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Drummer, Composer, Arranger Fernando García

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“Like a master rhythmatist, juggles all the intricate polyrhythms, odd meters, and quick tempo shifts with assuredness and authority. The Puerto Rico native and New York City resident is fast emerging as a talent deserving of wider recognition for his remarkable adeptness on the kit and his considerable skills as a composer-arranger. On Guasábara Puerto Rico, García organically blends folkloric bomba rhythms and jazz in myriad satisfying ways. Backed by his core group of Kus, Vicéns, Chakarji, Pablo, and bassist Dan Martínez, the drummer and his simpatico crew of youngbloods push the envelope on García’s third album as a leader and debut for ZOHO Music.” – Bill Milkowski.
“Puerto Rican drummer Fernando García is part of a young vanguard of musicians celebrating the island’s folk traditions by studying it faithfully, reproducing it, then combining it with jazz in a sound that sounds familiar yet so very new.” Felix Contreras, Alt. Latino – NPR
Born in San Juan and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Fernando García studied guitar at the extension program of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and drumset at Micheo Music Academy (Santurce) while later receiving a bachelor’s degree in Música Popular from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico (Graduating in May 2011). Furthermore, he was awarded the Juan Luis Guerra Scholarship to complete a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance at Berklee College of Music, Valencia, Spain (Graduating in July 2013). In May 2018, García completed a second master’s in Music Education at the prestigious Teachers College Columbia University.
Guasabara Puerto Rico Preview
Garcia became a New York City drummer, percussionist, composer, and educator. He has worked equally as a band leader and a sideman. Some of the musicians García has toured and recorded with include Abraham Laboriel, Perico Sambeat, Ricardo Pons, Héctor Matos, Pepe Rivero, Alain Pérez, Guillermo Klein, Julio Montalvo, Victor Mendoza, John Benitez, Ximo Tébar, Nathaniel Townsley, Jim Ridl, Boris Koslov, and Miguel Zenón among others. As a bandleader, García has produced three studio recordings: “Desde Arriba” (Fernando García Music, 2012), “Subidor” (Montalvo Records, 2013), and “Guásabara Puerto Rico” (ZOHO Music, 2018).
“Como un maestro rítmico, hace malabarismos con todos los polirritmos intrincados, compases impares y cambios rápidos de tempo con seguridad y autoridad. El nativo de Puerto Rico y residente de la ciudad de Nueva York está emergiendo rápidamente como un talento que merece un reconocimiento más amplio por su notable habilidad con el kit y sus considerables habilidades como compositor y arreglista. En Guasábara Puerto Rico, García combina orgánicamente ritmos folclóricos de bomba y jazz de innumerables maneras satisfactorias. Respaldado por su grupo principal de Kus, Vicéns, Chakarji, Pablo y el bajista Dan Martínez, el baterista y su simpático equipo de youngbloods van más allá en el tercer álbum de García como líder y debut para ZOHO Music”. – Bill Milkowski.
“El baterista puertorriqueño Fernando García es parte de una joven vanguardia de músicos que celebran las tradiciones populares de la isla estudiándolas fielmente, reproduciéndolas y luego combinándolas con el jazz en un sonido que suena familiar pero muy nuevo”. – Félix Contreras, Alt. Latino – NPR
Nacido en San Juan y criado en Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, FERNANDO GARCÍA estudió guitarra en el programa de extensión del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico y batería en la Academia de Música Micheo (Santurce) para luego recibir una licenciatura en Música Popular de la Inter- Universidad Americana de Puerto Rico (Graduándose en mayo de 2011). Además, recibió la Beca Juan Luis Guerra para realizar una maestría en Interpretación Contemporánea en Berklee College of Music, Valencia, España (Graduándose en julio de 2013). En mayo de 2018, García completó una segunda maestría en Educación Musical en el prestigioso Teachers College de la Universidad de Columbia.
García se convirtió en baterista, percusionista, compositor y educador en la ciudad de Nueva York. Ha trabajado tanto como líder de banda como acompañante. Algunos de los músicos con los que García ha realizado giras y grabado incluyen a Abraham Laboriel, Perico Sambeat, Ricardo Pons, Héctor Matos, Pepe Rivero, Alain Pérez, Guillermo Klein, Julio Montalvo, Victor Mendoza, John Benitez, Ximo Tébar, Nathaniel Townsley, Jim Ridl, Boris Koslov y Miguel Zenón entre otros. Como líder de banda, García ha producido tres grabaciones de estudio: “Desde Arriba” (Fernando García Music, 2012), “Subidor” (Montalvo Records, 2013) y “Guásabara Puerto Rico” (ZOHO Music 2018).​
In 2023, Garcia launched his latest album, “Behique” (Sunnyside). The reviewer, Raul da Gama, writes, “The entire range of songs on this album is organized and characterized by precision in its arrangement. The complex and mysterious rhythms of Puerto Rico’s traditional music are expertly handled by Mr. Garcia, whose nuanced percussion techniques highlight the energy and creativity of the compositions. The track “Nuevas Vibras” is undoubtedly the standout piece on the album.” Read the full review HERE.

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Article Update: 2024
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

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