George Gaytan - Classical Guitarist
Home | Appearing | Bio | Listen | Reviews | Photos | Links | Book OrderMomentary Heroes by George GaytanReview from WaterCress Press
...by George Gaytan
death in December 1994, his
began to research the history of the Walker and its survivors.As he
father's shipmates, he
obtained interviews and photographs, and has put them together into this remarkable story of a US Navy destroyer and its crew in combat.George Gaytan is a well-known and accomplished classical guitarist, performing throughout Texas, and is on the music faculty at a private prep school in San Antonio, Texas.
6 x 9, paper, xiv, 132, over 85 illustrationsISBN 0-934955-46-8Momentary Heroes by George GaytanGeorge Gaytan
is one. Gaytan
, a teacher and well-known guitarist, has a new book coming out that marks this year's Veterans Day.
Titled "Momentary Heroes - a Tribute to a Father's Generation," Gaytan's
first published effort focuses on the story of his
father, the late Jesse Gaytan, and his
years as a quartermaster on the USS Walker
, a Navy destroyer, in WWII. Gaytan
spent two years pulling together more than 85 photos and stories from his
dad's shipmates, their widows and children.
"I hope," Gaytan
told me, "this is a fitting tribute to my father and his
The "little guitar boy," George Gaytan
, has released a low-key, high-quality I4-song CD, Gift of Christmas. Gaytan
, a local classical guitarist, with help from Sarah Cote (viola), Madalyn Blanchett, (flute and recorder), Anne Marie Kleberg Bailey (vocals), and Penny Vera (vocals), has produced an elegant holiday treasure, one that merits repeated listenings.
With fluid, delicate fretwork, Gaytan
serves up an understated yet emotional holiday soundtrack.
dream is to score original music and perform it for films, public radio and television.But, for now, he
doesn't mind the crown he's
been awarded by the local catering community: "King of the Background Music.'
While some musicians might rankle at the sometimes less-than-visible role he
plays at dinners, cocktail parties, benefits, wedding receptions and convention events, Gaytan
accepts the title with irrepressible charm and a certain twinkle in his
"I make a good living and I'm touching people with music.That's my dream," he
says."Why would I complain?"
Tall, dark and, yes, handsome, the 43 year-old Gaytan is full of energy and not nearly as mellow as most of the music he
plays -- and pens.
"I've got good energy, and l love entertaining.It's a great opportunity for me, and lots of people love my work. (Texas First Lady) Laura Bush, for one," he
says."The high point of my career so far has been playing for the Forbes magazine convention on the grounds of the Alamo."Gaytan says he works more than many local musicians -- four or five nights a week -- and for the past several years has woven a career as a full-time working musician, part-time music teacher at Saint Mary's Hall and part-time office manager at a local realtors office. His
easy-on-the-ears classical guitar has gained him an electronic following, too.Two Christmas CDs have been privately published, to the delight of local fans."Portraits," a compilation of original songs and arrangements in memory of his
father, is out on local label Sonar, with another as-yet-unnamed CD due out in September.He
has col-laborated with local vocalists and musicians, notably Sarah Cote, violist with the San Antonio Symphony, on some of his
"I'm (local producer) Dub Hankins' mainstream offering," he
knew at an early age that a life centered around music was for him, although he
confesses to a love of history.In his
spare time, he
is working on a book about World War II veterans, an homage to his
father's generation.But music has always been his
There was always music in my house," he
says about his
child-hood.As a student, he was active in the Houston School District's string program and played in the youth symphony from the first grade on.
took up violin and, then, in the sixth grade, "My teacher saw that I was going to be pretty big, so she
switched me over to the viola."In his
late teens, he
began learning to play classical guitar.
"The guitar had more application," Gaytan
strums soothing classics on his
new CD, Portraits.
strummed selections from his
Christmas album at the San Pedro location of Barnes & Noble
and says that although it's not a dream performance venue, he
nonetheless appreciates the fact that the bookstore supports local and regional artists.
As you might imagine, classical guitarists are not in heavy demand in San Antonio's well-known live music venues.Still, Gaytan
has managed to pursue his
career at private shows, parties, and gatherings where his
subtle guitar stylings provide unobtrusive entertainment."I'm not a hotshot, I'm the king of background music" says the happy-go-lucky musician. who works as a real estate photographer and teaches at St. Mary's Hall.
To experience the soothing sounds of Gaytan's
new CD, Portraits offers 16 selections that touch on a wide variety of influences from Bach to Beethoven.Protestant hymns to Spanish ballads.
All material © 2003 George Gaytan