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 World music, Latin jazz, Orchestral
Occupation(s) Producer, Composer, Bassist, Director
Instruments Electric contrabass guitar
Labels Inner Circle Music Europe
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] He has been credited by multiple music journalists and Bass publications as one of the most influential Bassists of all time.


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. He left the Jazz Institute in the fall of 2012 due to a very busy touring schedule.[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.

At age 39, he was awarded Triple Gold Medal and One Bronze honors from the prestigious Global Music Awards in the categories of World Jazz, Best Album, Best New Release 2016 and Instrumental Music. He is the first Colombian born Artist and Electric Bassist to ever receive this honour. This award has placed him amongst a small group of elite musical legends such as previous Gold Medallists Anna Netrebko, Gustavo Dudamel, Ricky Kej and Esperanza Spalding

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]

  • In 2006 Snow Owl received the Best Jazz Artist award by Jazz First, a cooperation between Jazzeit Magazine, Quinton Records and Erste Bank.[7]
  • His debut album, Snow Owl, Quartet as a leader was selected as Critic's Choice in Germany by Bayerischer Rundfunk in 2006.[8]
  • November 2008 Hans Koller Preis CD of the Year for Martin Reiter's "ALMA". The CD features Juan Garcia-Herreros on "Pra Frederic".[9]
  • 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.[10]
  • 2010 Art of Contrabass Guitar is selected winner of Best Traditional Latin Jazz album in America by O's Jazz Newsletter.[11]
  • 2011 Austrian World Music Prize recipient with Mamadou Diabate's Percussion Mania.[12]
  • 2013 Art of Contrabass Guitar is selected by Bass Musician Magazine as one of the most 21 influential Latin Jazz CDs of the decade.[13]
  • 2014 Latin Grammy Nomination in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album - Normas [14]
  • 2016 Global Music Awards Gold Medallist in the category of World Jazz for the album The Blue Road[15]
  • 2016 Global Music Awards Gold Medallist in the category of Best Album for the Album The Blue Road [16]
  • 2016 Global Music Awards Gold Medallist in the category of Best New Release 2016 for the Album The Blue Road [17]
  • 2016 Global Music Awards Bronze Medallist in the category of Instrumental Music [18]
  • 2017 In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary release of Sgt._Pepper's_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band, Bass_Guitar_(magazine) recreated the timeless cover artwork with 82 of the most influential Bassists of all time standing behind Paul_McCartney. Juan Garcia-Herreros was included within this distinguished group on the top row.[19]
  • 2017 Selected as a Quarter Finalist by the Music Video Underground committee in Los Angeles for his Animated short film Directorial debut of the song "She Became a Thousand Birds". The short film is an homage for Omayra Sanchez and all of the victims from the 1985 Volcanic tragedy of Armero in Colombia. The film sets out to provide a dialogue over the necessity for countries to have disaster preparations installed in high risk regions.

Current projects[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of Lalo Schifrin
2013 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of James Horner
2014 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of Randy Newman
2015 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of James Newton Howard
2016 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of Alexandre Desplat
2017 Hollywood in Vienna Electric Bass Music of Danny Elfman
2017 She Became a Thousand Birds Director Animated Short Music Film



The Blue Road (Feistritz Castle, Sankt Peter am Kammersberg, AUT)

  • Released: 12 July 2016
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Inner Circle Music
  • Producer: Juan Garcia-Herreros
  • Tracks: 11

Normas (Home Music Studio Vienna, AUT)

  • Released: 7 November 2013
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Inner Circle Music
  • Producer: Juan Garcia-Herreros
  • Chart position: No. 3 U.S. Jazz Charts
  • Tracks: 7

Art of Contrabass Guitar (Avatar Studios New York City, USA)

  • Released: 1 February 2010
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Inner Circle Music
  • Producer: Juan Garcia-Herreros
  • Tracks: 10

Snow Owl Quartet (4 Tune Studios Vienna, AUT)

  • Released: 1 September 2006
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Quinton Records
  • Producer: Andreas Rathammer & Heinrich Schläfer


  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. ^ url=http://www.hollywoodinvienna.com
  7. ^ Jazzeit Magazine issue 59.
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "/ CD OF THE YEAR / 2003". Hanskollerpreis.at. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  10. ^ Kurier Zeitung February 19 Chronik
  11. ^ "2010 Best Traditional Jazz". Osplacejazz.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Austrian World Music Awards | Facebook". Austrianworldmusicawards.eu. 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Bass Musician Mag - Bass Guitar Magazine Informing, Educating and Connecting Bass Players Worldwide". Bassmusicianmagazine.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [6]
  19. ^ https://www.facebook.com/bassguitarmagazine

External links[edit]