Dr. José Manuel Garcia is a Steinway Artist, award-winning jazz pianist, composer, arranger, orchestrator and music educator, whose musicianship in the classical repertoire has been highly recognized as well as in the jazz and Latin genres.
Dr. Garcia is currently the Music Director and Conductor of Gwinnett Symphony Jazz Orchestra. Prior to joining Gwinnett Symphony, Dr. Garcia served as Assistant Professor of Piano and Theory at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the past fifteen years, his work as a music educator, including seven years of college teaching experience at accredited institutions, has been greatly recognized by the students and the schools.
As a jazz pianist, Dr. Garcia has been actively performing in the United States, China, and Honduras with internationally acclaimed artists, such as Danny Harper, Michael Philipp Mossman, Ray Vega, Bill Summers, Kemba Cofield, Jennifer Holliday, El “Cano” Estremera, Luisito Rosario, Paquito Guzmán, Anthony Cruz, Willie González, Tito Rojas, Marlon Fernández, Oswaldo Román, Darmon Meador, Joe Jennings, Ilona Knopfler. Luisito Carrión, Ignacio Berroa, María Teresa Chacín, Ashley Brown, Shem von Schroeck, and Juan Carlos Salazar.
Dr. Garcia received the Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Georgia, the Master of Music in piano performance from Georgia State University, and the bachelor’s degree in in piano performance from Clayton State University .
Dr. Garcia is a founder of International Groove Conspiracy, an Atlanta-based jazz trio which received great reviews by giants in the industry such as pianists Ahmad Jamal and Chucho Valdés. In 2005, the trio´s album Beyond Horizon was released and received great reviews nationally and internationally. The trio also performed at major venues in the nation, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the National Black Arts Festival, the Rialto Center for the Arts, Callawolde Fine Arts Center, Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, and the Blue Note in New York City.
Dr. García’s latest CD, Cruz del Ávila, released in December 2010, is a solo piano project, in which Ahmad Jamal describes Dr. García’s pianism as “sensitive and brilliant.”