A Renaissance Man
My life is full of what seems to be contradictions, yet for me these are two sides of a coin. As a child growing up in Indiana, the son of immigrant parents, I often felt I didn\'t fit into the majority culture that I was immersed in. Indiana, which is largely farm country, in the 1960s and 1970s resembled rural culture in other parts of the country somewhat like the hard working people of the south. Meanwhile, when we traveled to Spain and Puerto Rico, I also often felt like an outsider. The music which most attracted me during this time in Indiana was bluegrass and classic country music. I learned to play at summer music festivals, especially Bill Monroe\'s Bean Blossom Festival. At home, the music of my parents generation, Flamenco music from Spain and Puerto Rican Jibaro music, as well as boleros from Trio los Panchos and also those of Rafael Hernandez resonated with me just as deeply. All of this music expresses the dreams and desires of everyday working people, people connected to the land and working hard just to make it. I learned to navigate between cultures accompanied by my guitar, my Dobro or my Puerto Rican Cuatro.
The art that you see on this website and on my CD Manantial/Muchas Aguas (which is integrated masterfully in the CD design by Alan Cash) was created during the year I recorded this CD. I took a sabbatical to work on this music and to study art. Since childhood I have been fascinated with paintings, like those which I first saw as a child in Spain at the musuem El Prado that my father took me to. My mother studied and later taught fine art and is a wonderful ceramist. My parents immersed us in art and music and my wife and I are doing the same for our sons Samuel and Elvis.
You can view and purchase my artwork on this website as well, and please don\'t forget to write to me and let me know what you think of my work or to ask questions.
My Musical Instruments
As a teenager I went away to study with master luthier Charles Fox and always intended to make it guitar building my profession, along with music. However I got side tracked by another love, working with children and became a school teacher. I am currently a teacher in San Franciscowhere I have been teaching for 20 years. I teach biology (please check out my classroom projects). When my wife and I bought a home in San Leandro, about six years ago, I began seriously studying building musical instruments. I also studied with Luthiers Kenny Hill and Francisco Hernandez of the Hill Guitar Company. I build the instruments that I like to play; Flamenco and Classical Guitars, Cuatros, Requitos and Resonator Guitars which you can also view by pressing this link. I will be offering limited editions of the instruments I play for sale on-line.