Yesterday we had an incredible gig in San Miguel de Allende!!! The location was at the main building of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Institute of Fine Arts). It is a historic building that use to function as a convent.

We had a great turnout, a couple hundred people showed up and they all loved it. It was magical to hear our music reverberate through the whole building, surrounding all.

Now is time to go back to Mexico City to start rehearsals with the band and prepare the show in july.

It is almost time to go down to México. Time to hit the road, way overdue…

The first show we are playing is in the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende. It is the city where the Mexican independence from Spain was declared. Now a center of culture and art.

We are ready to share our music there. A few more dates in San Miguel are on the works. Part of the Tour.

I just wanted to share an article that was published about El Javi.  And here is a link to read it in English .

There are still two more shows in Colorado before leaving. Friday June 3rd at the Muddy Buck in Evergreen (6:30pm) and Saturday June 4th at the Morrison Holiday Bar in Morrison (8pm).

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So the summer is here!! (northern hemisphere).  Getting ready to play my summer’s first festival at The Big Wonderful in Littleton, CO.

I think this is the first year in this location, usually they have a spot in Downtown Denver but this year they are doing a “Tour” in different cities.

Check it out here

Im performing on Saturday May 28th at 3pm. Two other bands will be sharing the stage with me: Wake up and Live and Zen Mustache. Click here

Seems like the weather is going to cooperate so it should be a fun day.

Happy Memorial Weekend.

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I was going through my pictures and I found a 5 year old one. At first I had the usual thought of how quick time passes by but then I was just enchanted with memories of that time.

It was a time of self realization as an artist. I was discovering new ways to make songs and I wanted to use elements of the music that has influenced me.

I had 5 songs that I composed using the guitar, a drum machine and an electric bass. Spent hours in solitude experimenting, probably each song had dozens of versions. Then I pushed my comfort zone to finish this project.  In my search for a gig I stumble on an opening spot for Eric Gales (Awesome Blues Guitarist) at the Key Club in the Sunset Strip. Awesome venue!! I booked it not having a band and unfinished songs.

My next step was finding musicians to do this.

I called my friend Mike first, he played percussions for me before during the Gypsy Muse times. He couldnt do it but recommended Alastair Wilson, a local drummer. I called Alastair and explained to him the situation. We had like 5 weeks to finish 7 songs and play a gig. He was up for it.

It was great, we rehearsed a ton and with the help of having him to work with, the songs really matured.  We had the setlist ready but no bass player yet. I was ready to take on the gig as a duo but Alastair had other projects with local bands and he mentioned this bass player he knew from one of them, Mario Gonzalez.

Mario came to jam one night and was up for the challenge, I think we had 3 weeks before the gig at that point. He rehearsed with us and I sat with him a few nights to help writing the bass parts.

I believe this picture was taken a night before the big show. We stopped by at an Open Mic and brought all our equipment. It was the “practice” gig.

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The next night at the Key Club was an incredible experience. We took the audience by surprise. A trio of flamenco progressive rock, out of the desert of California, where just a drip of water helps beautiful things to bloom.

I learned it just takes action in life if you want things to happen. And to enjoy the ride… it is definitely the best part.

This is a picture of the gig at the Key Club. Hollywood, CA.

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Listen to Self-Portrait of El Javi Trio.

MEXICO TOUR
 We are really excited about going to México!!! We are playing for the concert series “Música bajo los árboles” (Music under the trees) on June 11th in San Miguel de Allende and “The Blues Festival of San Miguel” on June 24-26. Also in CDMX (Mexico City) we are preparing a special show at the Acoustique Voila July 2nd. The incredible Ana Pruneda will be dancing with us, Abel Carrillo on the bass and Lucas Molfino on the keyboards.  Viva México.
We will be posting news about our experiences there.
In the mean time while still in Denver I´m performing at The Living Room (Denver, May 27th) and at the Muddy Buck (Evergreen, June 3rd) and at the Holiday Bar (Morrison, June 4th)
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Credit: Illustration by Rodrigo Albert

It all started with laziness… (well kind of). You know when you are a kid and you have to do things to keep you “occupied”? Well, I spent about 4 years playing football (yes, American football in Mexico). I hated every minute of it. On top of that, I was probably the worst teammate imaginable. So, when a move of house happened and I was left with nothing to do, I was asked by my parents to find a sport or something to get involved in. And as chance would have it, my new middle school offered guitar classes!!! Voila!!!!

So my hate for sports brought me to my love; the 6 string instrument that became my life.

Playing the guitar came naturally. By the 2nd class I was already playing some melodies that I knew from playing the recorder in elementary school. One by one the other students dropped out of class because it was too hard for them and it slowly became a private class with just the teacher and I. He saw I had it. He pushed me to do difficult things and I was up for the challenge. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Because I was the only student, the school ended up cancelling the program.

But the seed had been planted. So, with my parents support I got a teacher. He travelled far to get to my place. Extremely far!! Really!! He grew my passion and helped me obtain all the basics in my quest. And with that, I became a “metal head”. I submerged myself in conquering all of my favorite songs and albums; Metallica, Pantera, Zeppelin, Hendrix you name it. Then the virtuosos, Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen. Eventually, he said he couldn’t teach me anymore because my skill had surpassed his own. I was obsessed!

Next came the time for serious study. A new teacher, Jose Coggiola, introduced me to jazz and classical harmony, improvisation and theory. From there I enrolled to get my bachelors in contemporary music at Fermatta Music Academy. They provided me with many tools and my skill level grew immensely. But, it was mostly aimed in Jazz and my teenage metal headed-heart wasn’t having it. So with that, it was time for the next move; Los Angeles, CA. The Musicians Institute.

I was 19 years old (which is super young for a Mexican to leave home) and I had a goal; to find my voice and how to speak with this instrument.

So I get to legendary LA with its iconic symbol in my mind and in truth it wasn’t quite as glamorous. The heart of Hollywood was like a run down amusement park (back in 2000, now it’s crazy). Yet, the Musicians Institute changed my life. First of all, everyone played as good as or better than I did. There were Shredders everywhere and serious musicianship. Once again, I was up for the challenge.

And alongside the challenge is where it all changed. I couldn’t just play metal or jazz. I craved something unique, something different. I wanted… No. I needed to do my own thing.

Following my experience at MI I felt lost. I stopped playing. I was depressed. Th struggle lied in the recognition that I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know how to turn this deep seeded desire into a life. I had come so far, and learned so much and suddenly I was in limbo. I spent nearly 4 months without picking up the guitar. With that, I went back to Mexico for a few months. I sold my marshal half stack and my rockstar dreams seemed to be put on hold.

But not for long. I returned to LA to pursue my somewhat broken dream. And then one day, instead of spending the money I had from my amp on beer, I went to guitar center, walked to the acoustic room and there she was; this beautiful flamenco guitar, Cordoba. I picked her up and played for practically an hour. I still remember feeling the vibration of her sound in my chest. The price was within my budget, and although I would compare her to more expensive ones, she had the tone.

And so there I was, a new challenge, no more big amps, picks, pickups or pedals. Only a raw relationship between the guitar and I.

The album Friday Night in San Francisco (Paco de Lucia, John Mclaughlin and Al Di Meola) became my soundtrack. It was magical to hear what was possible with your fingers alone. And then best thing happened. After spending years playing the electric guitar trying to write music and failing, the acoustic guitar gave me a voice to express and flamenco language was my vehicle.

I spent hours with books and videos the old school way. Since, high speed internet was so expensive at the time and YouTube was in its infant stages. With money saved for the first time in my life I paid my own trip and education in Sevilla, Spain. An intense flamenco program. I became a gypsy. I was on the streets taking it all in, submerging into the flamenco culture. And Javier the metal head became El Javi, a gypsy.

I wanted to stay in Spain but it seemed ridiculous to compete against the real flamencos. I wasn’t one and in truth I didn’t want to be. So I started writing my own music. It was time to create. I had all my influences to back me up and this new language to express it all.

When I got back to LA I took my first solo gig; 3 hours of playing and it was a nightmare. But why not? Next, I recorded my first EP, Memoirs of Sevilla. I think it was mostly covers with some classical, flamenco and Mexican songs. I was so inspired that I started writing my own material; all fueled by my experience in Spain and life itself. So in 2006 Gypsy Muse was born and with it the quest to tell stories with my music.

Since then the real work began. The rockstar dream is harder than it seems. You have to think business, promotion, performing, composing, website design, interviews, and emails. You name it! No more sitting there dreaming of being on a big stage. You have to stand up and make it happen. Be unique, write good songs, have a strong stage presence, speak with eloquence and write a blog 😉

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