Magazine article International Musician

Garcia: Jazz Playing Chicagoan of the Year

Magazine article International Musician

Garcia: Jazz Playing Chicagoan of the Year

Article excerpt

Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Paulinho Garcia of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) admits that one of his flaws as a performer has always been his unwillingness to practice. That was, until one day, when he was hired to perform in a noisy venue, packed full of tourists who didn't pay much attention to the native Brazilian artist hired as entertainment.

"That became one of my favorite places to play," says Garcia, "Nobody noticed that I was playing a song sometimes for more than 20 minutes. It was my paid practicing place, and it also made me immune to audience noise."

Although Garcia has been a passionate musician for more than 50 years, it wasn't until the early '90s that guitar became Garcia's main instrument. As a teenager, he began on the drums, and casually picked up bass when an amateur band needed a bass player at the last minute. Bass remained his main instrument for many years as he developed his career in Brazil. Completely self-taught, he worked as a jingle composer, arranger, and played with various bands for radio and television.

Garcia immigrated to the US in 1979 when a friend needed a bass player tor his band, Made in Brazil. Leaving his homeland, Garcia settled into Chicago's vastly different music scene. He soon purchased music theory books, eager to better train himself, but he was surprised by what he discovered. "I found out that I was already doing most of the things that were written," he says.

Garcia performed with Made in Brazil until 1991, when he started his own band, Jazzmineiro. Today he records and performs as a solo musician at theaters, jazz festivals, and clubs all over the world.

He says his musical performances and the appreciation he gets from the audiences is one thing that hasn't changed much since his arrival in the US. "I don't see much difference [performing in the US]," Garcia says. "You create your audience no matter where you are, and they are wonderful. …

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