Roots Moderne: Diego Garcia

Imagine Duane Eddy fronting the Tito Puente Orchestra and you will get a picture of what Diego Garcia’s new music is like. Or imagine Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban’s Mambo Sinuendo on steroids. Or better yet just buy Garcia’s Pachuco record; the sheer joy of rockabilly twang mixing with Latino rhythms is hard to beat.

What makes Garcia (a/k/a EL Twanguero) modern is the undercurrent of sophistication in his playing. This is a fully schooled guitarist who chose to concentrate on a particular sound and nailed it. Also, check out his looping and Frisell-style approach to Charlie Rich’s weeper, “I Feel Like Going Home.”

Discovering underappreciated talent like this is why Guitar Moderne exists.

Spanish Latin Grammy Winner, songwriter/guitar bender El Twanguero (Diego Garcia) is internationally known for his unique Latino-Twang sound, derived from Spanish guitar, American folk, flamenco and tango, and for his impeccable fingerpicking style.

Garcia has played and recorded with a large variety of Latin artists as well as Wycleaf Jean. He has participated in a number of television, movie soundtracks and radio recordings in Spain, Argentina, United States and Mexico.

At age six, Diego Garcia entered the conservatory of Valencia and became a student at the Andrés Segovia’s school. At 13 he formed his first rock band, the Be-boppers, and by age 15 was at the top of the Valencian musical scene. He formed Gallopin’ Guitars to pioneer of western swing and ragtime in Spain.

At age 20, Garcia moved to Madrid and began recording and touring with a variety of Spanish artists. In 2005, he recorded his first album, Octopus to outstanding reviews from Vintage Guitar, Guitar Player, and Guitar World. The next year Garcia traveled to New York, where he formed the Diego Garcia Trio with drummer Tony Mason (Norah Jones, Bo Diddley, Steve Cropper, and Jim Campilongo) and bassist Nick D’Amato (Lizz Wright, Poppa Chubby), playing around New York and New Jersey. Though The Brooklyn Session was recorded and mixed in one day, it got glowing reviews worldwide, including Best Spanish Album in the Mexican magazine, Reves.

Twanguero was recorded in 2008, and in 2009, Garcia wrote part of soundtrack to Buried, a movie by director, Rodrigo Cortés. Garcia had previously worked with Cortés in his début film, El Concursante. The Buried soundtrack won a Goya nomination.

In 2010, Garcia was called by the Venezuelan producer Andrés Levin to be a part of the Brooklyn Summer Festival. While in New York, the guitarist collaborated with such artists as Levin, Didi Gutman, Jesse Murphy, Jim Campilongo, Yerbabuena, Charlie Hunter, and others.

In December 2011, Garcia settled in Buenos Aires. There he recorded Argentina Songbook, which includes electric twang, melodies of Argentinean tango, rock, folk, and a host of Latino superstars. The album was released in December 2013.

The whole process in Buenos Aires was filmed by Argentinean director Javier Pistani, who in 2014 presented the documentary at several Film Festivals around the world.


In October 2012, Garcia’s style of electric guitar mixed with flamenco, was featured when he appeared as a guest artist for the singer Diego El Cigala’s tour, “Sintiendo América”. In April 2013, Diego El Cigala’s Romance de la Luna Tucumana record was released, with Garcia providing guitar and production help. He won a Latin Grammy for his work as a co-producer.

Pachuco is out now and Carreteras Secundarias on Secondary Roads is expected in November 2015.


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