Member Spotlight: Marco Mondragon
This month I would like to present Marco Mondragón, a guitarist from Mexico who is a Gold member.
What instrument(s) do you play?
Guitar is my main instrument, although recently I’ve started learning to play piano, bass and venezuelan cuatro.
How did you start learning music?
My parents and siblings have always been very musical. I would mainly listen to a lot of rock when I was a kid, a bit of soul as well. I picked up the guitar and started taking private lessons when I was around 10, but started practicing seriously about two or three years after that. I played blues and different styles of rock during the first several years and got into listening to fusion and jazz later. I started studying and playing jazz until a bit more than a year ago.
What are your top 5 albums?
Mmh kind of hard for me to narrow it down to five, even more so considering that I’ve listened to different genres and styles throughout the years… Anyway, from the top of my head, in no particular order:
Jim Hall Live! – Jim Hall
Sunday at the Village Vanguard – Bill Evans
Primal Tracks – Tribal Tech
Play – Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin
Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny
What are your current project(s)?
I’ve just left from a fusion quartet, but I’m about to start playing in a more straight-ahead, acoustic setting (drums, bass, guitar, and tenor quartet).
What are some of your musical goals?
To deepen, give more cohesiveness and sincerity to my approach when improvising; drastically improve my sight-reading skills on guitar; further develop a multi-instrumental mindset in order to expand my understanding of music.
How long have you been a JVL member?
I joined about three months ago.
What do you like about it?
I really admire and appreciate Alex’s never-ending enthusiasm and perseverance in keeping JVL running so actively and dynamically on a daily basis. It’s very reassuring to know that he keeps such a personalized relationship with his constantly growing number of students.
How has it helped you?
With a busy schedule, I’ve found it quite useful and practical to be able to specifically pinpoint particular areas or subjects on which I wish to expand my knowledge and find several videos that are appropriate for covering them.
What’s your favorite video on JVL?
I’m still fairly new to the community and haven’t had the opportunity to watch a great variety of videos, but so far I’ve really liked the Rhythm Mastery series.
Any other thing you want to share with us?
Here’s a recent video of me playing in a trio with my jazz ensemble directors at LaFaro Jazz Institute, in Mexico City.