John Maestas

All About Jazz user John Maestas

United States

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Guitarist from Albuquerque, NM who is gaining a lot of attention for his attention to the music

Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, John Maestas started studying the guitar at age 13 when his grandfather gave him an acoustic guitar. He studied with great teachers and mentors in Albuquerque at Manzano High School: David Ostrovitz, Michael Anthony (L.A. studio guitarist known for playing on the Flintstone's theme song and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” ), and Daniel Ward. At first, his musical musings led him down the path of Rock and Metal which were only natural for a guitarist. After hearing Michael Anthony's trio call up songs on the spot without rehearsing them prior to the performance, he immediately decided that spontaneous energy was something that needed to be a part of his life. He attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts on scholarship where he studied Brazilian music with Paulinho Garcia, and Jazz studies with John Moulder and Henry Johnson. He continued on to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music on scholarship with guitarist David Gilmore.

In Albuquerque John has made a name for himself as a promising young artist with passion and sensitivity to music. His varied experience with many diverse groups around the state illustrate his desire to play in as many groups and styles as possible. He graduated from Manzano High School in 2008, and joined the guitar faculty in 2010 as an adjunct guitar instructor alongside NM greats David Ostrovitz, Brian Moore, Daniel Ward, Michael Anthony and Michael Bryant.

John has had the opportunity to share the stage with such notable artists as Doug Lawrence (Count Basie Orchestra), Bernard Purdie (James Brown), John Cowherd (Brian Blade Fellowship), Claudia Acuña, Jorge Rossy (Brad Mehldau Trio), Michael Anthony, Jose ”Chuscales” Valle, Vicente Griego, Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group), among many others. He has presented his own music in many prestigious venues including the 2011 New Mexico Jazz Festival, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago and the historic Jamboree club in Barcelona, Spain.

He is a humble artist with burning passion and hunger to develop as a musician and human being. He is on faculty at the Interplay School of Music and Art in Rio Rancho, and performs regularly throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as nationally. His latest recording, “Humoso” ( released on Najulda Records), has been lauded by peers and critics as a strong and promising debut of an artist ready to “carry the torch” of improvised music into the future with soul and creativity.

He is involved in many projects around New Mexico, including being a part of Jackie Zamora's Brazilian Sextet, Baracutanga, Sugar On Top (local funk/r&b band), Of The Essence (neo soul/r&b), and Asher Barreras' So(ul)nido among working with various Jazz and Acoustic groups.

More than anything, he considers himself to be a versatile musician who is just as intrigued by funk as folk, jazz as pop, classical to rock and singer/songwriter genres. It is important for him to keep a broad musical palette because his own influences range too far and wide to be locked down in the “jazz” tradition.

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