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Dr. Joseph A. Baldassarre
Early and Classical Music
Strictly Personal
Young Jane CD
The Path CD
The Classics
The Academy of St. Giles
Life In the Bands
The Fabulous Chancellors Photo Gallery
Fabulous Chancellors, Ada County Fairgrounds Concert, July 6, 2003
Antonio Baldassarre - Luthier
These are a few of my favorite things
Related Links
Contact Me


Born: Cleveland, Ohio, USA on October 16, 1950
Parents: Antonio S. Baldassarre (1916-2004)
     and Mary Jane (Fondale) Baldassarre (1911-1998)
Wife: Janeen (Turner) Baldassarre (b. 1952)
Children: Genya Marie Baldassarre (b.1976)
Leyla Noelle Baldassarre (b. 1977)
Stephen Joseph Baldassarre (b. 1979)
Grandson:  Gabriel Joseph Baldassarre (b. Sept. 28, 2002)
Granddaughter:  Chloe Ann Johnson (b. Dec. 18. 2010)
Step-granddson:  Daniel Louis Gibeault (Sept. 5, 1998)

    I began reading music with my father at age 4, and on August 7, 1957 started formal electric guitar lessons with soon-to-be-jazz-great, Jimmy Hall, continuing with Carl Poliafico until 1966.
     I received a full scholarship to the Preparatory Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music for classical guitar lessons with Miguel Alcazar in 1963. Formal training on piano and flute also started that same year. 
     I attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio from 1963 until 1968.  During these high school years, due to my fluent music-reading ability, I was oft used as a studio musician at Cleveland Recording and Landen's Magnetic Sound, playing for at least 100 acetates (most for Columbia or Capital Records) and commercials. Among my more famous recordings are lead guitar on The Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me" and The Rivieras' "California Sun".
     In the mid-to-late 60's I gigged in many bands, but the two that occupied most of my time were The Citations, a group that played for all-occasions (anniversaries, weddings, etc.) and rock band The Off-Set. (See LIFE IN THE BANDS).

     Also at this time I took lessons from touring guitarists such as Jorge Morel and Miguel Rubio (among others) in Cleveland. I also studied with Rubio on tour in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and the Canary Islands on scholarship in the summers of 1966 and 1973.  During Rubio's 1966 summer tour, I was honored with a private audience with Andres Segovia, playing "Capricho Arabe" for the Maestro.
    After spending 1968-69 as an Economics Major (how did THAT happen?) at Cuyahoga Community College, I was accepted as a flute major at prestigious Baldwin-Wallace College.  By my sophomore year, B-W had hired guitarist/composer Loris Chobanian and my classical guitar study continued.  I graduated in 1972 with a BME and was immediately hired at my high school alma mater, St. Edward, to teach Art Culture and help out with the bands and choirs.
     I soon discovered that teaching high school was not my calling, so I went on to attend Kent State University 1973-75 as a musicology major, concentrating on the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  I finished my thesis, "A Discussion of the Contents of Robert Dowland's Varietie of Lute-lessons (1610)" and graudated with an MA in 1979.  Up to 1975, I kept busy by continuing to teach privately at DiFiore's Music House, recording, gigging, part-time teaching at Baldwin-Wallace and Kent State, and lending a hand at The Cleveland Near West Side Civic Arts Center for underpriviledged inner-city kids.
    Since 1975, I have been teaching full time at Boise State University, and am presently a Full Professor.  Among my courses are: Private Classical Guitar, Music History I (Middle Ages and Renaissance), Early Music Performance Practices, Guitar Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble and Rock Music History.
   During a sabbatical starting in 1982, I returned home to Cleveland as a Guitar Performance Major, studying under Christoph Harlan.  By August of 1983, I completed all of my course work, all three solo recitals, and 2/3 of the dissertation.  I finished and graduated with a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University / Cleveland Institute of Music in 1986.
   I've had a few things published: a couple on the pre-history of baseball, a couple on how music was used in medieval plays, and scale book for electric bass.  In late 2003, I had a short article on how to use the plectrum on the medieval lute appearing in the Lute Society of Amercia Quarterly, and a really long one (in three installments, 2004 & 2005) on how to play the medieval lute in the British Lute Society Quarterly

Instruments I've played in performance:
Classical Instruments:
classical guitar, flute, string bass, piano, octavino, 7-string classical bass guitar
Pop instruments:
electric guitar, electric 12-string, acoustical guitar, acoustical 12-string, harmonica, drum set, electric keyboards, electric bass, 4- and 5-string fretless bass, saxophone, Portugese guitar, 4- and 5-string banjo, ocarina, assorted percussion, my voice
Historical instruments:
classic-era guitar, vihuela, baroque guitar, medieval lute, 8-course renaissance lute, 6-course renaissance lute, baroque lute, symphonia, renaissance flute, baroque flute, citole, recorders, fife, doucaine, crumhorn, riq, hand drum, doumbek, oud, harpsichord, vielle, bass viola da gamba, tenor viola da gamba, bowed psaltry


Photo on the AP network, February, 2003
Dad and me with renaissance lute, classical guitar and baroque guitar

2001 Recipient of the "Mayor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts" for Excellence in Education.
2002 Medieval group "The Academy of St. Giles", under Joe's direction, is selected "Best of Boise".

A THOUGHT:   If Einstein was supposed to be so smart, then how did he get the "i" before "e" rule wrong TWICE in his name?