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Juan Carlos Quintero's

inspired creative journey thrives with “los primos”, 

a new collection of melodies celebrating the family tree...

The music evolves with romance and grace lead by

the elegance and passion of JC's Spanish guitar. 

Critically acclaimed for memorable melodies and warm tones,

JC's signature sound inspires once again with the unique blend of 

classic Latin rhythms, jazz sensibilities, and rich traditional styles from Colombia.

Performances by...

Juan Carlos Quintero- Guitar, Stick, Hand Clapping
Eliseo Borrero-Bass
Guillermo Guzman -Bass, Bottle, Hand Clapping
Otmaro Ruíz-Piano
Aaron Serfaty-Drums,

Tambourine, Timbales, Caixa,Hand Clapping, Surdo,

Snare Drums, Guiro, Repenique
Ramon Yslas- Percussion, Conga, Maracas, Pandeiro,

Quinto, Soloist, Shekere, Campana
Neil Benitez-Percussion, Conga, Bells, Guache
Jimmy Mahlis- Guitar
Jorge Villareal -Accordion

music composed & arranged by JCQ • produced by JCQ

co-produced by Guillermo Guzmán

Jeff King / Mastering 

Dennis Moody / Recording & Mixing

painting by guilloume

album executive producer: jcq

alma libre


This piece sprung up in concert one night while improvising on another cha cha cha from our repertoire. I remember the melody fell out of the sky while the band grooved driving the music towards true moments of magic. I also remember panicking doubting I would recall the notes to write them down after the show. Fortunately, the themes stayed with me throughout the night and I was able to get it on paper. When I played the demo for my wife, she titled it “alma libre”. Everything happens for a reason…


Mi tierra


Having recorded several cumbias over the years, I thought it would be interesting to scale things down a bit by softening the orchestration of the arrangement. In this setting, the melody is supported by a couple of guitars, bass, and percussion to create a more intimate sound. I have fond memories of visiting mi tierra, Colombia and hearing cumbias performed by small groups creating beautiful sounds of romance and passion all in one. 


Jazz en español


The rhythm in this song is a Brazilian baiao. Initially, the song was composed as a bossa nova and later developed into a samba. By the time we went into the studio to record, Aaron pointed out that the only rhythm suited for the melody was a baiao. Of course, I already knew that! Wouldn’t everyone? The experience inspired me to assess my brand of music… It’s jazz en español.


Los primos


Ever since I can remember, the cousins were either visiting or expecting a visit from other cousins (that would be my sisters and I). The ongoing family news always centered around the cousins…the cousin in Florida…the cousin in California…the cousins in Bogota…cousins I’ve never met and cousins who aren’t really cousins. Although we all have names, we really don’t use them-Instead everyone is referred to as “primo” or “prima”. The truth is I’ve been blessed with so many primos…this cumbia is for all of them.


Musica para el mundo


The idea for this piece was based on the traditions of the Spanish 6/8 

rhythm…a style usually associated with flamenco music. Although this isn’t a flamenco arrangement, I utilized the rhythms to create a foundation to build upon blending jazz with Spanish traditions. The Spanish guitar has a distinguished quality capable of resonating effortlessly within the context of the music being played. Lately, I’ve enjoyed hearing the instrument played by great players in a variety of styles from all over the globe. Regardless of the style of music, the sound of nylon strings is instantly recognizable…it’s music for the world.




I composed this music with great players in mind…guitarists I consider mentors who paved the way for the rest of us trying to figure out this amazing instrument. Since the groove is a mix of samba and bossa nova, the title was a sure thing. The inspiration: George Benson, Earl Klugh, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Gene Bertoncini, and .




In the spirit of keeping it simple and spontaneous, I recorded the band without any preparation or rehearsal for this music. The idea was to let the music happen without music notation and little direction from myself. The musicians were given a few chords, a melodic theme, and a count off leading the group into the song. What followed was a free spirited performance by the musicians playing the music as it unfolded. I titled this one “juntos” since it’s the only way to be if your goal is to become one.


El ultimo baile


The guajira is a great tradition originating from Cuba-a kind of slow cha cha cha with extra romance. The aim here was to broaden the tradition by writing an instrumental arrangement with creative harmony underneath a seductive melody. Hopefully, it’s working and there’s now a warm grin on your face. 


Feria de las flores


Each year, Colombia celebrates the month of Antiochian independence by hosting the Fair of Flowers featuring the parade of Silleteros…a tradition of over 40 years where men and women march through the streets of Medellín carrying (on their shoulders) elaborate arrangements of bright flowers competing for the distinction of the most beautiful silletero. This cumbia was inspired by the tradition of the fair along with a print (which looms over our living room) of a silletero who always seems to be bringing home the flowers.


El bumbaquero


This piece is derived from a form of song and dance in 6/8 and 3/4 meter from the Colombian Andes. The bambuco-often considered the national music of Colombia, reveals the blend of African and Spanish influence often found throughout South America. Originally arranged as a classical/jazz waltz, it naturally evolved towards the bambuco rhythm by the time the musicians gave it its life. Thanks to Neil and Guillermo (fellow Colombians) for hearing it and playing it…I guess they know a bambuquero when they see one. 

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