Husband and wife duo, Handler and Levesque have performed over 2,000 concerts together in the United States & Europe. Their sophisticated & expressive arrangements blend classical, Brazilian, Latin American, klezmer, gypsy, jazz, Celtic and folk music influences to create a unique and extraordinary sound. This, matched with their impeccable musicianship, has won them a widespread enthusiastic following.
Photo by Lisa O'Brien-Russell
Handler & Levesque have performed for festivals, arts centers, universities and museums, some of which include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA in 2018,
St. Ethelberga's Centre, London England in 2018, The 45 Festival Internacional de Plectro Roja in La Rioja Spain in 2016, The Casa Branca do Gramido in Porto Portugal,
Eurofest 2014 in Bruchsal Germany, The English Church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Classical Mandolin Society of America Convention 2014 in Portland Oregon, Brighton Fringe Festival, Brighton England, The Folk House, Bristol United Kingdom, The Performing Arts Complex of Delaware County PA, The United Methodist Church in New Market Maryland, Troy NY Music Hall, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven CT, The Brooklyn NY Museum of Art, The Hudson River Museum, NY, Roger Williams University, RI, The University of Connecticut, The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Hartford CT, The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Dialogue Series, Music Mountain and the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.
They have performed for many community events including First Night Westport, The Mystic Arts Café, Bean Blossom Music Series in Indiana, the Rainbow’s End Series in Chicago, Nashua Public Library in New Hampshire and the Quechee Club in Vermont.
Judy and Mark are founding members of the New American Mandolin Ensemble which formed in 2013, has performed internationally and released a CD
Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings in 2017.
Judy Handler & Mark Levesque are on the roster of Cantaloupe Music Productions in Manhattan, New England Foundation for the Arts and the Connecticut Library Consortium. Their enchanting CDs, Passion, Acoustic Blend & Two Guitars Live! have received critical acclaim and have been sold in dozens of countries throughout the world. All three CDs have been used by the Greater Hartford Arts Council as gifts to 1,000’s of donors to their United Arts Campaign.
In September 2019 they released a delightful holiday CD, Joy to the World with special arrangements for classical guitar & mandolin.
Judy & Mark have been featured on numerous compilation CDs with other artists and many radio & cable T.V. programs.
They run a studio for private lessons and groups in Vernon, CT.
Judy Handler, guitar - Judy has given concerts & workshops throughout the United States. Her solo playing spans diverse genres of music including classical, Latin American, Brazilian, and jazz arrangements. She has performed with many prominent guitarists including Charlie Byrd and Oscar Ghiglia. Judy has received numerous awards including an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
Judy Handler received a Master of Music in guitar performance from the Hartt School of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, a Diploma of Merit from Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, a Certificate from Curs Internacional de Música at the Vila-Seca i Salou Conservatory in Spain and a Diploma from the Aspen Music School. She has performed and given workshops and classes throughout the United States. Judy also performs in the Rosewood Chamber Ensemble with flutist Barbara Hopkins, teaches at a private studio in Vernon, CT and runs monthly performance classes. Judy is founder of the Connecticut Guitar Society.
Mark Levesque, guitar & mandolin - Mark started playing guitar at age 10 and soon began working with rock and blues bands. He also became interested in other styles of guitar music including jazz, classical and international. Mark has composed songs and instrumental music, worked with synthesizer orchestration, and learned the art of studio recording.
Mark Levesque has performed on guitar (classical, jazz archtop, 12 string, electric & gypsy), mandolin, plectrum banjo and cuatro in numerous ensembles throughout New England most recently with the CitySingers of Hartford. He has played and arranged world, jazz, Latin and blues music and has worked with synthesizer orchestration and studio recording. Mark’s passion for guitar and mandolin music has led him to research music from all over the world and his creative ideas have been the stimulus for many of the arrangements performed by the group. He currently teaches mandolin and guitar at a private studio in Vernon, CT. Mark has taken courses at Central Connecticut State University and the Hartt School of Music as well as private instruction with guitarists in a variety of genres.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
- 45th Festival Internacional de Plectro de La Rioja, Spain
- St. Ethelberga's Centre, London, England
- Casa Branca do Gramido, Porto, Portugal
- Brighton Fringe Festival, Brighton, England
- Teatro Gran Coliseo, Fuenmayor, Spain
- Sala Gonzalo de Berceo, Logroño, Spain
- Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, NY
- Eurofest, Bruchsal, Germany
- English Reformed Church at Begijnhof, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Europaische Akadamie Otzaehausen, Saarland, Germany
- Museo Würth, Agoncillo, Spain
- Doopsgezinde Kerk in Steenwijk, The Netherlands
- The Folk House, Bristol, United Kingdom
- The Connecticut Forum, Hartford CT
- The Classical Mandolin Society of America, Portland OR
- Stage One - The Performing Arts Complex of Delaware County, Wallingford Pennsylvania
- Rainbow's End Concert Series, Skokie IL
- The Bean Blossom Music Series, Bean Blossom IN
- Troy Music Hall, Troy NY
- The Jewish Museum, Manhattan NY
- International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven CT
- Chateaugay Lakes Arts Association, Chateaugay New York
- Music Mountain, Falls Village CT
- Grace Performance Hall, Haddonfield, NJ
- Quechee Club, Quechee VT
- The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY
- The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford CT
- Mystic Arts Cafe, Mystic CT
- Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Hartford CT
- Roger Williams University: The American Mandolin & Guitar Summer Program, Bristol RI
- Hartford International Jazz Festival Encore Stage, Hartford CT
- First Night New Haven, New Haven CT
- University of Connecticut, West Hartford CT
- The Eclectic Cafe, Bay Shore, NY
- New Market United Methodist Church, New Market Maryland
- Fremont Public Library, Mundelein IL
- University of Hartford, West Hartford CT
- Studio 450, Manhattan NY
- Northwest Park Coffeehouse, Windsor CT
- Governor's Mansion, Hartford CT
- New Britain Museum Of American Art, New Britain CT
- Saint Joseph College, West Hartford CT
- University of Connecticut, Storrs CT
- Perishable Theatre, Providence RI
- Great Falls Discovery Center, Turner Falls MA
- New Rochelle Library, New Rochelle, NY
- Westminister School, Simsbury, CT
- Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor CT
- All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis IN
- Temple Shearith Israel, Ridgefield CT
- Byron Colby Barn, Grayslake IL
- Bing Arts Center, Springfield, MA
- Mark Twain House, Hartford CT
- Marlborough Arts Center, Marlborough CT
- Town and County Club, Hartford CT
- Cantaloupe Music Productions, NYC
- New England Foundation for the Arts
- The Connecticut Library Consortium
- The Connecticut Guitar Society
The Greater Hartford Arts Council chose "Acoustic Blend" as a premiere gift for donors to the United Arts Campaign of 2003.
"Two Guitars Live" was used for the Arts Council's 2006 campaign and our 3rd CD, "Passion" was chosen for 2009.
- "Joy to the World" Holiday Music for Mandolin and Classical Guitar (2019)
- "Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings" New American Mandolin Ensemble (2017)
- "Songs and Dances of Early America" The Rosewood Chamber Ensemble (2015)
- Passion (2008)
- Scantic Valley Association DVD soundtrack (2004)
- Two Guitars Live! (2003)
- Hartford's Hidden Treasures (2002) CDROM soundtrack
- Acoustic Blend (2001)
- Recordings featuring Judy and Mark:
- Django Festival 12 (The best of gypsy jazz today) (2018)
- A Sugar Tree Carol - Gayla D. Matos (2008)
- Prelude (2001)
- The Gift of the Guitar (2001)
- New England Landscapes II (2000)
- New England Landscapes (1999)
- Romantic Reverie (1998)
- A Winter Fantasy (1997)
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