Described as “a faithful interpreter of Mangore’s musical art” by Alirio Diaz and as “intelligent, musical, and technically impeccable” by Eliot Fisk, Leo Garcia is an award-winning classical guitarist, recording artist, author, and sought-after educator.
As a performer, Garcia has performed across North America, South America, and Europe as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. As an educator, he has worked with hundreds of children and families for over 20 years through KinderGuitar. He has authored over 10 curriculum books for KinderGuitar, several editions of music by Bach and Narváez, numerous books on guitar technique, and his writings have appeared in Guitar Review, the KinderGuitar blog (kinderguitar.com), and Six String Journal (sixstringjournal.com). He has acted as jury member, performer, and lecturer at musical festivals such as the Bay Area’s Junior Bach Festival, the Boston Guitar Festival, the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Festival.
Garcia grew up in Venezuela but left to pursue higher education in the U.S., eventually earning a B.A. in economics from Yale, an M.M. and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music, and a Graduate Performance degree from the New England Conservatory, before founding and developing the KinderGuitar music education system. The success of KinderGuitar led quickly to its expansion, and now with three San Francisco Bay Area locations and one in New Mexico, KinderGuitar offers training and licensing to highly qualified aspiring educators to help them create successful and sustainable music-teaching studios for children in their communities.
When Garcia is not practicing he enjoys running, reading, hiking and cooking with his wife, Maya, and his two boys, who are also guitarists, Max and Charlie.
“García’s stage presence is riveting, but at the same time he can take the audience into his confidence like a trusted friend. The audience was spellbound as he performed the music of Villa-Lobos, Barrios, Dyens, and Piazzolla” – Piedmont Post November 2019
Leo currently uses a cedar double-top guitar by California luthier Glenn Canin and a spruce XXX Aniversario guitar by Paco Santiago Marín.