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John Nava

Congas, Band Leader, and Founder
John Nava began playing music at the age of 6. He comes from a family of musicians, of which he is the 5th generation. At the age of 9, John began playing in the church band under the tutelage of his father and brother. Throughout his high school years, John recorded on percussion and saxophone for numerous local choirs and solo artists. After high school, John joined the Marines and took his soprano sax with him. He was a regular at Washington D.C. area jazz clubs every weekend while stationed at Ft. Lee in Virginia.

In 1999, John became a founding member of the Chicano All Stars band where he played congas, sax, and sang backing vocals. While in the All Stars, John was asked to help form a Santana Tribute Band named called Ritmo. Whenever his schedule allowed, John has shared the stage or recorded with several bands. These include Malo, El Chicano, Tierra, The Neil Banks Band, The Beat, Vintage, Bosco el Gitano and Havana Jazz, Salson, Latin Affect, Carlos Tottress, Lucidology, Big Sur Natives, Pat Caison,Darren Thomas, Sekou Bunch, John Wineglass, The Funkery, Darrian Gray, Steve Vasquez and the Groove Masters, Randy Uchida, Nat Sherman, Richard Hall, Sweet Spice, BTA, & The CK band.

In 2006, John was invited by world renown guitarist Joseph Lucido to join a Jazz fusion group forming in Big Sur named Dark Chocolate. This all star roster included Joseph Lucido, Kim Stone, Michael Shannon, Weber Iago, Clay Henry, Brock Bradford, and master Percussionist Jayson Fann. The band recorded 3 albums on the Megawave Records Label.

Throughout all this, John has continued to teach and mentor any young musician who shows the desire to musically better themselves.


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