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...