Jorge Garcia
 
 

Guitarist Jorge Garcia brings all the richness and melodic soul of Latin rhythms from his birthplace of Cuba.

Garcia's intense passion for his instrument is immediately visible and colorfully audible through his unique original compositions, impeccable solos and supportive, rhythmic guitar. Jorge Garcia has performed across the globe with the renowned and impressive talents of Tony Bennett, Richie Cole, Patti Page, Andrea Bocelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joel Grey, Enrique Iglesias, Trini Lopez, The Drifters, and Bobby Riddell.

Garcia has recorded with his band, Athenas, as well as Carlos Oliva, Pete Minger, Richie Cole, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Dave Muse, and actor Andy Garcia to name a few. Jorge was featured on Federico Britos’ recording “Voyage” with Eddie Gomez, Michel Camilo, Ignacio Berroa, Giovanni Hidalgo, Kenny Barron. The talented guitarist was also recently included on the notable recording “The Hot Club of The Americas” with Cecile McLorent Salvant and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

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The inspiration for Crossover began in Cuba where I was born. At night the soundwaves would travel across the ocean from Miami enabling us to pick up American music. We listened to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Yes, Proco Harum and so many more. It was the first taste I had of Classic Rock, and naturally, I was drawn to the sound of the guitar. We left Cuba and came to the US in 1968, we were poor but free. The school I attended in the sixth grade offered guitar classes. That was the beginning of my passion for the guitar.

The idea of arrangements of Classic Rock songs came while teaching guitar at a school and working with kids that enjoyed Classic Rock. I wanted to introduce them to Jazz and combining rock tunes was the perfect bridge. I began with Blackbird (Beatles). I wanted to orchestrate the song while keeping the original melody and that's what I did. The arrangement helped them to meld the two genres together.

• Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) has a funky 7/4 feel, but doesn't lose site of the melody and the riff, I wanted it to flow naturally.

• Blackbird (Beatles) I wanted to orchestrate the song while keeping the original melody and that's what I did. The arrangement helped to meld two genres – Jazz and Classic Rock – together.

•  Living in the Past (Jethro Tull). The original with a 5/4 time was kept but the drum feel was very open and free. Reharmonization took place in the latter part of the melody and solos.

•  From the Beginning (ELP) is also one of those songs I grew up listening to. The melody and harmony always moved me. Starting with a familiar bass line and chords, the melody and a funky rhythmic groove brightens it up. A samba feel for the piano and guitar solo paves the way for the half time feel on the bass solo.

•  Black Dog (Led Zeppelin) was a difficult challenge. Just to write it out was interesting, especially in a 6/8 Afro-Cuban rhythm. Intertwined with the actual rock feel that Baunam used I was able to capture the original intent while adding an interesting harmonic structure leading into a drum solo. I brought in Grammy Award nominee, Ignacio Berroa, to play drums on the recording.

•  Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues) grabbed me from the beginning as my ballad. A tune I always loved, I wanted to use more a classical approach with a bit of reharmonization. Introducing the solo in a 12/8 swing feel while maintaining the original feel of the tune in the melody, I love how it came out.

•  Roundabout (Yes) the group Yes was more of a fusion sounding group so the harmony structure for the most part stayed the same only a few reharmonizations took place with a straight-ahead swing feel on the guitar solo.

•  Crossover (Garcia) is an original composition that I wrote a few years ago. It really fit nicely onto this project and inspired the name of the CD.

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Abel Pabon (Piano) Native of Puerto Rico and now living in Miami. Abel studied piano, arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Abel has been performing with R&B singer Joss Stone, Betty Wright, Luis Enrique, Donato Poveda, Roberto Perera, and Nestor Torres.

Nicky Orta (Bass) Nicky Orta electric bassist from the South Florida area. His solid playing and musical versatility has landed him world tours, gigs, and recording sessions with renowned artists such as Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Engelbert Humperdinck, Cristian Castro, Arturo Sandoval, and Sammy Figueroa, with whom Nicky received a Grammy nomination.

Rey Monroig (Drums) is one of the most sought-after drummers in South Florida. He has toured and recorded with national and international artists such as Jose Feliciano, Dave Liebman, Dave Valentin, Nestor Torres, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Ignacio Berroa (Drums, track 5) Hails from Havana, Cuba joined Dizzy Gillespie’s quartet in 1981. Ignacio Berroa has been recognized by many as one of the greatest drummers of our times. His first album as a leader, “Codes”, released under Blue Note Records, was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Ignacio has recorded and played with musicians of the stature of McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Michael Brecker, Milt Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente, Mario Bauzá, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins.