Juan Garcia-Herreros

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Juan Garcia-Herreros
Snow Owl 004.jpg
Background information
Birth name Juan Sebastian Garcia-Herreros
Also known as Snow Owl
Born July 1, 1977
Origin Bogotá, Colombia
Genres Electroacoustical jazz
Occupation(s) Bassist, composer
Instruments Electric contrabass guitar
Labels Inner Circle Music
Associated acts Snow Owl
Website www.the-snow-owl.com

Juan Garcia-Herreros, also known as "The Snow Owl", is a native born Colombian Bassist & Composer, notable for his virtuoso musicianship and for his use of a customised 6-stringed Electric Contrabass Guitar.[1]


Juan Garcia-Herreros was born in Bogotá, Colombia. His first musical studies began with Flute at the age 9 after moving to New York City with his family. Once he completed middle school his family relocated once again to Dunedin, Florida where he discovered the electric bass. Due to the fact that his family was unable to afford private lessons his passion for learning fueled him to become a self-taught musician. Juan was just 16 when he began to teach Music Theory and Jazz Performance at Dunedin High School in Florida. His highschool band teacher recognized his young talent and encouraged him to also study acoustic bass so that he could be a part of the symphonic band in school. After spending many dedicated hours playing both acoustic and electric bass, he auditioned and became proficient enough to perform with the Tampa Bay Symphony at just 17 years of age.[2]

At the same time Juan competed in New Orleans for a slot in Berklee College of Music's Scholarship tour and received a coveted scholarship to attend the school in Boston.

He studied at Berklee with bass instructors Bruce Gertz, Joe Santerre, Rich Appleman and Oscar Stagnaro.

At age 21, he returned to New York City to pursue a professional music career. While in New York, Juan developed the ability to meet the demands of multiple styles. Whether the musical genre is Jazz, Pop, Funk, Salsa, straight-ahead, Rock, Modern, Classical, Heavy metal, or Avant-garde he is capable of performing without artistic compromise.

At age 26, he moved to Vienna, Austria where he currently resides.

At age 30, he was selected by a jury to become part of the faculty for the Jazz Institute of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz. He was the first Colombian to be honored with such an academic position in Austria.[3]

At age 37, he was Nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album, for his third CD release entitled "Normas". He is the first Electric Bassist ever to be nominated for this category.

Performances and collaborations[edit]

During his career, Juan has performed and collaborated with:

As a composer his original compositions have been featured in the off-Broadway production of "Anatomy of a Knucklehead."

Since 2005 Juan has performed at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California as well as two solo bass concerts at the 2006 Frankfurt Musikmesse.

He has taught Bass Masterclasses in Berklee College of Music and at multiple international universities.

Snow Owl's performances have included major festivals and venues stretching from the continents of Asia, Europe and the Americas

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Colombian born Electric Bassist Juan Garcia-Herreros on the cover of Bass Musician Magazine
  • In 2006 Snow Owl received the Best Jazz Artist award by Jazz First, a cooperation between Jazzeit Magazine, Quinton Records and Erste Bank.[6]
  • His debut album, Snow Owl, Quartet as a leader was selected as Critic's Choice in Germany by Bayerischer Rundfunk in 2006.[7]
  • November 2008 Hans Koller Preis CD of the Year for Martin Reiter's "ALMA". The CD features Juan Garcia-Herreros on "Pra Frederic".[8]
  • February 2009 He was selected as a Projekt X-Change Ambassador to represent Colombia and his integration as an artist in Austrian society. Projekt x-change focuses in bringing foreign and established public figures into Austrian classrooms to talk about their positive and negative experiences of integrating in a foreign country. The Austrian president Dr.Heinz Fischer personally thanked and congratulated him in the opening ceremonies which took place in Vienna's Hofburg palace.[9]
  • 2010 Art of Contrabass Guitar is selected winner of Best Traditional Latin Jazz album in America by O's Jazz Newsletter.[10]
  • 2011 Austrian World Music Prize recipient with Mamadou Diabate's Percussion Mania.[11]
  • 2013 Art of Contrabass Guitar is selected by Bass Musician Magazine as one of the most 21 influential Latin Jazz CDs of the decade.[12]
  • 2014 Latin Grammy Nomination in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album - Normas [13]

Current projects[edit]

  • Snow Owl
  • Banda Del Padre
  • Mamadou Diabate's Percussion Mania
  • Sabri Tulug Tirpan
  • Wladigeroff Brothers
  • Juan Garcia-Herreros and Klaus Dickbauer duo


  • Snow Owl Quartet ( Snow Owl 2006 )
  • Art of Contrabass Guitar ( Snow Owl 2010 )
  • Normas ( Snow Owl 2013 )
  • Rubi ( Banda Del Padre 2012 )
  • Masabakan ( Percussion Mania 2014 )
  • Painted on Water ( Sertab Erener )
  • My Green Color ( Sabri Tulug Tirpan )
  • Mein Mörderischer Salon ( Maxi Blaha )
  • Rumba Para Viena ( Clave Sonera )
  • Alma ( Martin Reiter )
  • Shades of Light Trio
  • Yolun Yarisi ( Demir Demirkan )
  • Laçador ( Alegre Correa )
  • For the Greatest and Little Things ( Wladigeroff Brothers )


  1. ^ Salzburger Nachrichten
  2. ^ Jazzthetik
  3. ^ "Detail". Kug.ac.at. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  4. ^ Sonic Pages Vienna December 2008
  5. ^ "Hollywood in Vienna". Hollywood in Vienna. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  6. ^ Jazzeit Magazine issue 59.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "/ CD OF THE YEAR / 2003". Hanskollerpreis.at. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  9. ^ Kurier Zeitung February 19 Chronik
  10. ^ "2010 Best Traditional Jazz". Osplacejazz.com. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  11. ^ "Austrian World Music Awards | Facebook". Austrianworldmusicawards.eu. 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  12. ^ "Bass Musician Mag - Bass Guitar Magazine Informing, Educating and Connecting Bass Players Worldwide". Bassmusicianmagazine.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  13. ^ [2]

External links[edit]