About Jose Angel Navarro
Jose Angel Navarro was born in Güines, a small southern town in Havana province, Cuba. He grew up in an ordinary, simple and relatively uneducated family, with no precedents that any of his ancestors were previously dedicated to music professionally. Nevertheless, Navarro had an inclination towards music and art in general, listening intuitively to Jazz, Classical and Instrumental music. From those very early years of his childhood, Navarro had a strong desire to play musical instruments. They all became his favorite toys. He used to imitate, by ear, the melodies he heard on the Radio and TV. They were serial and soap opera musical themes, so he had the chance to listen to them very frequently. For that reason he could remember them and subsequently, he tried to play them on the musical instruments he used to have handy at that time. Generally, he was inclined to melodic musical instruments such as the saxophone, the accordion and the piano or the guitar. Of course, they his toys at the beginning, until finally, one day when he was about eight years old the real guitar came into his hands. In a small country town such as Güines, it was, and still is, much easier to find a guitar than any woodwind instrument, such as a Bassoon or an Oboe. The guitar has also been a very popular musical instrument used in traditional Country Cuban music, and there were several musical groups playing that kind of music at that time. His hometown, Güines, is one of the most well known towns in Cuba for its tradition of preserving Afro Cuban folk music, and it was also an excellent and important source for musicians that had transcended Cuban frontiers. Listening regularly to the sound of the “ceremonial and traditional drums”, Navarro had acquired a special kind of taste for the complex and dense polyrhythmic beats that were growing inside of him, but there was a peculiarity. He was not interested in learning how to play the so-called "ceremonial drums”. Navarro wanted to play the guitar. Thus, he started to familiarize himself with the guitar with the intention of translating the beats and sounds of the “ceremonial drums” to the guitar. In his intuitive and self-taught manner, he developed and improvised a methodology that today gives the shape to his works based on Afro Cuban influences. Navarro studied Civil Engineering at the University in Havana city. Also he is a professional Art Designer, graduated in Reflexology and Sound Engineering but in spite of his strong interest in music and art, he could not study music formally because there were no music schools near his home. Besides, he needed a grant to be able to join one of these music schools because he could not afford it on his own. However, he stayed linked to and identified with bands, music festivals, and the cultural movements in regular schools during his years in elementary school, high school, college and finally at the University in Havana. That allowed him to meet many people linked to the artistic world that shared with him their personal experiences and advised him on his art.