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
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.