Why did you begin studying music?

Music was in my family, Mom and Dad were musicians, so I was pushed into it by my parents. (This was in my homeland, Honduras) I didn’t know at the time, music was going to be one of the main forces in my life.

What are you doing with music right now?

I have been constantly working in the Tri-State area since I moved to Cincinnati, playing with my trio and working as a recording guitarist. My new years resolution in 2015 was not to take any gigs, instead lock myself in my house and practice, write and record my own music. So, that is what I am doing this year.
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Guitarist Carlos Vargas

Located in the Cincinnati, OH

  • Guitarist
  • Years Playing: Over 10 years


Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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What’s your setup?


  • Fender Telecaster 6oth Anniversary
  • ’99 Fender Strat Deluxe – Loaded with Texas Special
  • Fender Strat – Loaded with Dimarzio
  • Cruisers/Fast Track
  • ’98 Gibson ES – 135
  • Vintage Hohner Acoustic (Unknown series and model)
  • Yamaha CGX171CCA


  • Wampler – Tom Qualey Dual Fusion
  • TC Electronic Micro Tuner
  • Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
  • OCD Custom Made
  • Fulltone OCD
  • CMAT Mods Signa Drive
  • Xotic EP Booster
  • Mooer clean boost
  • MXR Zack Wilde Customized
  • Polyphonic Octave Generator – 2 (POG2)
  • Boss DD-3
  • Amptweaker Swirpool
  • ReedWitch Empress Chorus
  • Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe
  • Empress Vintage Modified Super Delay
  • Strymon Timeline
  • Neunaber Stereo Wet Reverb
  • R3 FX Switcher
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power


  • Roland JC-120
  • Peavey Classic 30 – Mod by Chrome
  • Dome Cincinnati
  • Kustom – The Contender
  • 1969 Fender Champ
  • Fender Blues Jr.
  • Bad Cat Amps
  • Mesa Boogie Express 550 Head
  • Mesa Boogie Lone Star 1×12 Cab
  • Mesa Boogie Lone Star 2×12 Cab

Who are some of your influences?

Lage Lund, Jim Hall, Gilad Hekselman, Pat Metheny, Mike Moreno, Brad Mehldau, Toninho Horta, Aca Seca Trio, Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Who have you studied with?

  • Jim Smith
  • Kim Pensyl
  • Julio Zelaya
  • Phil Degreg
  • Bruno Mangueira
  • Tom Quayle

What are some of your goals musically for the future?

Keep playing, recording and traveling.

Anything else you would like to add?

Carlos Vargas-Ortiz is a Honduran musician, arranger and music educator. He grew up in the lower-class Tegucigalpa suburb of Flor del Campo.

Carlos moved to Cincinnati in the spring of 2007 to pursue a music career. He was awarded a scholarship at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he earned two bachelor degrees in Jazz Guitar and Music Education.

As an active guitarist and singer in the Cincinnati music scene, Carlos performs and record with Ben Alexander, Ric Hordinski, Flawless Band, Tajci, Marvin Hawkins, with his trio and many other artist in the Tri State area.


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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.