Christopher A. Garcia- tabla, kanjira, mbwata, marimba, PAISTE cymbals      

    Chris was born, raised, and still resides in East L.A, between Boyle Heights and Maravilla. His background includes performances in a wide variety of musical settings including; Jazz, Rock, World Music, traditional Mexican music, pre - hispanic music, percussion ensemble, soundtracks, and cartoon music.
    He attributes his musical growth to his studies with Professor John Bergamo, Pandit Tarnath Rao, Swapan Chadhouri and Leonice Shinemann where he studied tabla, while attending California Institute of the Arts on a full scholarship.
    Chris was also a member of the award winning Cal Arts Percussion Ensemble in 1979.
    He attributes his "style"(?) to Listening to EVERYTHING, logging in thousands of hours, practicing, rehearsing, performing and touring constantly with musicians interested in stretching and reinventing themselves throughout the Americas, Canada, Europe and Asia including performances in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and Switzerland.
    Chris' drumming is unusual in that it incorporates not only the standard rhythms and their permutations, but also a fluency with odd time signatures and sonic textures, which he seamlessly incorporates into his playing.
    He continues to be the drummer/percussionist of several critically acclaimed ensembles including:
    the AHN TRIO - piano trio
    VIO FONIK - chamber ensemble of 2 violins, 1 cello and percussion of North and South India
    ABT TRIO - electric violin, electric cello and drumset
    CONTINUUM - fusion(?) for the 21st Century.
    THE DEMANIA TRIO, since 2002 with Alex de Grassi, Michael Manring, Christopher Garcia
    THE GRANDE MOTHERS RE-INVENTED - featuring original and former members of the Mothers Of Invention
    performing the Music of Frank Zappa 1962 thru 1982
    DON PRESTON QUARTET, since 2002 - "atonal jazz(?)"
    HARRY SCORZO QUARTET - original jazz by the virtuoso violinist
    THE MICHAEL VLATKOVICH ENSEMBLES - Avant trombonist, composer extraordinaire
    One of the most brilliant composer/improvisers on the planet that I have been able to make music with consistently since 1991 in various guises from duo to augmented big band across America and Canada. Michael continues to surprise, amuse and use me. (?)Only God and Michael know why, and I am grateful to both for choosing to do so.
    ANCIENT GROOVES - world music ensemble
    MEXIKA , since 2003,
    Pre-Hispanic indigenous ensemble under the direction of Martin Espino
    QUARTETO NUEVO, since 1999 - a world music improvising chamber ensemble
    and duets with various instrumentalists including:
    Composer/Drummer/Percussionist Alex Cline.
    Alex Cline and I have been playing duos with various set ups the last few years. Sometimes we both play drumset and miscellaneous percussion,. sometimes one drumset and hand percussion, sometimes whatever we feel like playing. Alex is a wonderful musician. Intuitive, forgiving and ALWAYS listening. He is a joy to listen to. Sometimes I forget to play and sit there and just listen. One of our better moments was a prolonged silence and then, like magic, we came in at the same time and played ONE NOTE, without watching eachother. Just listening to the silence pass us by. It was beyond belief, and I am grateful for having his SPIRIT in my life.
    For additional information on Alex, click here: Alex Cline .
    guitarist extraordinaire Nels Cline He originally asked me to play hand percussion with him in a benefit for Petra Haden. We performed Keith Jarrett's Survivors Suite, for baritone guitar, tabla and miscellaneous hand percussion. The Haden family was present and it was quite an honor to have them sitting there. Since then we have performed the piece several times. Even though Nels has to be one of the busiest guys on the planet he still calls once in a while and we sit and make Music and will continue to do so at the drop of a hat.
    For more information on Nels, click here: Nels Cline .
    and multi woodwinds master Vinny Golia.:Vinny is another one of those guys. Brilliantly, consistently amazing. The only horn player I know that can play one to one million notes at eve
    For more information on Vinny, click here: Vinny Golia .


    I was recently invited to perform with Ancient Grooves, a group featuring John Zeretzke, Malik Sow, Houman Pourmedhi and Martin Espino, a musician whol play ancient pre-Hispanic instruments. Since then Martin has invited me to participate in presenting and performing indigenous music of the Americas, something he has done consistently for the last 25 years.
    He has been a joy to learn from and perform with. I am learning a lot. Employing techniques and sounds which I have never had access to before. Pre-Hispanic music,i.e., music before Spain came to "civilize" the new world, new and ancient music played on ancient instruments, including water drums, turtle shells, Hue Huetl, Teponaztil and instruments made from gourd and clay. Back to my roots
    Check out his website at
    Alex DeGrassi - acoustic guitars
    Michael Manring - electric fretless basses
    CG -tabla, kanjira, cymbals, hand percussion  
    A trio that was put together by Alex De Grassi and Michael Manring.
    I had the fortunate experience to perform 1 concert with Michael Manring and he recommended me to Alex De Grassi.
    We are playing original music and original versions of folk and folkloric music and anything else we can with a decidedly new twist.
    I have the best seat in the house sitting between these two guys and taking it all in trying to keep up.
    Our premiere recording was released November 2006.
    I am truly blessed to play with people who are constantly challenging themselves and invite me along for the ride. Feel free to write me at anytime and I will do my best to write you in a timely manner. 
    Email Christopher Garcia


    Christopher Garcia dedicated "With his Hat in his Hand" to his father, Don Alberto Garcia. Like much of his other music it was a piece of humility, confidence, clarity, and positive feeling--a pleasure to listen to.
    "Garcia, an excellent percussionist, really pushes the group, especially in the solo sections....his sparkling cymbal work coloring the background..."
    Cadence Jazz Magazine
    "Garcia's playing is vibrant and alive with passion, humor and a good deal of technical prowess, not to mention the breadth of vision necessary to effectively translate such an unpredictable stream of music. And the fact that the trio seem perfectly at home with unpredictably and the endless world of musical possibilities it presents makes them perhaps one of the most animated improvisational ensembles on stage anywhere."
    The Weekly Alibi

    SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY for Christopher Garcia
    Alex Cline Ensemble - The Constant Flame
    Continuum - Passages
    Continuum - Continuum
    demania - demania
    Alfred Garcia - Parallel Realities
    Alfred Garcia - Make It So
    Vinny Golia - A Gift for the Unusual (2004)
    The Grande Mothers Re"Invented - A Grande Mothers night at the Gewendhaus(2003)
    The Moscow Symphony - Outcast
    Quarteto Nuevo - EL MUSICO
    Luis Villegas - Casa Villegas
    Vio-Fonik - VIOFONIK
    Michael Vlatkovich Trio - No Zee Two S
    Michael Vlatkovich Quartet - Alivebuquerque
    Michael Vlatkovich Sextet - Live In Toronto
    Michael Vlatkovich Quintet - Why Don't You See Me?
    Mark Weber - Obligatos For Terpsichorean Dipsomaniacs


Kenton Youngstrom - classical guitars and steel string guitars

Kenton  Youngstrom, guitarist, composer, and educator records and performs internationally with the Falla Guitar Trio (with Adam del Monte and Gyan Riley), the Red Quartet (with Philip Vaiman [violin], Marissa Steingold [vocal] and Maksim Velichkin [cello]), and has appeared in classical and jazz solo and ensemble concerts in Europe, the Far East, Canada, Mexico and throughout the U.S. 

Youngstrom has performed with numerous jazz notables including flutist Hubert Laws, pianists Taylor Eigsti and Dave Brubeck, violinist Harry Scorzo, bassist Putter Smith and drummer Paul Kribeck.  Recent compositions include the score of "Behind the Mask of Zorro" (History Channel), "Kengyadu - Three Movements for Guitar Trio and Orchestra" (co-written with Gyan Riley and Dusan Bogdanovic), "Mary Pickford - A Life on Film" and "Hollywood: Hidden From View" (Timeline Films). 

Recent arrangements include works for the Falla Guitar Trio (including "Noches en los Jardines de España", for guitar trio and orchestra), the Red Quartet, Pasadena Jazz Orchestra, and the film "7 year ZigZag" (Next Step Studios).  He directs the guitar program at the Colburn School of Performing Arts and is on the faculty at Pepperdine University, Pasadena City College and East Los Angeles College.

I called Kenton hoping he could recommend a guitarist crazy enought to want to do this gig. I had worked with him previously in Harry Scorzo's jazz quartet. I was pleasantly surprised when he said, " I'll do it". He comes to rehearsals ready to go, and we slowly chip away at the marble. I am always looking for composers who play, they bring an entirely different attitude to the table, and i can't wait to start working on Kentons compositions. If you haven't already, check out the FALLA TRIO on, his guitar ensemble with Adam Del Monte and Gyan Riley.

Jacob Szekely  4 string acoustic and 5 string electric cello

Jacob is a true musical rarity. As a performer he's one of the few legitimate improvising string players in the world, and perhaps the only cellist who has developed a true Jazz/funk concept on his instrument. In addition to his busy schedule as a studio musician, and sideman, Jacob performs with his own groups Supernova (jazz/fusion quartet), The AB Trio (Straight Ahead Jazz), Quarteto Nuevo (World Music), Leviathan (hip hop), and the Martin East Project (electronica).

Mr. Szekely is also active as a composer and arranger and has collaborated with a wide range of artists and ensembles from string quartets and world music groups to commissions for chamber orchestra and children's choir. He recently expanded his role as musical ambassador through his co founding and artistic directorship of String Project Los Angeles, a music school and resource for the alternative string playing community thoughout the world located in West Hollywood. Jacob is a Steinberger and Danish Professional Audio artist, and performs regularly on his five string Steinberger Electric Cello as well as several acoustic cellos in different tunings.

I first met Jacob at a gig where he was subbing for the regular cellist in maestro Harry Scorzo's VioFonik. The first day we met is the first day we made music. Jacob is a great listener and is comfortable in a variety of roles, whether laying down the bass function, comping, playing soaring melodies and/or soloing on his cello.
He is always listening and curious about various musical forms, syntax and substance. Jacob is one of the new breed of so called "classical" string players who is putting himself in an environment not normally associated with cellists. Classical musicians do not usually train to improvise in a "jazz" context, where a soloist is required to "improvise" over fixed harmonic movement and QN gives Jacob a chance to utilize his considerable skills as a composer/musician.
Jaocb is also a founding member of the SUPERNOVA string quartet, and the AWF TRIO featuring Robert Anderson on 5 string electric violin as well as myself on drumset, my first instrument.

Damon Zick - soprano saxophone, Bb clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass clarinet

Damon Zick, woodwind player, composer and teacher, originally hails from Seattle, Washington. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 1997 (B.M. Classical and Jazz Saxophone), he headed south to Miami Beach where he performed flute, clarinet and saxophone with the New World Symphony. Following a brief year in Houston, Texas (not brief enough), Damon headed out west and ended up in L.A.. Where he finished the M.F.A. program in Jazz Reeds at the California Institute of the Arts. Damon has toured the U.S. extensively with his own groups and others and has performed on six continents. He is also active as a teacher and clinician.

Damon is a great musician. He has been a regular member of CONTINUUM for the last few years and was more than open to come into a new musical configuration and play. He has extensive practical experience in a variety of settings - straight ahead jazz, classical and chamber ensembles, and I am lucky that he is willing to add his voice to this ensemble. He is always prepared for whatever may come his way musically and is never at a loss for ideas compositionally, or improvisationally.
Toshiko Akioshi, Ralph Alessi, Aspen Jazz Ensemble, Joe LaBarbera, Bob Brookmeyer, Mike Cain,
Continuum, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Florida Wind Symphony, Vinny Golia,
Eddie Henderson, Joe Henderson, Bill Holman, Lee Konitz, Larry Koonse, Dave Liebman, Russel Malone, Bob Mintzer, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, New World Symphony, Darek Oles, Quarteto Nuevo, Rochester Philharmonic Pops Orchestra, Spoleto Opera Festival Charleston
We Are Large Evander Music
The Outing (Solo Debut) 1998 Orchard
New World Symphony Steven Mackey 2000 RCA Victor
Eastman Wind Ensemble 1998 Sony Classical
Saxology w/ Bob Mintzer 1996 Advance
Take The Next Step 1996 E-Jazz
CLICK here for additional information on Damon Zick
Jazz musicians call us a world music ensemble,
world music ensembles call us a jazz ensemble,
and classical ensembles call us something unprintable.
Actually we play music where we can improvise within various formats
Some of them are harmonically based,
some are melodically based,
some are rhythmically based
and some are a combination of all of the above and most of the compositions
deal with improvisation and we all come from a "hands on" background.
We are not a bunch of kids just getting out of school experimenting with "forms"
we have been doing this for quite some time and are very comfortable with and in our instruments.
The ensemble performs original compositions by members of the ensemble
as well as compositions by our favorite composers:
Bergamo, Corea, Gismonti, McLaughlin, Mingus, Satie, Zappa etc.
    We rehearse pretty regularly and play thru new music
    sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't
    the one thing it has to do is grab us on some level in order for us to work with it
Our first performance was in November 1999.
No. We are currently in our 6th live performance incarnation
the original line up was
Luis Villegas - flamenco guitar
Alfred Garcia - electric bass
Alan Lechusza - woodwinds
CG - percussion
2nd line up was the same with
Randy Gloss - percussion
3rd line up
Ken Rosser replaced Luis Villegas- stringed instruments
this is the group on the EL MUSICO CD
4TH line up
Carolyn Tyler on cello replaces bassist Alfred Garcia
5TH line up
Christopher Garcia - kanjira, mbwata, olla,tabla,
marimba, cymbals, percussion
Christopher Smith - nylon & steel string guitar(s),
Jacob Szekely - 4 and 5 string cello
Damon Zick - multiple woodwinds
6TH line up is
same as above with guitarist
Kenton Youngstrom
Every ensemble always did a great job of bringing themselves to the table
and putting themselves into it, i.e., it is an impossible question to answer.
Bassist Alfred Garcia took a sabbatical and I was looking for a bassist when Alan Lechusza invited me to work with his Side A/Side B ensemble which featured cellist Carolyn Tyler.
We did quite a few rehearsals with Carolyn and a handful of performances, and it was very very different - the bottom end opened up sonically, and since Carolyn was a classical musician who improvised, it became a very different ensemble.
We had to find another way to play, it didn't feel like a bass or sound like a bass,
so instead of treating it like it was a bass, we all had to regroup and figure out what worked for us.
You can't play the same way with a cello in the group, as you can with a bassist,
well you can, but what would be the point,
which is something i enjoy doing, the search for what works.
The lowest thing in the band becomes the bayan, the low drum of the tabla set.
When you are working with a bassist, the bayan has a tendency to get lost with the bass,
because they are fighting for the same frequencies.
So you have to play differently, i.e., you don't play 1 with a bassist
because you won't hear it.
With the cello, I have more choices
I can play tabla and not worry about the timbres clashing, because they don't.
We are now using cellist Jacob Szekely, who is a very different cellist than Carolyn.
He improvises in the bebop language as well as over simpler harmonic languages and frameworks
and we are really utilizing his ability to play either a melody line or a bass function.
The music.
We have some new music, because everyone composes,
and we are still doing some of the older pieces with a lot of additional new music added by the band,
new rhythms new harmonies, new approaches to the tunes.
A different set of players, even if they are playing the same written music,
always sounds astoundingly different.
You can listen to any Bartok or Beethoven string quartet by 3 different string quartets and know what I am talking about.
One isn't better than the other just a different take on the same music.
the major difference being that we also improvise.
We are also utilizing the gifts everyone has brought to the table. We are going thru some "fixed" compositions to see what we can learn and do with it.
    That depends on the piece, we are doing "straight" classical pieces, which is a new thing for us,
    as well as more "open" pieces.
    But we are all grounded in some type of improvisation and each type of improvisation has its own set of ground rules.
    The rules of improvisation for flamenco are not the same for jazz and/or North Indian classical music.
    QUARTETO will continue to utilize some of our favorite guest musicians like
Martin Espino, pre-hispanic musician and scholar -
Harry Scorzo, violinist extraordinaire -
Nick Ariondo, monster accordionist -
we have always utilized these great musicians
people should be aware that they exist
We just did a demo, 4 tunes
we have a lot more to do
probably no later than Fall 2008
We go where the music leads us.
Only time will tell



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