With nothing else on stage but a black chair, a mounted microphone and an electric guitar, Diego Figueiredo and his fast-moving fingers earned the audience’s standing ovation at the end of his performance on Friday, May 11.
Figueiredo is a Brazilian guitarist who began his musical journey at a very young age, and, according to BYU-Idaho International Services, is considered one of the most talented guitar players in the world today.
His style is a combination of jazz, bossa nova and classical.
Johanna Martinez, a senior majoring in international studies, commented on his “golden fingers,” saying his music is “a combination of pure talent and good technique.”
Figueiredo said he keeps his nails long to make strumming easier and filed them on stage to demonstrate. His entire body moved with his music, head bobbing and shoulders swaying through every piece.
“It’s jazzy, it’s polyrhythmic — it just mesmerizes me,” said Paige Pennington, a junior studying special education K-12.
Audience members, including a group of Brazilian students, crowded around Figureido at the after-concert meet-and-greet, two Brazilian flags draped over his shoulders, with the words “Ordem E Progresso,” meaning order and progress.
“He mixes music styles, but he brings the Brazilian culture with him, and he projects that in his music,” Martinez said. “I think that’s really amazing.”
Figueiredo expressed his love for music, his gratitude for his family and his appreciation of Rexburg.
“I really love Rexburg; it’s my second time here, and I hope to come back,” Figueiredo said. “This energy that I feel here I can’t feel in other places, big cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles — when I came here two years ago, I could feel that energy. I’m happy to be back.”
Diego Figueiredo’s gave advice to BYU-I students.
“Study a lot, believe in your dreams and don’t stop,” he said.