Juan Quintero, an interview
Today I present to you the singer, guitarist and composer Juan Quintero. When I interviewed him at his house in January 2011, he was still part of the young generation of musicians dedicated to renewing Argentine folklore.
Juan Quintero was born on July 22, 1977 in San Miguel de Tucumán. His parents Coco and Marilí were musicians and sang in the Provincial Choir of Tucumán. They improvised on the guitar with Pepe Nuñez and Juan Falu, as was very popular in the folk scene at that time. Juan Quintero was born on July 22, 1977 in San Miguel de Tucumán. His parents Coco and Marilí were musicians and sang in the Provincial Choir of Tucumán. They improvised on the guitar with Pepe Nuñez and Juan Falu, as was very popular in the folk scene at that time. So Juan grew up with Argentine and Brazilian folklore. But his parents also listened to classical and jazz music. At the age of 14, Juan began to learn to play the guitar. In 1998 he moved on the advice of Juan Falú to La Plata, the capital of the province of Buenos Aires, to study choral conducting at the university of this city. In 1999 he founded his trio Aca Seca with pianist Andrés Beeuwsaert and percussionist Mariano Cantero. The Trio’s repertoire consisted mainly of songs by Juan Quintero.
When Juan recorded the first CD of his own songs in 2002, he immediately received the Folklore Revelation Award from the newspaper La Nación. Since the year 2000, he has also performed in a duet with the singer Luna Monti. Other singers and musicians with whom he has shared the stage are Mercedes Sosa, Carlos Aguirre, Juan Falú, Lilian Herrero and many others. His songs and compositions are now sung and played by the most important Argentine musicians and are very popular among the Argentine youth.
In our conversation, Juan Quintero told me how much the poets of previous generations, such as Manuel Castilla and Jaime Dávalos, mean to him. Often there was a duplex between musician and poet, as in the case of Gustavo Leguizamón and Manuel Castilla or Eduardo Falú with Jaime Dávalos. However, Juan usually writes the lyrics of his songs.
He spoke of the great interest that Argentine youth have aroused in Argentine folklore. It is not easy to earn a living without participating in purely commercial events such as the Cosquín Folklore Festival or certain television programs, he told me. But there are several cultural initiatives like Coqui Ortiz’s and his project “La ronda” or Juan Falu’s cycle: “Guitars of the world.” More and more small record labels support the independent and innovative folk scene. All of his colleagues who, like Juan, are on this non-commercial path and are true to themselves, enjoy what they do. And that is the most important thing to him.
Listen for yourselves to everything that Juan Quintero, this brave and talented singer, guitarist and composer, told me on a summer afternoon in 2011 while we were having a matecito.