juan carlos quintero
Those well versed in Latin American culture know Medellín, Colombia is often referred as, “La ciudad de la eterna primavera (the city of eternal spring),” a reflection of the vast Andean Valley’s culture, art, flowers, music and people. Both musically and spiritually, the heart, soul and guitar of Juan Carlos Quintero's music reflects the colorful sounds and diverse rhythms of his cherished birthplace.
Latin music was a very natural gravitation for JCQ when he first picked up the guitar at age eight: “No matter what style I ever played in, I always came back to my heritage. Music from Colombia crosses so many boundaries and its ability to seduce while celebrating life has always moved me. Colombian rhythms are so majestic, they have a strong natural appeal to me. This music seems to show up every time I compose or perform, I can't help it! A few years before I picked up the guitar, I remember being mesmerized by a band that played in a high school next door to my elementary school in Brussels. They were a cover band playing Latin music and I was convinced, ‘Those are the guys from the radio!’ I was hooked from then on.”
JCQ was particularly inspired by masters like Quincy Jones, Gato Barbieri, Cal Tjader, Miles, Tito Puente, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana, but he felt that Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri, Gato Barbieri and Gary Burton best brought out the excitement of bridging melodic improvisation with composition. JCQ took this lead both attending Berklee College of Music in the early 80’s and when he launched his own solo career later in the decade. He studied composition at Boston’s New England Conservatory with George Russell before moving to Los Angeles, where he plugged into the city’s studio scene with the help of his mentor Tommy Tedesco (The Wrecking Crew). While developing his freelance guitar-work by day, JCQ composed a volume of original music and sought out old Boston schoolmates to help bring the music to life via gigs throughout Los Angeles. An opportunity to open for longtime hero, Gato Barbieri convinced him to keep writing and start making records...
Dreams come true...Achieving his goal of producing music blending contemporary jazz with music styles from Colombia, JCQ quickly became a staple of NAC, World, Jazz and Smooth Jazz radio with tracks from his first two albums, a self-titled effort in 1990 (featuring Tommy Tedesco) and Through The Winds in 1992 on Nova Records. Critically acclaimed records followed in 1997 with The Way Home on Escapade records segueing to releases on Moondo Records, a label he founded in early 2000 and distributed by Robert Fripp’s label, DGM. A decade of music ensued with notable releases, Medellín, Los Musicos, Los Primos, Las Cumbias...Las Guitarras, Joy To The World, and Guitarras De Pasión compilation series featuring music by JCQ (Vol. 1 Charted #1 on iTunes/World Music for 7 months). Amongst many highlights in JC’s recording career, a standout remains when featured on Jazz on the Latin Side Volume 1 (2000) and Volume 2(2001), all-star live recordings at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Los Angeles (Ubiquity/Cubop Records) alongside Alex Acuna, Poncho Sanchez, Justo Almario, Otmaro Ruiz, Francisco Aguabella and Luis Conte, to name a few. Joining forces with top tier music collaborators and label partners has bolstered JCQ’s profile as a world-class guitarist/recording artist able to produce, perform and record a world of music while nurturing a signature sound.
When his hands aren’t on the guitar, JCQ’s career in music expands to session work, teaching, producing, custom music, music licensing, publishing, and consulting. Career highlights includes teaching music business, composition and jazz studies at Colleges throughout Los Angeles (College of the Canyons, California State University), launching Moondo Records Inc. into a formidable world/jazz record label (distributed by Ryko, WEA, Eone Ent.), securing a publishing deal with BMG Rights Management to administer his Publishing, and establishing Café Moondo, a Production Music-label partnership with Warner Chappell to produce music of multiple genres for TV and Film licensing. A recent chrysalis was when JCQ transitioned to TV production as Music Supervisor and Executive in Charge of Music for Haim Saban’s entertainment company, Saban Brands LLC, producing music and championing music rights for all of Saban's TV properties (The Power Rangers, Paul Frank Industries, Julius Jr., Digimon, Glitter Force, etc.). The unique role culminated in opportunities to produce acclaimed recording artists such as Sheryl Crow and Blush for pop songs featured on the Julius Jr. Show/Netflix and Glitter Force/Netflix respectively.
Successfully fulfilling diverse music paradigms throughout multiple decades has been the pillar for JCQ's expansive career. Recognized as a seasoned all-purpose music specialist, JCQ remains in the forefront while creating, producing and exploring new ventures...
Looking ahead..."One of the greatest things about creating music today is the ability to record without limitations while nurturing an artistic voice! Often through collaboration, the results can easily surpass one’s vision and for me, that’s the gift! To follow the creative steps with a distribution strategy one can control independently is equally remarkable. The collaborators, whether in business or creative, are essential as new ways to circulate works are developed internationally. I’m excited about the chapters ahead, let the music binging begin!”
- Jonathan Widman