Jay Kacherski – Artistic Director
"Virtuosismo" and "technical dominance" are the words used by the press to describe American guitarist, Jay Kacherski. A native of New York, Kacherski has given solo performances and master classes throughout the United States and Mexico at music venues such as the Festival Internacional de Guitarra del Conservatorio Nacional de Musica, Mexico City; the New Orleans International Guitar Festival, the Ollin Yoliztli Center for the Arts in Mexico City; and the Concert Artist Series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington D.C. As a member of the Texas Guitar Quartet, he has given performances and master classes at the Brevard Music Center, the Texas Guitar Workshop, the Florida Guitar Foundation in Miami, and at various universities and concert series throughout the United States and abroad including a six city tour of China.
In 2007, Jay Kacherski was a member of the guitar faculty at the Escuela Nacional de Música, the music conservatory for the National University of Mexico (the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, UNAM). In 2008, he returned to Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar researching, performing, and promoting contemporary classical guitar music of Mexico. His guide and teacher for his Fulbright work was the world-renowned Mexican guitarist Juan Carlos Laguna. Since then, he has been premiering many new Mexican guitar works (both solo and chamber) in the United States and has created the first ever complete catalog of Mexican guitar works on the internet with links to videos, audio, scores, and more. It is called the MGMC—the Mexican Guitar Music Catalog, and is available at the website www.kacherskiguitar.com.
Jay Kacherski is on the guitar faculty at Loyola University, the University of New Orleans, and McNeese State University, as well as NOCCA, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He is an Associate Editor for Soundboard Magazine, the director of the Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra Guitar Program, a reviewer for the American String Teacher Journal, and Artistic Director of the "Classical Minds" International Guitar Festival in Houston, Texas.
Kacherski completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of Texas at Austin with professor Adam Holzman. Prior to that, he earned a Master’s Degree in Guitar Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Dr. Nicholas Goluses. He completed his undergraduate studies with Pepe Romero protégé Dr. Mark Switzer and Eddie Lugo at Florida Southern College where he graduated with honors. Jay has also been a performer in master classes with classical guitar icons Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, Kazuhito Yamashita, Eliot Fisk, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet among others.
Jeremy Garcia – Associate Artistic Director
Jeremy Garcia is a classically trained guitarist who has made a successful transition to flamenco. Originally self-taught, Jeremy later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi with Philip Hii and Master’s Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where he studied with Robert Guthrie.
Jeremy gave his professional debut classical recital on March 26, 1999 at the Texas A&M University campus in Corpus Christi, TX which was televised on Corpus Christi’s ABC channel. In 2001, while preparing for a concert at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, Jeremy began working with other musicians creating his own music. Drawing from his classical studies, and love for the music of Spain and Latin America, Jeremy developed original works based in improvisation and a marked flamenco influence. As the co-founder of the Garcia y Reyna, Jeremy has performed in California, New Mexico, New York City, the Vail, Colorado International Dance Festival, and Las Vegas. The band also released a CD, "Baile del Sol," in 2004 featuring all original music.
As a soloist, Jeremy has appeared with the Fort Bend Symphony in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” in the fall of 2006. He was asked by conductor, John Ricarte, to perform the Aranjuez a second time with the Brazosport Symphony in the spring of 2007. On the same concert, Jeremy performed an original concerto that he co-composed for two guitars and orchestra – “Concierto Nuevo Flamenco.”
In the fall of 2007, Jeremy established Café Khytaro, a new musical project and in the spring of 2008, Café Khytaro released “Distancia,” featuring original music and a variety of guest artists. In addition to his own music, Jeremy has appeared as a guest artist on recordings in the following genres: classical, alternative rock, jazz, and R&B. It is his love and respect of the music of Spain, however, and especially the art of flamenco that led Jeremy to traditional flamenco music. It was here that Jeremy met and began working with Cantaora, Irma La Paloma. Their ability to collaborate on stage, combined with a similar philosophy in the study and approach to flamenco, led them to create Solero Flamenco in 2009. They perform regularly in a variety of venues in the Houston area and have appeared as guest performers in the Dallas Flamenco Festival where they collaborated with some of today’s top flamenco artists. In the flamenco setting, Jeremy is known as, "Jeremias el Valiente."
Since his flamenco career began, Jeremy has performed with many top artists including, Antonio Hidalgo, Pilar Andújar, Antonio Arrebola, Chayito Champion, has accompanied workshops of artists, La Tania, Domingo Ortega, and Omayra Amaya.
Presently, he resides in Houston where he directs the guitar program at San Jacinto College South while maintaining a busy performance schedule.
Eddie Healy – Education Director
Eddie Healy began playing guitar at the age of 13. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in classical guitar performance at The University of North Texas and completed a Master of Music degree at Southern Methodist University.
Eddie performs regularly in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. He has also performed live on WRR-Classical 101.1. He traveled to Spain in 2008 for a series of concerts and twice to Mexico in 2009 to perform at the 19th Annual International Guitar Festival of Morelia and the 4th Festival Internacional de Guitarra Ramón Noble. He has appeared on national television and radio programs in Hidalgo, Mexico. Healy returned to Spain in 2014 & 2016 on the faculty of the annual ChamberArt Madrid Festival and as one half of his duo with mezzo-soprano, Brandi Estwick.
He is the Coordinator of Guitar and Music Theory Studies at Eastfield College in Mesquite, TX. He also teaches at The University of Texas at Dallas and the Gray School of Music. Eddie is the director of the Brookhaven-Allegro Guitar Orchestra, a community guitar ensemble in Dallas that meets and performs regularly at Brookhaven College. He has served as the assistant festival director at the Texas International Guitar Competition/Festival since 2010 and is director of that festival’s youth competition. In 2016 he was named the Director of Education at the Annual "Classical Minds" Guitar Festival and Competition.
His original compositions have been performed all over the world. He has composed the theme to a series of podcasts produced by UTD titled “A Conversation With…”, scores for several video games, and the alma mater for Rogers Middle School in Prosper, Texas. In 2012 Healy released a CD consisting exclusively of his compositions titled, Direction. James Scott of minor7th.com said that the recording, “…is a triumph, offering the listener accessible compositions matched by immaculate performances.” He published the sheet music for several of the compositions from Direction with Joachim-Trekel of Hamburg, Germany in 2010 and has six publications with Les Productions d’OZ to date. Eddie is a member of ASCAP.
Andrea Cannon – Outreach Director
Andrea Cannon is a performer proficient in classical and jazz guitar. An alumna of Berklee College of Music, she studied Jazz Guitar Performance and also received an Outstanding Alumni Service award. Post-Collegiate studies include Applied Performance in Classical Guitar with Robert Guthrie of Southern Methodist University.
Andrea directs applied guitar studies at Lone Star College - North Harris, Guitar Arts Pre-Collegiate Studio in Houston and is a jazz consultant to Spring Texas School District. Student recognition includes classical performance awards in competitions through MTNA, Eastfield College, University of Texas/Dallas, the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival, Houston Young Artist Concerts and the Guitar Foundation of America Ensemble Showcase. Jazz Students have been selected to Region Jazz Ensemble and showcased twice at Midwest Clinic.
Andrea travels internationally as a clinician and performer in Europe, Central and South America as well as cities all around the US and Canada. She has articles published in the American Suzuki Journal, Soundboard and American Music Teacher. Andrea is Certified through the Music Teacher's National Association and is a Registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association.
Andrea is humbled and proud that arts advocacy group Alarte of Guatemala City, Guatemala has created a Scholarship in her name. The first recipient of the 'Beca Andrea Cannon' is enjoying the benefits of a new guitar as well as expert Suzuki instruction.
Clara McLain, Leader of Beginner/Intermediate Education Program. Clara will instruct the Beginning Guitar Classes. For several years, Clara has worked with beginning students at the Classical Minds Guitar Festival. She teaches privately in the Dallas area and earned her Bachelor of Music from the Meadows School of Music at Southern Methodist University in 2017.
Georgina Ramos Avalos, Teaching Assistant to Clara McLain. Georgina is pursuing her Associates Degree in classical guitar at Houston Community College studying with renowned guitarist and educator Marc Garvin. She plans to continue her studies at a university or conservatory with the goal of becoming a guitar educator.
John Picolla, Teaching Assistant to Eddie Healy. John is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Music, studying classical and flamenco guitar at San Jacinto College with Professor Jeremy García. He has chosen to become a guitar educator with plans to continue his studies towards a Bachelor’s in Education. John also has a Certificate in Audio Engineering.