TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Music is often something that can bring people together, and for one Tyler Junior College professor and his brother, music keeps them closer than ever.
"Music kind of came to us, and it happened by the age that it started happening, we really didn't have much of an understanding," TJC Professor Gjergji Gaqi said.
"We were too old," brother Piro Gaqi said.
Born in Albania, Gjergji and Piro Gaqi were raised by musicians. Growing up they always played music together, but never knew it would be something that continues to bring them closer.
"We were at a very young age playing together, but not really from a score," Gjergji Gaqi said. "Just playing around with different tunes and that sort of thing."
The brothers grew up to pursue musical careers on opposite sides of the world. While both trying to book shows as soloists, Piro came up with a simple solution.
"He said 'wait a second, why don't we do a concert together?' and I said 'wait a second, that's actually a great idea, let's do it,'" Gjergji Gaqi said.
And thus "The Gaqi Duo" was formed in 2013. Since then, they have performed in venues across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
"We have to find time to rehearse together because it's not very easy with the ocean in the middle," Piro Gaqi said. "It's not the best, but we try."
Aiming to create a musical bridge between the two continents, the brothers bring a varied international repertoire to the audience. But playing together is no easy task.
".... you're playing on the same instrument, so sometimes your hands are on the same spot or nearly on the same spot," Gjergji Gaqi said.
Playing is all about compromise.
"Sometimes when we get together, we have to change things that we did before," Piro Gaqi said. "It's not the way things should be, but we change it."
But after countless hours of practice, the final product is truly amazing.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the brothers are only able to perform a few times a year, but say when they finally perform, it is well worth the wait.