Q: When did you start playing the guitar?
A: Being surrounded by music at an early age I learned how to play by ear. I wanted to be just like my older brother Wilfred; I used to watch him play the guitar all the time and was amazed how he played without reading music and how he picked up everything by ear.
Q: Your music combines Latin, pop and jazz styles. How did come upon that sound?
A: Most of my musical exposure was from my father Gen. He played the saxophone and was the town DJ while I was growing up in the Philippines. He played all kinds of music for the town fiestas. A lot of polkas, cha-chas, the old classics and ballroom pieces would come to mind. My three older brothers (Leonard, William and Wilfred) all played an instrument and sang too. At family get-togethers there was always someone singing and or playing, aunts, uncles and cousins would all get into the fun, playing old Filipino favorites and folk songs. I started to hone my own style by blending jazz and pop with Filipino-Spanish influences.
Q: Who would you say are your musical influences or musicians that you admire?
A: The most influential of course are my father and brothers. Musicians that I’ve listened to all my life and am inspired by are Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Al Di Meola, George Benson, Pat Metheny and Peter White, there’s so many. I’m just inspired by anyone who plays. I see young kids ripping it up and I’m amazed at how great they’ll one day be, I just wish I was young again.
Q: What or who are the inspirations for your music?
A: My passion for music comes from within. Love for family, life, peace and harmony are my inspirations. Being blessed with this gift of music I feel this legacy should be passed on to other Pizarro generations.
Q: You have performed in all sorts of venues, do you have a favorite venue?
A: The venues I perform at are all favorites of mine. Each of them allows me the freedom to be creative. The Wonder Bar in Wallingford is a place that really appreciates and supports local independent artists like myself. It’s a great place to relax and just get intimate with the audience. The Jubilante Restaurant and Jazz Club, the owners Caesar and Tess Cabrera are longtime friends of mine and I’ve performed there for three years now. It’s like home to me. It’s a beautiful venue for music and great food. Then there’s Casa Feliz, it was at the Chinatown International District Street Fair, Felicity Wang the owner happened to hear us playing on the Main Stage, she was manning her food booth some fifty yards away. She and Luis the restaurant Manager spotted my wife, my manager in the crowd and told her how much they loved and enjoyed my music and wanted me to play at her restaurant on Alki Beach. It’s a wonderful setting for acoustic guitar.
Q: You perform as a solo artist as well as a part of several different bands, which way do you prefer to perform?
A: My versatility allows me to perform as a soloist or with a group.
I really enjoy performing as a solo artist. I’m not inhibited or restricted, I play boundlessly, I become liberated, I’m just able to do my thing. I enjoy the challenge and inspiration of collaborating with other talented musicians. I just love to play and I’m always trying to find avenues to play, anywhere. I just want to share my music with anyone who will listen.
Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to learn how to play the guitar or wants to become a performing artist?
A: It definitely takes an inner passion to master anything in life. I love and I am passionate about my music. Being a quiet person and not very articulate with words, my guitar is my voice. I use it to convey my every emotion, my every being, my soul and beyond. I am truly touched when one or even two people out of the audience make that genuine connection with ME through my music. It’s a rare thing to find people who truly understand.