BIOGRAPHY

Victor Cegarra was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At the age o

f 7, started learning to play the "cuatro" (a Venezuelan stringed instrument with only 4 str ings). Then onto his first piano lessons at the age of 9, and after about a year of piano studies he enrolled at the National Conservatory Juan Manuel Olivares where he studied music theory, sight singing, and ear training at age 10. In addition to studying music theory and solfage, at age 12 he also attended Lino Gallardo National Conservatory of Music to study complementary piano for about 3 years.

 

After a break from music studies, at age 19 he resumed private piano lessons with Venezuelan Pianist Olegario Diaz who introduced him to jazz harmony and improvisation. While still in Venezuela had the opportunity to perform with a number of upcoming groups and artists.

 

At the age of 23 moved to Austin, Texas to pursue a degree in Business Management while performing with local bands and artists in a variety of styles that ranged from Tex-Mex and Country to Jazz and Salsa.

 

A year after his obtaining his degree in Business, in 1986 Victor moved to Los Angeles. His first musical experience in L.A. was a class of Dz advanced keyboard harmony dz with Claire Fischer at Dick Grove’s School of Music. After a few months in Los Angeles he resumes performing with Latin Bands and artists as a sideman. After a few years of playing with different bands, he decided to go back to school to resume studies in music. In 1991 he earned an Associate’s Degree in Arts with concentration in Piano Music Performance and in 1993 he earned a second Bachelor’s Degree of Music Performance with a concentration in Jazz Studies from The California State University at Los Angeles. At Cal. State L.A. he had the opportunity to perform and record with the school’s best small and large ensembles, including some of the faculty ensembles.

 

After performing, recording, and some light touring, he shared his

interest in music with education. First, as a piano instructor for the City of Torrance Department of Parks and Recreation and later, as a regular elementary school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District where he has been teaching elementary school since July 1998. For the last few years he continues to serve schools as an Instructional

Coach and a Targeted Student Population Program Advisor.

 

In addition to performing behind the piano/keyboards, Victor has arranged, recorded, and co-produced music with a number of local artists. In occasions he also acts as a leader and/or musical director.

 

List of artists who I have worked for/with:

In Venezuela:

- Estudiantina de la Academia De Musica Fischer

- Arelis

- Wontuno

- Jorge Barnet

- Grupo Sacrificio

- Grupo Maichak

 

While in Texas:

- Orquesta La Candela which later became Orquesta Shati

- Tom Huzack

- Latin Tempo Group

- Corrine Cruz

- Tim Metz Jazz Band

 

While in California

- Banda Azucar

- El Camino College Jazz Band

- El Camino College Dance Band

- El Camino College Dz Clave dz Demonstration Band with Tito Puente

- CSULA Jazz Band

- CSULA Small Jazz Ensamble

- Tolu

- Johnny Martinez Orquestra

- Bobby Rodriguez Group

- Opa Opa Salsa Band

- Los Iracundos

- Susie Hansen

- Bobby Redfield Latin Jazz Band

- Los Grecos

- Candi Sosa

- Louis Cruz Beltran Latin Jazz Band

- Kevin O’Neal’s Jazz Band

- Bobby Matos Afro Jazz Ensemble

- Rudy Regalado Salsa and Latin Jazz Band

- Vicky Carr (as both pianist and musical director)

 

Countries for professional performances:

- Venezuela

- Mexico

- Canada

- Guatemala

- South Corea

 

Rooms or venues:

- Teatro Nacional de Venezuela

- Teatro Municipal

- Teatro Militar de Venezuela

- Teatro CANTV

- Le Drugstore

- Don Mariano Restaurant

- City Lights Discotheque

- University of Texas

- Piggies

- Toulouse

- Los Angeles Central Public Library

- Del Rey Theatre

- Conga Room

- Fandangos

- El Floridita Restaurant

- NAMM Recital Hall

- Hollywood Bowl

- Ford Amphitheatre

- Hollywood Palladium

- Hollywood Palace

- Beverly Hilton

- Beverly Hills Café

- Catalina Jazz Bar and Grill

- Steamers Café and Jazz

 

Nowadays he maintains a regular performance schedule with many of our local Los Angeles artists.

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