Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

Acoustic violin from anonymous maker
Fishman Pickup
Zeta Strados Electric Violin
D’addario Helicore strings
Roland Acoustic Chorus Ac 60

What are you doing with music now?

Playing with friends and gigging around town, composing and studying.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Violinst Francesco Canas

Located in Glendale, CA

  • Violin
  • 8 years of playing
  • Doubles on Cuban Percussion Instruments

Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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Why did you begin studying music?

I’d say it was just a kind of natural progression for me. Music has been around me as long as I can remember, some of my earliest memories consist of my dad playing kind of blue in his car and my mom singing cuban songs to me. When I was 4 I asked for a violin for my birthday, and I ended up getting a really inexpensive one. I fiddled with it but I didn’t formally start learning music until I was 9, when I got a real violin and joined my school orchestra. I played classical music for years after that and then in high school I joined my school’s jazz band which was an incredibly creative ensemble with all kinds of random instruments in it. Thats what really opened the floodgates. I started listening to all the jazz I could find and learning as much as I could, and since then I’ve been hooked. Music is such a natural part of my life now, as lots of musicians can tell you, you don’t choose music, it chooses you.

Who are some of your influences?

Too many to list, but some of my favorites: Brad Melhdau, Kurt Elling, Ambrose Akinmusire, Orestes Lopez Cachao, Dafnis Prieto, Wayne Shorter, Jean luc Ponty, Nikhil Banerjee, Michio Miyagi, & Yehudi Menuhin.

Other influences, All the cuban music I have heard since birth such as Cachao, Orquesta D’aragon, Ruben Gonzalez, Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdes, Paquito d’Rivera, Beny More, and countless other latin jazz musicians such as Michel Camilo, Dafnis Prieto, Poncho Sanchez, Alfredo Rodriguez, and many more. In the jazz legacy, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Wilbur Ware, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Bud Shank, Cannonball Adderly, Bill Evans, Stephane Grappelli, Jean luc Ponty, Thad Jones, Anat Cohen, Trane, Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, and many many others.

Indian classical music, hindustani and carnatic, Ravi Shankar, N Rajam, Nikhil Banerjee, Zakir Hussain, Haripad Chaurasia, Japanese Classical Music Yatsuhashi Kenygo and Michio Miyagi are some of my favorite composers, lots and lots of other kinds of music too. To list would take a long time, but to get a general idea, Q tip, J Dilla, Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert Von Karajan, Beethoven, Dvorak, Debussy, Tata Guines, Djivan Gasparyan, Pandit Jasraj, many many influences.

Who have you studied with?

I have participated in jazz programs at the World Stage, the Colburn School, & the Los Angeles Jazz Society, & studied with a lot of different musicians including Vardan Ovsepian, Jon Bremen, Yvette Devereaux, Zach Harmon & Miguel Atwood Ferguson.
All extremely generous people, -please- check out their music and appreciate their general awesomeness!

What would you like to do with music in the future?

To play music that people can listen to and feel a real connection to. Just something beautiful and fun. Most likely involving lots of fourth based licks and chord substitutions .

Would you like to add anything else?

Follow me on soundcloud!


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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.