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Musical cousins blend sounds

Ken Garcia is known for his unique style and skill on the acoustic nylon string guitar. Anthony Jasso has a tonal range not many other male singers can match.

Together, these musically gifted cousins — both Laguna Beach residents — create a powerful combination of Latin/Jazz/rock/soul/folk that has been labeled by fans as the “nuevo California blend.”

With original eclectic compilations and creative renditions of classics like “California Dreaming,” Jasso & Garcia have attracted quite a following in Orange County during the 15 years they’ve performed together.

Inspired by artists like Bob Dylan, Donavon Frankenreider and the Gyspy Kings, Jasso said the band’s profound lyrics as well as their enthusiasm are what move fans.

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“We sing about love and peace, and tell people that they should enjoy every minute,” he said of their songs about God, family, friends and living life in and by the ocean.

“And we [deliver] high energy with passive instruments, which makes people dance. We don’t need loud amps or several instruments to create an intoxicating fusion like other bands do.”

Jasso said he enjoys making someone’s day a little brighter with music and infecting their minds with positive thoughts.

“I hope our world attitudes shift to less value on fleeting, material items and more on living with each other in peace and love,” he said.

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The duo will perform live at 9:30 tonight at the Royal Hawaiian. The band has made rounds at local venues, and has also played at Laguna’s “Music in the Park” and Friendship Shelter events.

“Something we hope to accomplish through our music is to help others,” Garcia said.

Jasso & Garcia have released three self-titled albums together, the last of which was recorded live at the Coach House in 2007. Prior albums were recorded in Laguna Beach in 2000 and 1996.

The unsigned musicians are currently working on new material and are planning a local tour in the spring and possibly a European tour this summer. Jasso & Garcia were long lost cousins who knew of each other’s musical talents and decided to one day get together and see if they had musical chemistry.

“We played five songs and that’s all it took,” Garcia said.

Garcia is the owner of Island Dentistry in North Laguna and lives in town with his wife, Jody, and two children. Jasso teaches youth music lessons and also resides in Laguna with his daughter.



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