Electrifying Colombian-born bassist talks about recent honors, The Blue Road and more
By David Sands
Photo: Renée del Missier
Juan García-Herreros, perhaps better known by his stage name Snow Owl, has been lauded by bass publications around the world for his virtuosic performances and incredible skills as an innovator with his chosen instrument, the six-string Contrabass guitar. The Colombian-born bassist and composer been making waves for over a decade now with his original music which blends jazz, rock, pop, Latin music and other genres into a style all its own. What’s more, his musical gifts have enabled him to share the stage with artists like Christina Aguilera, Elton John and Al Jarreau, as well as larger ensembles like the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
The multicultural feel of Snow Owl’s music is drawn in no small measure from the arc of his own life. Born in Colombia, he moved to New York City with his family when he was nine years old. There he began his musical path by picking up the flute, but it was only after another move to Dunedin, Florida where he discovered his true passion, the electric bass. A natural prodigy, Snow Owl taught himself to play bass so well that by 17 years old he was performing with the Tampa Symphony. Not long after that, he relocated to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. Afterwards, he returned to NYC to make his name playing everything from jazz to salsa and heavy metal in the city’s rich music scene. Over the years, Snow Owl has won numerous honors including the 2006 “Best Jazz Artist” award by Jazz First. The acclaimed bassist has also released several albums, his most recent being 2016’s The Blue Road. He currently lives in Vienna, Austria.
Although FBPO’s Jon Liebman has been corresponding with Snow Owl for quite a while, he finally got his chance to meet him face-to-face at a recent London Bass Guitar Show. We share the results of their enthusiastic conversation here.
Watch our interview with Juan:
FBPO interview with Snow Owl