Judy Handler and Mark Levesque

International mandolin and guitar music

These two talented artists create a skillful blending of musical influences including Brazilian, Latin, swing, gypsy, jazz, European, and classical. Judy Handler and Mark Levesque receive standing ovations in concerts wherever they go for their exciting and energetic performances. Their music is passionate, lyrical, and delightfully beyond category. They perform most frequently as a duo for concerts, community events and festivals and weddings, but the duo can be expanded to include bass, percussion and drums to suit the event. Their repertoire for weddings (and other events) is a unique combination of the traditional and the unexpected, all in impeccable good taste.

In addition to mandolin/guitar duo, they can also perform with two guitars, or offer the variety of both.

“It’s a perfect musical marriage. A rich, zesty guitar gumbo, Handler & Levesque crackle with tasty elements of classical, swing, Gypsy, Brazilian and a dizzying array of world-music flavorings.”
— Owen McNally, music critic for the Hartford Courant, Feature Story

Biographical Highlights

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 in 2000.  Judy’s studies began in her hometown, Chicago and she went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in guitar from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Music from the Hartt School of Music, and certificates from summer studies at schools in Aspen,Judy and Mark 2Spain and Italy. She teaches guitar at the University of Connecticut and at a private studio in Vernon, Connecticut. Judy is co-founder of the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the country.

Mark Levesque, mandolin and guitar:  Mark started playing guitar at age 13 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 plays an array of guitars including a classical, a jazz archtop, a 12 string, an electric and a gypsy guitar. He also has several mandolins, a Brazilian mandolin (bandolim) and a Puerto Rican cuatro. His versatility has given him the opportunity to play in groups ranging from duos to big bands. Mark’s passion for guitar and mandolin music has led him to research music from throughout the world and his creative ideas have been the stimulus for most of the arrangements performed by the group.

Recent Performances

The Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Jewish Museum
Troy Music Hall
The Hudson River Museum
The Bushnell Performing Arts Center
Perishable Theatre
Mystic Arts Café
First Night Westport
White Plains Public Library
The International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven
The University of Connecticut
Roger Williams University in Rhode Island: The American Mandolin & Guitar Summer Program
The University of Hartford
Saint Joseph College

Performance Rosters

New England Foundation for the Arts
Connecticut Commission on Culture
The Connecticut Library Consortium
The Connecticut Classical Guitar Society


Passion (2008)*
Two Guitars Live! (2003)
Hartford’s Hidden Treasures (2002) CDROM soundtrack
Acoustic Blend (2001)

*The Greater Hartford Arts Council used “Passion” as a premiere gift for donors to the United Arts Campaign of 2009

Featured on Compilations:

Sugar Tree Carol (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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16-piece band led by Argentine-born composer/arranger/bassist Pedro Giraudo

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Annette St. John

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Patrick Poladian

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Vanisha Gould

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Christos Rafalides

vibraphonist Christos Rafalides and ensembles