and other countries where they hope to promote Filipino music.
It’s quite a feat to make classical guitar music an “in” thing during these times, but these women have done so with all the flare, poise and class of true artists. We wish them all the luck and congratulate them on their continuing success!