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JUAN'S BACKGROUND
  WHO/WHAT INFLUENCED JUAN R. LEN
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JUAN'S BACKGROUND
HOW JUAN GOT STARTED IN MUSIC, AND WHAT MADE HIM GRAVITATE TOWARDS THE BASS:

"My parents are music lovers. My mother loves classical and my father listens to Mexican folk music and plays Spanish guitar (my mother played clarinet).

My uncle Juan played French horn in the National Symphony of Mexico and was regarded as the finest they ever had. He worked on many recordings and soundtracks.

My grandfather Juan played the tuba in the military and after in various settings. He was a master of the John Phillip Sousa style of tuba playing.

I actually started out on drums in high school. They were the closest I could get to rock and roll!

I received an electric guitar as a gift from a friend but wasn't very good at it. I later "acquired" an electric bass from a drummer friend of mine and I sort of fell into it naturally. I started to notice the bass more in the music I was listening to.

I was tremendously influenced by John Entwistle, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Steve Harris, Stanley Clarke, and later on Billy Sheehan in his Talas and David Lee Roth Band days.

The bass became an extension of my personality. I would walk around town on the weekends in the summer with my bass strapped on so I could keep my chops up and not be a social recluse locked away in my bedroom! It took root in my being and character, not to sound to "new age" mind you!"

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WHO/WHAT INFLUENCED JUAN R. LEN
Who and/or what has influenced Juan's compositional and playing style the most, and why:

"The guys I mentioned already, Jaco (of course), the music of guitarist Michael Hedges and bassist Michael Manring. They certainly influenced my playing.

Mark Egan's explorations of the 8 string bass in solo settings was a revelation of sorts.

Acid rockers Ozric Tentacles, the ambient scene, guitarist William Eaton's work with R. Carlos Nakai, Trey Gunn, Robert Fripp, Mick Karn and David Torn, Phil Keaggy, John Patitucci, Tony Levin. Steve Swallow is amazing. What I gained from listening to these amazing musicians is that technique should always serve the music.

Michael Manring is a perfect example. He has some of the most amazing technique of any bassist out there, but what you notice first about his music is the compositional value which it imparts to the listener. His command of harmony, melody, and rhythm is exemplary and beautiful in it's sincerity. It's only after close listening that you realize that this cat's gotta be from the 5th dimension to pull this sort of playing off! He composes and plays on up to 3 basses at once and all tuned differently, but the music is so beautiful. I value that so much. It's not just paint on a canvas, it's the right paint in the right amounts."

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Juan R Len 2015