Born in the heart of South America, La Paz, Bolivia, Juan Pablo grew up surrounded by constant change; he has lived in several Central American countries due to his father’s work. In August of 2000 he finally step foot back in is home country, where he thought change would fade away. Much to his surprise, he would soon find out that would not be the case.
Growing up in a house where music was seen as a beautiful hobby, he started out majoring in Telecommunications Engineering. From a young age his parent’s were constantly reminding him of his cultural roots. His father, an engineer, had a folkloric group that rehearsed regularly and performed every other week, and his mother sang and played the guitar whenever they hosted a party. They are both music enthusiasts. This is how Juan Pablo took an interest in music; he loved to play zampoña (a Bolivian panflute) and displayed more interest in the guitar as he grew older. But music, for him, was still just a relaxing activity, something to get school and house chores out of his mind.
During his late high school years (2002-2004), as many other friends did back home, he started a band with his brother on drums and him on vocals. They loved covering Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilot, etc. Still, Juan Pablo has always been especially interested in the composition part of music. He loved sitting in his room and figuring out what chords went well with others, what melodies caught the ear, what sounds resonated with his own music taste. Already enrolled in an engineering school he decided to take music more serious and enrolled in 2007 at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in La Paz, Bolivia. This decision was about to shift his whole life style and take it in a new and exciting path.
Now, Juan Pablo is about to finish a very important stage in this new path, he’s due to graduate from Berklee College of Music in 2012. Before his experience at Berklee he enjoyed amazing experiences while he lived in Mexico City, enrolled in one of Berklee’s BIN schools. There, alongside his lifetime co-worker, his brother, he met wonderful musicians that shared both his passion for music and musical taste. His brother and him co-founded what would be their most important music achievement up to now, “La Especialidad de la Casa”. Juan Pablo has been, and still remains, the band’s composer, booker, tour manager, performer, and leader. He has recorded and shared the stage with talented musicians such as Dan Zlotnik (Los Dorados), Carmen Ruiz (Natalia LaFourcade), Maria Emilia Martinez (Klezmerson, Sr. Mandril), Lido Pimienta, Hong Kong Blood Opera, Carla Morrison, etc.
Change is about to strike again for Juan Pablo. Life now takes over and with it the learning process becomes even more important. He plans on moving to Austin, TX in search of what the true meaning of music is to him: “an endless flow of sounds and ideas nurtured by the breaking of rules in music”.
“This last year has been crucial for my path as a composer. I have taken serious interest in works by Schoenberg, Webern, Bartok, etc. as well as in Hindustani music from India. All of these genres, including Jazz, are still languages foreign to me therefore I feel my days as a student are far from over. Still, Berklee is a first step and has given me the strength I need to continue as a musician, both performer and composer.
I will be graduating from Berklee by the end of the Summer semester with a BA in Professional Music."
Experience & Education
Stage Crew for Berklee Stage CrewFebruary 2011 to Present (about 9 years)
• Organize and set up artists’ stage plots, mic amps and instruments, place monitors, music stands, etc. • Mixed, engineered monitors, and designed lighting for events up to 200-person capacity (Café 939, Berk Recital Hall, and David Friend Recital Hall).
CEO & Co-Founder for La Especialidad de la CasaNovember 2009 to Present (over 10 years)
Book gigs and tours. Schedule rehearsals and meetings. Compose and arrange. Perform and record guitars.
Stage Crew Volunteer for SXSW VolunteerMarch 2012 to March 2012 (less than a month)
Helped Bands Load in and Out. Assisted on set change.
Fund Raiser for Berklee PhonathonNovember 2010 to February 2010 (9 months)
Call Berklee Alumni for donations to Berklee Community.
BA in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music2010 to 2013 (3 years)