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.
Judy Handler, guitar
Judy has given concerts & workshops throughout the United States and Europe. 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 College-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 teaches at a private studio in Vernon, CT and leads performance classes that are open to all levels. She is Co-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 Puerto Rican cuatro in numerous ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, 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.
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.
Judy and Mark 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.
Currently they give online lessons and performance workshops. They also run a studio for private lessons and groups in Vernon, CT.
"New England Treasures!"
J.B. South Glastonbury, CT
"Thank you so much Judy. I am getting so much positive feedback from your performance, it was a terrific afternoon."
D.F. Mahopac, NY
"Thank you for such a wonderful program. Everyone thought you were terrific. We loved your selections. They introduced us to music we may not have heard before. You are a great duo! Most definitely I will keep you in mind for future."
P.G. Orange, CT
"My thanks to you and Mark for a wonderful concert! We don't see too many standing ovations, but you certainly deserved that."
A.C. Brookfield, CT
"The audience loved your performance, and can’t wait to see you & Mark again!"
B.K. Agawam, MA
"Your concert was such a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate International Week at CCSU, thank you! We continue to hear praise about your performance and look forward to next year (and perhaps other times in between) when we shall hear your music again."
N.B. New Britain, CT
Our 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 we released a delightful holiday CD, Joy to the World with special arrangements for classical guitar & mandolin. We have been featured on numerous compilation CDs with other artists and many radio & cable T.V. programs.
Recordings featuring Judy and Mark: