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Juan Carlos Quintero re-issues "Cominando"

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    Posted: 19 Mar 2021 at 8:56pm
Blending Contemporary Jazz with Colombian Rhythms
Available March 19, 2021 on MOONDO MUSIC LLC

Guitarist JUAN CARLOS QUINTERO is re-releasing his critically acclaimed album, The Way Home (1997) on his world music label, Moondo Music LLC. Out of print for over two decades, the re-titled album, CAMINANDO, features Quintero’s signature melodic guitar stylings, blending contemporary jazz with native Colombian rhythms.
Quintero was born in Medellin, Colombia, but came to the United States when he was just a baby. When he was eight years old, his father, a physician in the U.S. Army, brought the family to Brussels, Belgium, where he was assigned to run a NATO clinic. Quintero spent five years in Belgium. His father wanted young Juan to fully experience a different culture, so they lived off base and became part of the local community.
The Quintero family returned to the States after five years and settled in Freehold, New Jersey. Quintero started playing guitar when he was eight years old, and after high school, he continued his music education at Berklee College of Music and at Boston’s New England Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Gibbs, Gary Burton, and legendary jazz composer George Russell, one of the first jazz musicians to define The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, a theory of harmony based on jazz rather than on European music.
While at Berklee, Quintero met the famed studio guitarist and member of the Wrecking Crew, Tommy Tedesco, who would become Quintero’s mentor and an important figure in his professional career. Quintero took Tedesco, (who was on campus to conduct workshops) on a tour of the school, and the two became friends. After Tedesco’s visit, Quintero sent him a demo tape, and Tedesco gave him his phone number and told him to call if he ever made it to Los Angeles.
Quintero did decide to move to LA in 1986, and Tedesco introduced Quintero to the Southern California studio music community. It was an incredible amount of exposure for a newcomer on the jazz scene, and Quintero quickly landed his first record contract on the strength of his compositions and unique playing style.
Quintero established his reputation with his first two albums, a self-titled recording in 1990, featuring Tedesco, and Through the Winds in 1992. Tedesco wrote about his recording session for Quintero’s album in his popular column in Guitar Player Magazine, introducing him to a national audience of guitar-playing enthusiasts, and Quintero was soon a staple on NAC, World, Jazz and Smooth Jazz radio stations.
Over a dozen critically acclaimed records followed. Joining forces with top tier music collaborators and label partners has bolstered Quintero’s profile as a world-class guitarist/recording artist able to produce, perform and record a world of music while nurturing a signature sound. Among his many career highlights, Quintero is particularly proud of being featured on Jazz on the Latin Side Volume 1 (2000) and Volume 2 (2001), all-star live recordings that also featured Alex Acuna, Poncho Sanchez, Justo Almario, Otmaro Ruiz, Francisco Aguabella and Luis Conte, to name a few.
 JazzTimes has said, "Quintero's acoustic and classical guitars sparkle...By virtue of imagination as well as style, Quintero clearly out-classes many of his modern Latin guitar-strumming contemporaries." Inspired by masters like Quincy Jones, Gato Barbieri, Cal Tjader, Miles, Tito Puente, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Carlos Santana, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri, and Gary Burton, Quintero’s music reflects the colorful sounds and diverse rhythms of the vast Andean Valley’s culture, art, flowers, and people.
CAMINANDO will be released on his World Music label, MOONDO MUSIC LLC and distributed by A-Train Entertainment. Quintero began the label, originally called MOONDO RECORDS, in 2000 as a distribution and licensing platform for World Music artists. With its A-list recording artists with distinguished voices, the label was supported by major retailers across the country. By 2010, however, the digital revolution had changed the way physical records were distributed, and Quintero pivoted towards a new role as a Music Supervisor for TV. Over the years, he never lost his passion to record new music and collaborate with creative artists. In 2019, he formed a distribution partnership with A-Train Records and re-named his label Moondo Music LLC to reflect the new digital distribution models with the goal of re-issuing music from his catalog as well as collaborating on new projects with top world music artists. 2021 releases include new albums by Gipsy King co-founder and Grammy winner, Diego Baliardo and Grammy nominated Brazilian jazz guitarist, Ricardo Silveira.
Quintero’s guitar playing is melodic. Like a great vocalist, his music is emotive and narrative, spinning stories through his warm guitar sound. Although his music is rooted in Colombian rhythms, the songs on CAMINANDO are influenced by straight-ahead jazz, pop, Latin, Caribbean music, and more. It is truly World Music in the very best sense. Even the musicians on the album reflect the music’s international flavor, as Quintero is the only musician actually from Colombia. CAMINANDO features percussionists MUNYUNGO JACKSON, WALTER RODRIGUEZ, TIKI PASILLAS, ANGEL FIGUEROA, and RON POWELL. There are two bass players, EDDIE RESTO and ALEC MILSTEINJOE ROTONDI plays piano. Each musician has an extensive list of credits with some of the top Latin, jazz, and pop acts in the world (Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Sheila E., Jeff Lorber, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Marc Anthony). Quintero credits his long time Colombian collaborators, co-producer GUILLERMO GUZMÁN, and artist GUILLOUME (whose paintings always grace Quintero’s album covers), with helping to ground the music in his native roots.
The music on CAMINANDO covers a wide range of rhythms and styles. Songs like “El Baile” and “El Peublo” are based on the cumbia, a folk style that originated in Colombia. “Caminando,” the title tune, is Quintero’s take on the cha-cha-chá. “Hermanos” combines Latin rhythms with an Americana feel. “The Way Home” is a romantic ballad that is loosely based on the bolero. Quintero describes “Spring,” which he wrote for his niece, as “a nursery rhyme run amok.” “Caribbean Sun Dance,” as the name implies, is based on Caribbean rhythms. “Little Indians” is Latin jazz tune. “Porque Si!” has its roots in Cuban descargas.
CAMINANDO was mostly recorded live in the studio on 2” tape at the famed Hollywood studio, Schnee Studios, capturing an authentic analog sound for any discerning hi fidelity enthusiast. It is a snapshot in time when the boundaries between straight-ahead jazz and Latin and World music were less clearly defined. As Jazziz Magazine says, "Few Latino musicians so effectively bridge the gap between their ethnic roots, inspiration and easy-going pop flavors. By tracing his heritage back to Colombia, Quintero has forged ahead with personality and style."
CAMINANDO will be available on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes and all digital platforms on March 19, 2021.
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