REVIEWS & YOUTUBES
EL MONSTRO PERCUSSION
"Christopher Garcia is a critically acclaimed as a composer, and virtuosic improviser on instruments not usually associated with just one musician including drumset, marimba, and instruments of north and south India and breath, string and percussion instruments of Mesoamerica, in every music combination possible - avant, classical, folkloric, indigenous, jazz, rock, and world, with a virtual who’s who of musicians with performances in 28 countries on 5 continents."
ATENCION SAN MIGUEL ALLENDE
THE DON PRESTON TRIO
“Garcia can embrace anything from fusion to indigenous music…..he does it sitting on the floor before his worldwide array of drums and percussion instruments(sounding like a full kit while floorbound!) he locates the common ground between bebop and Mayan ceremony….and transits abstract rhythms into a whisking groove, which like magic becomes a mystical drone…………..”
DEGRASSI/MANRING GARCIA AKA DEMANIA
" percussionist Garcia just kicked my ears down Broadway. He sat cross-legged, almost
hidden behind his unique drum kit, coaxing complex rhythms from hand drums and adding
subtle colors on shakers, cymbals, cowbell and jam blocks. During his "Curanderos y Brujos
Garcia's mbwata, a Nigerian clay drum broke apart. Talk about an explosive solo."
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
"Here's a super group trio for you. Alex de Grassi, helped create the contemporary genre
of acoustic fingerstyle guitar; Michael Manring is an unparalleled technical virtuoso on bass;
and percussionist Christopher Garcia has worked in a wide variety of world-music settings.
On Demania, the trio delivers masterful, confident improvisations that float in an environment
as energetic as it is luxurious and spacious."
ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE
“The music that acoustic guitarist Alex De Grassi, electric bassist Michael Manring and tabla player Christopher Garcia perform is often beyond categorization or even simple description. Like Oregon, they are open to a wide variety of idioms, making every sound count and utilizing space quite effectively. The blend between their instruments makes it sound as if they are of one mind, yet their melodic world/folk music is open to spontaneity. In addition to eight group originals (four by Garcia), they perform "The Water Is Wide" and a surprising version of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black." De Man Ia (given its name by taking two or three letters from each of the musicians' last names) is a set of intriguing music that grows in interest with each listen. There is much to discover.”
"within a trio format, they merge their non-traditional instrumentation with an unrivaled
degree of technical prowess and a diverse fusion of genres ranging from traditional folk, classical, jazz, and world music to produce a unique repertoire and sound all their own consisting of sensitive sonic textures, complex harmonic structures, lyrical melodies, intricate rhythmic figures, and odd meter grooves."
INSTITUTE OF BASS
"Last weekend I saw the group DeManIa, which is guitarist Alex DeGrassi, bassist Michael Manring, and percussionist Christopher Garcia. Chris is the drummer in the grandmothers
(Grande Mothers?). First off, he is *amazing*. As much as I find Manring inspirational as a
"fellow bassist" (where as he is a real bassist, and I merely *own* a bass), I love seeing great percussionists perform even more. Chris is a freak! His setup is played sitting on the floor with indian, middle eastern, and african hand percussion mixd with traditional cymbals and some misc stuff like thin gongs and a thunderstick. His time is immaculate, his musicality is deep deep deep, and he is a super nice guy. They had a little meet and greet after the gig and we got to chat a bit. "
"Like Fleck and Corea, you'll find a lot of doubling on rhythmically complex melodies
and plenty of solos for each. For anyone interested in World music styles this is a great
recording that is very well written and played."
FINGERSTYLE GUITAR MAGAZINE
"Then there’s Christopher Garcia, another first time hearing for me but certainly
not the last, cause I heard and saw the spirit of his connection to the earth, to the
soil from which we all come, and to the cosmos of which we are all a part. He reminded
me through the sound of instrument and voice, of who and what I am and that I need
to be reminded of that aspect of self again and again."
"The bass-percussion-pipa trio of Michael Manring,
Christopher Garcia and Jie Ma say they want to create
unprecedented music, and with the multicultural resources
at their disposal, coupled with their deep experience
(Spastic Ink, Grand Mothers of Invention ZAPPA alumni, etc.)
and their boundless imaginations, that's probably gonna happen."
"The trio does not “feature” anyone, but rather, features the trio
and the music. Each member has a distinct voice and a
masterful approach and (most importantly to me) the whole
of the trio never overpowers the music. When I come across
trios like this (3 virtuosos collaborating) I often find, to my
dismay, that in an attempt to really showcase the band, the
music takes a back-seat. NOT so here. These guys have put
this music first and foremost and therefore have developed
some of the most “musical” music I’ve heard in some time
(if you know what I mean?). This is the best group effort I’ve
ever heard with Michael.The music is inventive, but never over
-the-top or “for musicians only”. The playing is spectacular. Just
incredible. I almost forgot how wonderful Manring can be within
the context of a group."
BASS MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
MIROSLAV TADIC and MICHAEL MANRING
"Christopher Garcia has traveled the world teaching and playing in some of the most
eclectic groups imagined. In the group Mexika (pre-colonial Mexican music) he performs
with percussion instruments to those used by the indigenous people. His work in fusion music
with CONTINUUM puts Garcia in a league with Billy Cobham. Garcia was classically trained
in world music performing North Indian style tabla. Then you will find him touring as the percussionist with the GRAND MOTHERS of INVENTION, performing the music of Frank Zappa. Listen to his playing on de ma nia and then try out his work with another world music group Ancient Grooves, or his fusion band CONTINUUM on the track “Celestial Terrestrial.”
"Christopher Garcia is one of those musicians who always seems to be on stage when amazing
things are happening. I'm not sure he knows how many different groups he's currently playing in, but it's a lot. In addition to teaching all over the world, he's played with a jaw-dropping who's-who of musical luminaries, not the least of which is his gig as drummer with The Grand Mothers, original members of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Although he's a phenomenal drummer, he may be best known as a master of Vedic percussion techniques and, specifically, the tabla. How, then, did a kid from East L.A. wind up being a renowned percussionist, playing tonight with the legendary electric bassist Michael Manring (Bass Player Magazine's Bassist of the Year in 1996) and Yugoslavian guitarist Miroslav Tadic (In 1997, named by Guitar Player one of the world's most radical and individual guitarists) at the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro."
LONG BEACH POST
6/2/99 thru 4/1/16
"One of the larger quartetos (six members) out there now Christopher Garcia's Quarteto Nuevo comes from a rhythmic sensibility as might be expected from a drummer-led band. But it is not your usual hit-you-over-the-head snares and tom-toms. For this band Christopher Garcia has discarded much of the ordinary drum kit (no snares, tom-toms, or bass drums) in favor of tabla, a family of lightly struck cymbals, and a variety of oriental instruments. The band often plays in odd meter grooves well served by the two percussionists. The other players
have also rethought their instruments, resulting in a unique but natural band sound. That the music works as well as it does (It is remarkably uncluttered.) is due mainly to how much these musicians enjoy playing together. Christopher Garcia dedicated "With his Hat in his Hand"to his father, Don Alberto Garcia. Like much of his other music it was a piece of humility, confidence, clarity, and positive feeling--a pleasure to listen to."
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Christopher Garcia is a most uncommon percussionist. He’s an ace trap drum player; his work with the Frank Zappa repertory band, the Grand Mothers, is known for precise execution
of difficult time signatures at blazing tempos; and he’s a hand percussionist with a deep
background in Indian and Latin American music. No mere timekeeper, he always seems
to elevate whatever musical situation he finds himself in. His Quarteto Nuevo band spins
a fantastic hybrid of sounds and styles: the Andes, the Punjab and Catalonia might all be
suggested on one tune. Garcia sees growth in the last decade. “We’ve accomplished a new
sound for the ensemble. There’s so much more that we’re hearing now to rehearsals and many more doors have been opened to us. Our limitations are, as always, ourselves and time.”
Christopher Garcia's "Quarteto Nuevo" conserves the features that made the group so attractive before - an original and instantly accessible approach to Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican and flamenco music, with bridges built among 'em all. (Even a Zappa tune, because
that's essential to Christopher Garcia's lineage.) The watchword is space, as you'll
breathe deeply and relax with the cleanly defined balance of these master musicians,
who could play a lot busier but don't, because they want to communicate. Listen to the
way Garcia slaps tablas, so deep and internal that they seem like part of your own ventricles."
METALJAZZ.COM by Gregg Burke
"Improvisers who like tight structures where you can hear everything. Musicians who bring
the work of jazz composers (Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Paul Carman) into their own concept, or start from scratch. Active in the region for a few years now, Christopher Garcia's Quarteto Nuevos debut recording is neatly titled El Musico. And their drums, winds and strings, assembled from around the world, produce sounds at once disciplined and relaxed, challenging yet easy to absorb."
LA WEEKLY'S JAZZ PICK OF THE WEEK
"This is an intriguing set. Although there have been many types of "fusions" of jazz
with other types of music, only a relatively few projects have mixed jazz with World Music
from foreign countries. Christopher Garcia's Quarteto Nuevo's music goes through quite a few
different moods yet remains gentle, subtle, melodic and often rhythmically complex Lechusza's
reeds are in the lead much of the time but the interplay between the members of the rhythm section are well worth listening to closely."
LA JAZZ SCENE
"It's amazing to see, talk about having a split personality, it's funny because his
fingers are flying, and he has all of the syllables available and he's holding a stick
with his right hand, a shaker with his toes, and hitting bells and cymbals and all
sorts of things all at the same time."
LI VE @ TEATRO DE LA CUIDAD, MEXICO CITY, MX
EARLY MOURNING SHADOWS
KO MA GA TRIO
MOTOSHI KOSAKO - PEDAL HARP
MICHAEL MANRING - FRETLESS BASS
CG - EL MONSTRO PERCUSSION
TADIC, MANRING, GARCIA TRIO
LI VE @ ALVAS in LOS ANGELES, CA USA
DON PRESTON TRIO
DON PRESTON - PIANO FORTE, ELECTRONICS, WHAT KNOTS
ANDERS SWANSON - ACOUSTIC BASS
CG - EL MONSTRO PERCUSSION
MANRING, GARCIA MA TRIO
LI VE @ THE CARRIAGE HOUSE CONCERT SERIES