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Ismael García

Ismael García I was born in the port of Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico on March 12, 1973. I come from a large, humble family composed of ranchers and fishermen. I went to elementary school and studied through high school. While I was in high school, I had an intense love toward music. The music department in my school did not have sufficient instruments and necessary materials to study music properly (like all government schools) and my family did not have money to buy me a guitar. I had to resign to the fact that music would not be a part of me. Seven years later, I started to hang around friends that I never used to previously and I saw they were great musicians. I started to look at this opportunity like no other, and I learned to play the guitar. In 1994, I had composed my first songs. It was very common that during our get-togethers that we would sing the same melodies, and as the stubborn one that I am, I said," Why don't we sing something different and original." From that point on, I dedicated my new talent towards writing when I could. It wasn't sufficient enough, but from there I went to the Cultural Assembly in Alvarado and I learned things that I will never forget, the most important being Latin American Folklore.

While my best schooling took place in the streets, and my best guides, my friends, I spent a lot of time at the workshop of the cultural center, "Andros". This is where my friend Adrian Salas and his wife, Mayte took charge of teaching me how to write and learn. We did theater, transcribed old hispanic documents to modern Spanish, poetry, talks on art , and cultural journeys to the poor neighborhoods. There I spent lots of time in the hallways of Alvarado's library where I studied history. Outside of all this the most memorable part, was with my first music companion, Humberto Palacios Marcowich. I consider this person the most dedicated musician that I have known in my life. Together we started to work on our new music. Carlos Marquez, Ricardo Lara and Marcelo Mojica also played an important role. Marcelo's influence was among the strongest, showing me as much music as literature, art and the exposing me to different kinds of music. I will never forget Marcelo's words, "One has to learn to move up without stepping on those around you." This has been my best advice.

From my short time in the army, I learned the value of the word freedom and all that it contains. I knew that I was a better off as a musician than as a sailor. I went to Cuernavaca and started out as a construction worker to make a living. One day that wasn't much different than the others, I stumbled upon a bar that played the music that I was familiar with, Trova. I was invited to sing and play on stage for the second time in my life. Three songs were enough. The owner of the bar told me that he would like me to play all week. There was only one problem (apart from the fact that the pay was only going to be $150 pesos a week,) I only sang my own music and that of a few others. The majority of the music was my own so, I had to learn and study the music of other composers like Serrat, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanez, Fernendo Delgadillo, Mexicanto, Facundo Cabral, chico Buarque, and so on. Seeing so many people doing what I did was very exciting and it still is today. In Cuernavaca, I had the opportunity to grow and develop and above all, to meet people that I admired and had previously only known through recorded material. Mexicanto was one of the first and later Alex Santiago, Enrique Quezadas, La Ley, Alex Filio, Alfonso Maya, etceteras. Alex Filio showed me with his acts that not all of those that dedicate themselves to music, write from the heart. Even though, it may appear differently, and that some, whether they are trovadores, rock-n-rollers, or composers, feel themselves to be the messiah of the songs they sing - pity!

I participated in various marches on behalf of the murdered farmers of Acteal, Chiapas and in the homage at the University of Morelos, Mexico for the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto Guevara. I also participated in the festival of the new song, along with Alfonso Maya at Zacatepec Technical, Morelos, Mexico and in the concert entitled, "De Mayas and Jarochos", together with Alfonso Maya.

For two years I taught music to a kindergarten class in Temixco, Morelos, Mexico. This school was of very meager means, and humble. The brightest part of the day for the students was to be among the liveliness of their teachers. Not too long after, I found love and with it, its consequences. By that time, I had thirty songs to my name plus those that I had already forgotten. I married and I went to live in Tijuana, Mexico. In Tijuana, the Felix-Filio CD was being recorded, the two that are Mexicanto. I contacted them and, through them, I acquired other contacts as well. I started to play at the bars El Perro Azul, Cafe de La Mancha, El Nopal, and other places. Life was difficult but, worth it.

I participated in various concerts and in unofficial concerts with people such as Mauicio Diaz, Cesar Aragon, Alejandro Santiago, Mexicanto, Eduardo Monter, Agustin Sanchez, and Gerardo Pablo. Ramon Crespo was a major help in the recording of my first CD, along with Samuel Ramirez, the guitarrist and vocalist of La Otra Mitad. The title of my first CD is De Cartas, Soledades, y otros sistemas de Amor. More than just making a CD, I believe we gave birth to it! Later I also participated in a festival in Ensenada, Mexico along with Cesar Aragon and Augustin Snachez. I inaugurated my CD at the Perro Azul in Tijuana, along side Edgar Osceranski and Edel Juarez. On a few occasions I played along side Armando Vidal, "El Gume", Juan de Dios Garcia and Javier Alvarez. I was also part of Mexicanto's last tour of 1999 through out the south of Mexico.

Now, I live in Phoenix, Arizona and I am preparing my next CD.

This is my life, in brief. I believe in this music that I so proudly sing and I defend it with my being. I only hope for those with the same dedication, that we don't stop doing what we have done in order to keep singing for those who can't, and to displace a little garbage from people's ears. We take hope, justice, and speak through the heart to take our new song to the last corner of the world.

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