Take Five With Snow Owl

Juan Garcia-Herreros By

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Meet Snow Owl:

Juan Garcia-Herreros, also known by his stage name Snow Owl, is a world-renowned electric bassist. He has performed with world famous stars like Elton John, Al Jarreau, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Christina Aguilera with his electric six-string contrabass guitar. Garcia-Herreros has been honored with numerous prestigious awards. His work and virtuosity with the electric contrabass guitar has been received with the highest recognition from international bass and music publications.


Electric contrabass guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?

Greg Osby, Joe Santerre, Oscar Stagnaro, Bruce Gertz, Terri Lyne Carrington, Hector Martignon, and Roberto Quintero just to name a few.

My life is my biggest influence.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I heard my mother's heartbeat. I realized it needed a bass line.

Your sound and approach to music:

Music belongs to nobody, therefore no judgments or egos are allowed.

Your teaching approach:

In every seed there is the potential to become a tree. No growth without assistance.

Your dream band:

I just recorded with them on my new CD!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

I remember landing in Bulgaria and one of the guards at the gate recognized me and let me through without asking or looking at my passport. He saw the bass, smiled, and wished me a great concert. He must have been a bassist.

Favorite venue:

My basement. No sound check needed; bed and food are included; and the view from the garden is marvelous.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My new album, Normas. I achieved my goal as a composer, improviser, and bandleader. It was a lot of work emotionally and musically. No pressure, no diamonds.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959).

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?


Did you know...

I can speak German, Spanish, and English, which makes me trilingual.

CDs you are listening to now:

Yoko Kanno, Cowboy Bebop (Toha);

Nguyen Le, Bakida Trio (ACT Music);

Delpadre, Rubi (Rumba Afficionado).

Desert Island picks:

Way too hard to pick just five, so I would rather take my iPod with thousands of songs in one little box.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I wish that organizers, media, and the general public should give new artists a chance. It is unbelievable to me that Grammy nominations are given to the same names over and over for the past 60 years. There should be a limit to the amount of times an artist can win in the same category in their lifetime.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Musicians should take advantage of new media outlets and expand their audience. Real jazz needs only a listener because musicians do the rest. With that in mind, the musician should also help the listener know when and where they are performing.

What is in the near future?

Normas will be released in November of this year and Snow Owl will be on tour globally to support the release.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

To have a laughing attack onstage.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Summa," by Arvo Part.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

"Gangnam Style."

By Day:

Being a professional musician requires every hour and minute of the day.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Midfielder for FC Barcelona.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Snow Owl

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