I hope these words find you well. I’ve been a little disconnected from social media to regain my own perspective on things, it’s so easy to get lost in the sea of opinions and information.
Life just keeps rolling and as we adapt we find a new way of doing things and create a new habit. My biggest challenge the past couple of weeks hasn’t been the new but dealing with the old. As we transform we have to make the willingly choice to let go of old ways, old agreements, paradigms, rituals and so on. Some of them are so ingrained that even as new flowers start to sprout the weeds of the old overcast a shadow on the new.
It really takes focus and attention to pull out those weeds and clear out our soil. We can claim our power, we can be our fullest potential.
A big lesson is to have the vulnerability to accept love and support into our lives. Ultimately it’s through community that one can thrive. Quarantine has given us the opportunity to go within and support ourselves, now it’s time to show up for others and with others.
This event is in collaboration with our friends/colleagues of the Armory in Denver.
The Armory is a group of entrepreneurs/artists who are manifesting their vision into the world and I’m happy to join forces to offer our gifts and love for music. This is the beginning of a beautiful cooperative.
I hope you can join us live. It’s gonna be a blast!!!
With a full heart I sit down to write these words of gratitude.
The past 2 months have given me a big gift. I feel so humble to see the amount of love and support that I’m receiving from all of you. It has really touched my heart and I feel so lucky to have you all in my life.
It’s amazing to see the power of music and how it has given me the opportunity to be part of your lives and to connect to so many of you. The past months I felt the duty to be a warrior of light, to bring joy, love, music and stories. Thank you for allowing me to be that, to hold the space for me to share.
I appreciate all of your donations and financial support during this uncertain times, it has really made the difference and allowed me to continue creating and given me the strength to fulfill my purpose. I will continue to provide music, inspiration and to be an example of living life with pure intention.
I honor each one of you. Thank you for being part of my Journey and allowing me to be part of yours. May we all continue shining our light into this world, may we all be our best.
I hope this post finds you well. Seems to me like time is going so fast now, march seemed so slow but April is flying by and is kind of interesting to see myself adapting to this “new normal”.
I just wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to during this time. Personally it has given me the opportunity to get to know myself in a deeper way, I have consciously avoid choosing distractions (like tv, internet, etc..). Instead I’m allowing myself to sit with my emotions, whatever they are, boredom, anxiety, stress, depression, laziness. By doing this I have been learning ways to transform them and learn from them. So I’m grateful to have the time to do that.
I also want to share with you that for about 4 months now I have been practicing the Wim Hof method, it has gain a lot of popularity in recent times and for me it’s been a life changing experience. It consists of breath-work, cold showers and meditation. I invite you to check it out, it is a great tool during this times where there’s a lot of uncertainty and I believe taping in to our nature and our inner wisdom is the best remedy for uncertainty. It also helps boost the immune system and supports the regulation of the endocrine system.
Musically I have been busy doing projects that I had put aside in the past, with the excuse that I didn’t have time. One of the projects is creatinginstructional videos, I have always wanted to share my ways. I believe every individual has a unique way to everything and for me to offer my approach on the instrument it’s been very special. I have also been teaching online lessons and preparing workshops for specific subjects. If you are interested on learning the guitar don’t hesitatemessaging me.
The Monday night virtual concerts are still ongoing. Now I’m working on creating different experiences for each show. I’m planning to build a more interactive experience so you guys can feel more connected to the moment. This week theme is about song requests, I invited people to throw song names at me and I picked 10 of those requests. A few of them I had never play before and I’ve been working hard this week to compose the arrangements, as you know I have to create a unique composition to be able to play chords, melody and rhythm. So it’s been keeping me busy, I hope you can tune in on Monday 6pm (Mountain Time) on myFB page I will also experiment this week to have it posted on my website, I’m still learning all the tricks with this technology so bare with me.
I’ll be playing, Metallica’s Fade to Black, Malagueña Salerosa, La llorona, Heroes del Silencio -La Chispa Adecuada (Spaniard band) and also original songs from my first album that got requested.
I have also been collaborating with other musicians and creating music for some clients. The other day Jordi and I recorded a song with Malou, she is an extraordinary dancer who appears in the Recuerdo a Paco music video, we decided to jam via zoom and here is a sample of that:
Last Friday I had a radio interview for Carbondale’s KDNK sharing my quarantine experience and inspiration. Check it out here.
Stay tuned for the new single “Whispers from Eternity” release. We don’t have a release date yet but for sure it will be out in May. I feel so proud of this song, it was created very organically and it really carries a lot of honesty, passion and love.
Finally I wanted to thank all of you who had supported us by subscribing to our Youtube Channel. In order to be able to monetize the views in youtube the channel needs to have at least 1,000 subscribers. At the beginning of the week we had 614 and now we are at 944, so we are almost there. If you haven’t subscribe please do so here Youtube El Javi.
Wow!! It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks. I was performing in Mexico at a guitar Festival a few days ago, enjoying the beautiful weather, meeting new people, performing in front of awesome loving audiences, hugging everyone and jamming… All this while back home all my gigs started to get cancelled, postponed, people distancing themselves, businesses closing and with that all my income gone!!
Yet, this is the reality of being an artist. This isn’t new to us, in fact my life is almost a constant quarantine. Us artist are constantly figuring out a way to produce, create and also make a living, our world is in constant danger of collapsing. Weather changes cancels shows, lack of community support cancels shows, a promoter double booking, the super bowl playing on the same night, the list goes on and on.
However we are in touch with something that is more valuable that now everyone else is finally experiencing… Yourself!!
Who are you? What do you love? What would you do if you didn’t have all the responsibilities imposed by the system?
I feel so fortunate to have music, the guitar and the ability to share it with you all. To be a reminder of the nature we all carry, to be creative, to share and to love. I see the power of art in the midst of this pandemic. It is a refuge in the face of fear, it is a blanket during cold times, it is a link to the divine spirit we all have.
Now as things are upside down, myself and other musicians are still figuring out ways to share our music and also find ways to support ourselves and technology it’s been a game changer for this process. Every Monday at 6pm (MT) I will be performing live on FB . Last week I had the first “quarantine concert” and it was very special to see so many people interacting with me in real time and knowing I was providing some peace and comfort for a lot of you who need it. Thank you for allowing me to be that.
All these shows are free however if you wish to “tip” you can use Venmo (@eljavimusic) or Paypal (email@example.com)
Please if you know of people that need some music during this time share this or the live event as it’s happening.
8 years ago I was in a heavy transition in my life. Lots of life changes that included moving away from LA and the start of the move to Denver, CO. Sometimes in life we hold on to things, memories, people, pain, etc…
This song “The Last Goodbye” came to me during a moment in my life where the inevitability of change was right in front of me. It was a tune that accompanied me during those times yet it was stored away in the vault.
This past year I’ve been facing a new season of transitions and found myself experiencing those same emotions of letting go and moving forward. So the song resurfaced and came with new life and colors. We’ve been working on the production for a few months now and it has been such a beautiful process to hear these emotions take shape in the form of sound.
It seems like letting go is perceived as a painful thing. Although this is true I believe it is also a beautiful and positive thing. It brings a rebirth, new experiences, new perspectives, maturity and self growth. This song is a celebration of that, to move away from the pain and instead allow the light to shine from within. To realize that maybe this is the last time we have to say Goodbye and embrace a new life.
I’m so excited to share this song with you all. Right now we are in the mixing/mastering stages and the release is scheduled on Jan 24th. We of course added collaborations to bring the song to life. Denver local Pedal Steel master Tony Ortega and Sam Lafalce on Bass.
Part of the recording was done at The Spot studios in Evergreen, CO and in LA with sound engineer and friend Alex Bajos.
The Spot Studios
Making of the video
Making of the video, Javi and Jordi
As soon as the idea for a video came into the plate I had a clear image of telling the story with dance. I love merging different art disciplines, of course dance and music are meant for each other. Representing the push and pull of saying goodbye with body movement. My friend Guillermo Roqués is the film director and we had Grisha Nisnevich and Cynthia Giannini creating the dance for this piece.
The funding for the creation of the video has been fully fan funded. A very humble experience to ask for the support of our fans and friends. We have an ongoing GoFundMe campaign if you wish to contribute, only the video shoot has been done and the editing is still in the works so your contribution is still needed and greatly appreciated.
I am finally back home in Denver after spending a few days in LA recording guitars for 2 new songs, we are so excited to share them with you. We have been performing them live and now is time to give you guys a studio version.
The first single to be released is called The Last Goodbye. It’s a song that has been in the back burner for a while and in recent times we brought it back to life. The song has lots of emotion behind and as I keep playing it the more it reflects so much of what I have been going through.
We have 8 new songs under production and the intention is to create music videos for each song. It brings a new element to something like instrumental music. So we can tell a story.
We decided to ask for help with the cost of making the videos so we created a Go Fund Me campaign where you can donate any amount that you want to contribute towards the creation of the first video (if we get more then it can go towards the 2nd).
It would mean the world to us to have your help with this. The funds will go towards paying the crew for the video, dancers, filmmaker, editor, choreographer, location, etc…
All donations will get a copy of the new music and old too. Any donation over $500 can have a private performance by me and larger amounts we can do a bigger band.
Back in August 1st I woke up like any other day. Had my morning ritual and after having breakfast I sat down to start working. A few minutes later I received an email from Noah’s dad, Marc Benardout, asking me to call him urgently and before I could I received a call from him. As soon as I heard his voice I knew something was wrong, then I heard him say that Noah was killed by a drunk driver. My first reaction was a desperate.. no, no, no… My heart broke in disbelief, outraged and just in shock.
It took a few days of processing and integrating this alternate reality I felt in. Also in respect for his family I didn’t feel like sharing anything in public yet.
What I want to share with you about Noah is not his death but the life I was fortunate to have with him. When he passed I wrote him the following letter. I want to share this with all of you so you get to learn about him and the importance and impact he had in my life.
Thanks to him I became the musician I am now. A 17 year old friendship that started when he was 7.
Thank you for reading.
I still very vividly recall the day we met. I was sitting at my computer playing a video game when the phone ringed. I think at the time I still had a phone line so I had to get up to the phone to answer. It was 2002 if I remember right. I got the phone and it was your dad, Marc, he was wondering if I was still coming to your house because we scheduled a guitar lesson, I completely forgot, Shit!!
I told Marc – I’ll be there soon!!
I drove to your home and your parents answered the door. I was so nervous and ashamed for forgetting about the lesson but Marc and Marie always have a smile on their face and immediately made me feel at peace and welcomed.
They led me to a room where you were sitting, a 7 year old kid with a guitar on the lap. I sat next to you, in front of the tv, and I noticed there was a playstation. I made some conversation about games, if I remember right we talked about FIFA, I used to love playing that game.
The next question was the moment where everything changed for me. The answer to that question launched us into a relationship of self discovery through music.
I asked you – So… why do you want learn guitar? To which you replied- because I want to write my own songs!!
I was thrilled with the challenge and the opportunity to teach like this. You were the first beginner student who answers that. Most of them are pushed by their parents to do it because they got a guitar for Christmas, or some want to learn their favorite songs, others because they played guitar hero and felt they could actually play the guitar, but it’s so rare that someone wants to learn to write songs at 7 years of age.
And so our journey began , we started with single string melodies and simple rhythms and all of the sudden you would just start writing lyrics to those “exercises”, clever phrases and structures, a story, like your already have lived tons of years of experiences, like you’ve already loved and had your heart broken a couple of times.
It was crazy. So I started to reflect myself in you. The simplicity and honesty of those songs showed me the way for me to do the same.
At this point of my life I had already spent 10 years playing the guitar. I spent those years perfecting my technique, learning songs and having a couple of bands.
When I started playing I was a mix of the other type of students. I had to do an activity outside of school and playing songs sounded fun. But I never wrote a song during those years. I felt I couldn’t, so a year before we met I was depressed, I felt lost, I had no idea what was next for me after finishing MI (Musicians Institute)… No songs, no band.
So I started teaching.
You learn so much when you teach. And what I learned with you transformed my life, gave me hope, made me dream again, I saw it all possible. From that moment on I felt our lives were in a parallel experience.
I helped you write your songs from day 1, showed you chords, rhythms, all the tools you need to use the guitar. I saw you cry of pain on your fingers and pushed you to keep going. Always so sensitive and unafraid of showing your feelings.
It was such a beautiful experience to write those songs. I wonder if you remember I gave you your first songbook/journal for your bday. You filled it up quick.
We would see each other once a week but at some point we were meeting twice a week. I remember that season of double meetings because I designated the money I was making from teaching you as my fund to go study in Spain. I started having an interest for flamenco music and it would be the first time I would pay for my own education.
I left 3 or 4 months and it was also a life changing experience. I came back from Spain with so much inspiration to make my first album. I invited you to play the release of the album as an opener. I think by then you were 10. Already comfortable on stage. Sharing your songs.
Since I was recording my own music I also showed you how to record your own songs, a bit of mixing and editing. And you kept growing, right in front of my eyes. Your voice changed, you got taller and taller, we would have arguments during your teens, it was like relationship between brothers.
And you kept writing songs, like your life depended on it. Endless amount of music always pouring out of you. To tell you the truth I was a bit jealous, it hasn’t been so easy for me. But then again I don’t write lyrics. (I do like writing words though).
I was part of the making your first album, we even had Kenny Arnoff playing drums with us!!!
It was such an honor to be with you as your music grew. Then in 2012 I left L.A. to continue my path in life and our lives went in different ways.
You always made sure to call me or txt on my bdays, Christmas, New Years. We would share new music via chat and catch up on what we were doing. I have always been so proud of your endeavors, persistence and constant evolution.
Last time I saw you was February of this year, I had a little trip to LA to take Olivia to Disneyland and I took a day to meet with you. I missed you so it was a must do. We talked about music, the industry, songs, women, the world, our families, our dreams. Now you were a man, a 23 year old man. I think even taller than me. I had a dream to have a collaboration in the near future. I have been so excited to share each others success. You were so excited about your new project, getting ready to launch your new chapter.
And 5 days ago all those hopes and dreams were taken away by a drunk driver. In a matter of seconds it was all taken away. I still can’t believe it, my heart broke and I feel like my world is not the same. I lost my little brother, mentor, friend.
I have been so out of it since I got the call from your Dad. My life feels different. And I keep remembering things that I haven’t thought about in some time. All that you gave me has resurfaced and it’s giving me the inspiration and fuel. I feel the duty to carry on what you and I started that day when we met. You will forever be a part of me and my music. I will honor our relationship and what it created until I join you.
I know you are great wherever you are now, I know you are happy. Yes it’s hard to understand why things like this happen. It hurts, it’s inevitable.
You leave a big mark on everyone of us who were lucky to cross your path. And I thank you for sharing those years with me.
Now go fly in that distant planet in the universe. Im sure your soul will keep singing and creating. Until we meet again.
We are so excited to share with you that we are performing at Swallow Hill on March 30th 8pm (doors at 7pm). The show will take place at the Tuft Theater, the 100 seat theater in Swallow Hill on 71 East Yale Ave Denver, CO, 80210
It’s gonna be a full band show, with Jordi Marin on the Drums, Roger Harmon on Bass, special guest Sarah Mount on Sax and we are hoping to have another guest to perform with us.
We hope you can join us for this night, Jordi and I play out a lot as duo and we are always excited when we get to have more people on stage with us. It’s lots of fun and we get to do something different.
Tickets are on sale at: Tickets They are $14 pre sale and $16 the day of the show.
Please share with your friends and family. It’s an all ages event.
Hope to see you there
Sometimes life kicks you in the face to wake up, we didn’t know we were sleeping. Going through life in survival mode, making money, paying rent, eating out, watching tv, partying and the cycle starts all over again every single day. That was me for many years, I wasn’t living my truth or shining my light in a unique way.
So I stopped, I needed a radical change. It was just the beginning of a long journey ahead. I went through divorce, long distance parenting and an empty canvas in front of me, my life. It’s a scary place to be. To know you actually have control of your life. At the time I didn’t have the maturity or strength to handle it and made so many mistakes, it’s like riding a wild horse.
One day after having breakfast I sat in front of the computer and booked a flight from New York to Germany. My thought process is that I needed to prove myself I could do what I do wherever I go and that my music was good for people to like it.
I didn’t have any gigs booked or a plan. I gave up on everything at home in LA. I called the venues I played at and told them it was gonna be my last month, I also told my students that I couldn’t teach them anymore cause I didn’t know when or if I was coming back. Got rid of a bunch of stuff and the rest I put it in storage. And so it began. A Gypsy Journey!! A trilogy of EP’s that reflects the past 6/7 years of my life.
My way of liberating from my own limitations and fears. My way to have the courage to share with the world who I am.
Each song carries memories, stories and all the emotions that I went through. I will be sharing with you the story behind each of the songs, hopefully it will bring a new perspective when you hear them and you can step into my world. Stay tuned!!
Exactly 6 years ago I was in Mexico City. I had just spent 3 months traveling and my life was anything but stable. I had just gone through divorce, all my stuff was in storage and I had no place to call home.
I decided to have faith that my music would take me to the right place.
Needless to say I needed my family. So I went to Mexico, to regroup, to feel safe.
Obviously I had to work and perform so I booked a couple of shows, but I needed a band. I told my sister about my plans, I was looking for a drummer, she suggested a Catalan friend that lived with her boyfriend. I was open to it so I said yes, she talked to him and he was down to try too.
It was Halloween of 2012, there was a big celebration for a bday party (if I remember correctly). Lots of friends, my sister and a very very dark Javi, my life was just in a low. I knew I was gonna meet Jordi that night, haven’t seen or talked to him before, I didn’t even know how he looked!!
I was in the far corner of a long table, I looked up at the door and I saw this guy walking in with a girl on each side. Somehow I knew it was him, so I stood up, took off the mask I was wearing and asked – Are you Jordi? – He said, Javi??? and we hugged. Like we were old friends meeting again.
That night I knew he was my brother, he had my back since that day.
Later that week we got together to play for the first time. Jordi had studied all my music (which is not easy). He had pages and pages of drum parts. And so it all began. From then on we have been inseparable. We played a bunch in Mexico City and other states in Mexico with different formations and collaborations. But the 2 of us were the core of the band.
At some point we had to make some changes cause life as a musician in Mexico City is not very profitable. So we reduced to play as duo. Our first gig like that was opening for Diego el Cigala (if you don’t know who he is Google him he is the biggest voice in flamenco in the world). We were great!!! The audience loved us.
Then we spent 4 months in Cabo where we used as practice grounds for this new formation. We played so much and also party so much… Wild times. That’s when the Gypsy Journey began, a trilogy of EP’s that capture our experiences as traveling musicians. The minimalist Part I: Trip (2015) was created. The idea was to capture the way we play live as a duo, 4 songs, 2 instruments.
We then traveled to LA where we made a living busking and playing shows in the surrounding cities. Then finally we moved to Denver, a decision made so I could be with my daughter. We released the A Gypsy Journey Pt. II: El Refugio in the summer of 2017 with the help of local musicians and also friends in Mexico. This albums reflects collaborations to color our music.
Jordi has been my band partner, brother and best friend for the past 6 years and I’m so grateful to have him in my life. Thanks to him my music has evolved and keeps growing. Also having his unconditional support in all the ups and downs of life has been invaluable. Our relationship keeps transforming and we are there for each other during all of our transitions.
Currently we are working in our biggest project yet, finishing the Gypsy Journey Trilogy. Part III is the biggest challenge we are taking on ourselves. We are working hard to achieve our goals and to share who we are to all of you.