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
- 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
- Chris was also a member of the award winning Cal Arts Percussion Ensemble
- 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:
- CLASSICAL ENSEMBLES
- the AHN TRIO - piano trio
- VIO FONIK - chamber ensemble of 2 violins, 1 cello and percussion
of North and South India
- JAZZ and ROCK ENSEMBLES
- ABT TRIO - electric violin, electric cello and drumset
- fusion(?) for the 21st Century.
- THE DEMANIA TRIO, since 2002 with Alex de Grassi, Michael Manring,
- THE GRANDE MOTHERS
RE-INVENTED - featuring original and former members of the Mothers
- 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
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.
- WORLD MUSIC ENSEMBLES
- 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
- 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
- MARTIN ESPINO and MEXIKA
- 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 www.martinespino.com
- THE deMANIA TRIO
- Alex DeGrassi - acoustic
- 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
THANKS FOR COMING TO CHECK THIS OUT
- HOPE TO SEE YOU AT A PERFORMANCE
- 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
- ALL ABOUT JAZZ REVIEW
- "Garcia, an excellent percussionist, really pushes the group,
especially in the solo sections....his sparkling cymbal work coloring the
- 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
- 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
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.
- ADDITIONAL NOTES BY CG
- 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 youtube.com., his guitar
ensemble with Adam Del Monte and Gyan Riley.
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.
- ADDITIONAL NOTES BY CG
- 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.
- ADDITIONAL NOTES BY CG
- 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.
- PRIOR PERFORMANCES WITH
- 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
- SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY for Damon Zick
- 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
- QUARTETO NUEVO FAQS
- HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE QUARTETO NUEVO?
- 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"
- HANDS ON??
- We are not a bunch of kids just getting out of school experimenting
- 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
- HOW LONG HAS QUARTETO NUEVO BEEN IN EXISTENCE?
- Our first performance was in November 1999.
- DO YOU STILL THE SAME MEMBERS?
- 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
- WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE ENSEMBLE?
- Every ensemble always did a great job of bringing themselves to the
- and putting themselves into it, i.e., it is an impossible question
- WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO USE A CELLIST INSTEAD
OF A BASSIST?
- 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
- well you can, but what would be the point,
- which is something i enjoy doing, the search for what works.
- WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING
WITH A BASSIST AND A CELLIST?
- The lowest thing in the band becomes the bayan, the low drum of the
- 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
- We are now using cellist Jacob Szekely, who is a very different cellist
- 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.
- WHAT HAS CHANGED?
- 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
- 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.
- WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE MUSIC IS IMPROVISE
AND WHAT IS WRITTEN?
- 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.
- WHAT HASN'T CHANGED?
- QUARTETO will continue to utilize some of our favorite guest musicians
- Martin Espino, pre-hispanic musician and scholar - www.martinespino.com
- Harry Scorzo, violinist extraordinaire - www.harryscorzo.com
- Nick Ariondo, monster accordionist - www.nickariondo.com
- we have always utilized these great musicians
- people should be aware that they exist
- WHEN IS THE NEW CD COMING OUT?
- We just did a demo, 4 tunes
- we have a lot more to do
- probably no later than Fall 2008
- WHAT NEXT?
- We go where the music leads us.
- Only time will tell