A Deep Dive Into Panama’s Vibrant Singer John Carney Diaz

John was born in Panama City, Panama and began his musical career there as a bassist before moving to the United States. He continued his career playing Country, Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Latin Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Blues, and Classical. In addition to playing in Panama, New Mexico, and Texas, John has performed in Atlantic City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Mexio, Orlando, New Orleans, and in Europe with award winning Swiss Blues guitarist, Andy Egert. John has also opened for Bo Diddley, Styx, Little Richard, Clint Black, and backed such legendary artists as Joe Cocker and Percy Sledge. Immediately after obtaining his bachelor of performing arts music degree from The University of New Mexico, he formed a band with fellow classmate, Daryl Keyes (younger brother of legendary saxophonist Bobby Keyes of The Rolling Stones). This band became immensely popular throughout the Southwestern United States attracting large audiences. 

In the years 1982-1984 after moving to Houston, Texas John made the transition from bass to lead guitar, culminating in backing Isaac Payton Sweat (the king of “The Cotton Eyed Joe”, hit song from the soundtrack from the movie “Urban Cowboy”). In 1991 John became lead guitarist for the "Big Otis Show Band" faithfully replicating the sounds of Motown, Soul and Blues. John spent the following eight years playing beside many of the best musicians in Texas. In 2000 John began performing with “Yelba and Latin Fire”, (nominatied best female vocalist in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2013), specializing in Latin, Jazz and variety; at the same time he put together his own smooth jazz band “Gato Maximo”. In 2012 John made the move back to Panama and can be seen performing regularly in Panama City and the throughout the country of Panama. 

In February 2015 John performed at the 9th Annual “Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival” in Boquete, Panama with his band and was invited back to Boquete in February 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. John is looking forward to performing at the 14th Annual “Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival” in February, 2020 as well as the new “Beaches Jazz and Blues Festival” at Buenaventura Golf Resort, Panama in March, 2020. In 2014 John performed in the Switzerland and Lichtenstein with his good friend Andy Egert, who is recognized by the Swiss government as the country’s premier Blues artist. In 2018, after performing in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico with to a standing ovation, John flew back to Houston, Texas and performed three Santana songs with The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, quite probably the only time Santana’s music has been performed symphonicaly. 

This year, 2019, John performed at “The Boquete Jazz And Blues Festival” in Boquete, Panama with the Panamanian Jazz Band “2B Live” and performed a number of original songs, which were a collaborative effort between John and the band. John’s original composition “Café Paris” will be featured on his upcoming album. John has recorded three instrumental CDs, two of them with keyboardist Daniel Blanchard in The Woodlands, Texas. John’s song “Spanish Rain” from the second CD with Daniel Blanchard, (“Global Sonic Positioning”) resulted in extensive airplay throughout the world and was number one instrumental song on internet radio in Panama City, Panama for many months in 2014. “Spanish Rain” is meant to evoke thoughts of a tropical thunderstorm. The opening melodies are the gathering rain clouds, the bridge section represents the thunder, the solos represent is the actual downpour and the outro is the gradual abating of the rain. 

The concept of the album is a musical journey throughout the planet; each song taking you to a different locality. John and Daniel are very proud of this CD as it is the only one of the three with original music. John’s third CD “Tuesday Market” is John’s only solo album featuring some of the more popular songs in his repertoire. John is currently working on his yet untitled follow up to “Tuesday Market” and hopes to have it out later on this year. John’s passion for music began at the age of nine when he first heard “The Beatles”. By the age of thirteen he was a working musician playing Rock N Roll in Panama City, and throughout the Panama Canal Zone. 

Although he was a bassist at the time, he was quite influenced by guitarists such as “Jeff Beck”, “Eric Clapton”, “Mark Knopfler”, “Carlos Santana” initially, and later on by guitarists “Jeff Golub” and “Tim Pierce” with whom John worked with for several years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As John grew up, his father played records that varied from Latin ballads ala “Trio Los Panchos”, “Bossa Nova”, and classical music by “Bach”, “Handle”, “Mahler” and “Rach Maninoff”. This lead to John’s appreciation of the classical guitar and comes out in his playing when he performs as a solo artist. Influences are “Strunz and Farah”, “Earl Klugh”, and “Jessie Cook” to name a few.

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

1 comment:

  1. I’ve heard John play and would say he is among the top ten guitarists in the world.