“...The Man of Flesh and Bone, a ballad sumptuously colored by Joaquin's gorgeous, expressive keyboard touch. ”
My story begins as most stories do; with curiosity. My father was a professional drummer in Chicago for over a decade and one day when I was 3 years old, I found myself curiously listening to him practice as he was preparing for his next performance. I imitated his movements and not long after, he was giving me lessons to begin to mold my energy for music. I began playing drums professionally when I was 7 and had won some regional Chicago percussion competitions by age 9. Despite my success on drums/percussion, it was at this point that my family twisted my arm to learn "a more important instrument" i.e. the piano. The idea was that if I was to consider a career in music as they saw it, they wanted to me to be as musically independent as possible and thus began my change of musical direction. Today I thank them, it was the right the decision for me.
I began formal study of the piano at age 9 and trained as a classical pianist for the next 9 years. I would go on to win a couple piano competitions in 2005 on the city and state level for renditions of Chopin and Lecuona repertoire. In 2007, I received a full tuition scholarship to attend Columbia College Chicago as a dual major in composition and performance in classical piano performance. It was the first week in the semester that I first heard a Jazz pianist practicing and I could not resist the urge to figure it out. I went to my director to request a field of study change and to my surprise was not only allowed but kept my financial awards as well granted I improved and focused beyond a satisfactory level. I continued my study in the Jazz arts that would bring me to my study of Afro-Cuban music a year later as a supplement. I began performing professionally my junior year in Chicago and graduated with honors in 2011. After a year off of academia to acquire more experience and grit, I applied and was accepted with full scholarship to Northwestern University for my Masters in Jazz Studies. I graduated with honors in 2014 and expanded my professional working base to include New York City and Miami metropolitan areas.
I am now an national and international touring musician with projects in China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Mexico. I continue to stay active nationally with festivals around the U.S. in 2014 and beyond with various performers. I am a masterclass lecturer, recording artist, instructor, music director, and professional pianist in various music scenes with my own debut Jazz album expected to be released in the Fall of 2018. I recently became a part of the US band for 6x Grammy Winner Gilberto Santa Rosa as keyboardist. Stay tuned for more and listen...