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Spanish Guitars and Percussive Grooves
Written by Amy Domian

"Spanish Guitars and Percussive Grooves" tends to be the realm for guitarist Aaron Burlbaw. With Burlbaw’s Nuevo-flamenco (non-traditional flamenco) techniques, he delivers a Spanish and Latin blend of music. Burlbaw has been performing for 13 years in the Midwest area. He fronts his all-instrumental Latin Jazz group Acoustik Element and supports Autumn's Child and Farshid Etniko with their "world music" ensembles.

Passion for Sound

Without a doubt, Aaron Burlbaw has a passion for the sound. 11 years in the music industry, 4 CD's, 2 DVD's, 50 television appearance, 20 radio appearances, with 4 musical groups.

Aaron found his passion for music at an early age. When Aaron was 12, his mother introduced him the guitar via Neil Diamond's classic "Lady". Throughout high school, his gift of playing by ear led him from finger style pieces by Jim Croce, to rock songs by Led Zeppelin and Van Halen, to classical preludes and etudes.

In 1999, after receiving his Bachelors Degree from University Missouri St. Louis for Business Management, Aaron studied under renowned guitar instructor Duke Michalak. Aaron says, "Duke gives you insight on the theory side of music, and reflects the importance of professionalism".

In early 2000, Aaron met vocalist/guitarist Tim Casteel. After hearing him sing for the 1st time, Aaron said to him, "for an unsigned musician, you have the best voice I've heard". Shortly thereafter, the band Dionysia was born.

Living 3 houses away from each other, Paul Quinn and Aaron became friends at an early age. They lost touch for about twelve years, but in late 2000, ran into each other at a bar called Rody McCools on the day of Dionysia's 1st show. Not too long after, Aaron and Paul began composing all instrumental music fusing nylon and steel stringed guitars. Years later this collaboration would be known as the group "Meñache". In 2003, Paul would take over the role of bass guitar in Dionysia. Aaron, Paul, and Tim would go on to release two full length CD's and two 45 minute DVD's with Dionysia.

Starting late 2004, Aaron not only studied soloing and right hand rhythm techniques from Farshid Sotanshahi, but also honed his live performance skills. One year later, Aaron joined Farshid's popular ethnic group called "Farshid Etniko". Farshid stills mentors Aaron with studies of Eastern instruments: Tar, Baglama, Cajon, and Doumbeck.

In 2006, Aaron received a phone call from Ali Soltanshahi, Farshid's younger brother. Ali asked Aaron to join the world music group "Ginkgo Biloba". Ginkgo regularly performed for St Louis’s mayor Francis Slay, and private events for Kemp Automotive, and Federal Express, and for many public shows in the Midwest area. Arranging the music and organizing recordings was Aaron’s role in Ginkgo Biloba.

July 1st, 2008, Aaron released at the Sheldon Concert hall his solo CD “Burlbaw and the Entourage” featuring 14 guest musicians. A video crew taped the performance to create the follow up DVD which was released in December 2009.

In early 2009, Aaron performed most of the music for The Biking Life magazine’s third annual DVD and also provided the music for their television commercial.

October 18, 2010 – After six years, the Latin Ensemble called Menache changed their name to Acoustik Element. The group felt that the name fit the music they were creating better….oh, and not to mention.... it’s much, much, much easier to pronounce and remember.

December 19, 2010, Aaron produced Acoustik Element’s 16 song Christmas CD which was released at an old familiar venue…..That One Place.

Look for this bio to grow, as Aaron’s “Passion for Sound” broadens, check out for updated information.

With steel-string rhythm guitar, Paul Quinn supports Meñache by setting a layer of melodic background around the percussive groove of Sigmund & Hughes. Born in Fenton, MO, Paul started playing guitar at the age of 15. While earning a degree in engineering, he studied music under Duke Michalak and greatly expanded his source of musical influence working as a disc jockey at a free-format college radio station.

Paul performs regularly with Meñache and Gingko Biloba, and occasionally supports the cast of Farshid etniKo. He played bass guitar with Dionysia for 6 years. Paul has recorded two projects with Dionysia: Mentality (2006) and Laid Back at the Sheldon (2005), and played a part in the Burlbaw & the Entourage (2008) CD/DVD projects. He is currently recording tracks for Meñache’s first full-length album.

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