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Malamaña: Bio

Malamaña

Malamaña is the the combination of the musical flavors and talents of San Diego guitarists John "Juanito" Tidwell and Fred "Fredi" Kunze (See bios below), who have played together as a guitar duo since the year 2000. Over the years MalaMaña has worked as a duo, trio and quintet as they have brought their unique form of latin music with sizzling guitars and passionate vocals in Spanish. Their new CD, the self-titled MalaMaña, was recorded, mixed and produced by San Diego musical luminary Allan Phillips, a native of Venezuela. Allan brought his amazing musical talent and knowledge to the CD project to make it something truly special. MalaMaña is proud to call San Diego its home and Cafe Sevilla its headquarters. The band has played at many local events including opening for Poncho Sanchez and Enanitos Verdes. Malamaña's music draws from many styles- rumba, rock, jazz, salsa, blues and flamenco. The MalaMaña sound was developed and born amid the fun and musical freedom of the tapas bar at Cafe Sevilla in San Diego. ¡Qué bárbaro!

John "Juanito" Tidwell

John Tidwell was born in southern Arizona. His Father's family is from Nogales, Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. It is very common for friends and relatives to call him Juanito or John and he uses the names interchangeably without noticing, as easily as he switches back and forth from English to Spanish as he speaks. Juanito spent many years in Latin America because of his father's work. He grew up in Venezuela, New York, Chile and Puerto Rico. The first time he played a guitar was in Santiago Chile, where he began playing rock and roll on a Chilean made classical guitar.(first song: Gloria) Later, in Puerto Rico, he was in bands with electric guitars, again, playing good old rock and roll. As young John was growing up he was influenced by the sights and sounds of Latin America, especially Chile and Puerto Rico, where he spent his teenage years. Jose Feliciano was the first artist that inspired Juan to play and sing songs in Spanish. He noticed Jose's ability to play Latin music with an eclectic, bluesy feel and that was something no one else was doing at the time. Later living in Tucson, Arizona, Juanito was watching FESTIVAL OTI ARIZONA , part of a well known international song writing contest, on the local Univision affiliate and he thought to himself that he could write songs as good as the one that won the contest. The next two years, he entered and made the OTI FINALS in both years with his first song writing endeavors in Spanish. After finding himself on the Television Network Univision singing in the Finals, he realized that Latin music was his passion. Juanito concentrated on Spanish style guitar as well as Southwestern cowboy music. (His electric Strat has been in its case for years) After moving to San Diego and playing guitar with many different musicians, John "Juanito" Tidwell met Fred "Fredi" Kunze at a gig. Fredi had called him because he had heard of him and needed a substitute to play a wedding with, and a new friendship and musical partnership was born. After playing together it was immediately apparent to both of them that they played together very naturally. The Malamaña Sound was developed by the merging of the two guitarists backgrounds and styles at Cafe Sevilla, in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. Malamaña took shape amid the jamming, dancing and bacchanalia of the tapas bar.

Fred "Fredi" Kunze

Fred Kunze was born in San Francisco, and all of his grandparents came from Germany. Fred's father was a professional artist and his older brother was a professional musician. He grew up in the beach communities around Los Angeles, California. Fred likes to say that he comes from the guitar capitol of the world- LA. The diverse sounds of LA music --rock, punk, jazz and latin, all had their part in shaping Fred’s musical life. Fred credits his older brother Gary Raymond, who played drums for famous acts, as being his first major musical influence. Before being Fred’s first guitar teacher, Gary made sure that young Fredi learned time by playing the drums. Later, at the tender age of fourteen, Fredi was a major participant in the LA punk music scene. Ever getting better at the guitar, Fred remembers someone approaching him at a punk party and saying as if it were an insult- “Hey, you’re that guy who’s GOOD on the guitar!” After moving to San Diego, he got a degree in music with an emphasis in jazz from San Diego State University. He developed an innovative and improvisational style while studying and playing with jazz greats like Joe Diorio and Ron Eschete. Fred is comfortable in all genres, whether it be rock, jazz, or bluegrass. Right now, Fred’s major focus and passion is Spanish style guitar and latin music. Fredi has made a splash in the San Diego flamenco and latin music scene because of his diverse influences and abilities. Juanito calls him “a freak of nature” because of his uncanny talent and quick learning of new styles. Fredi and Juanito formed MalaMaña in the year 2000--the beginning of a new millennium. For both musicians it was the beginning of a friendship and a new sound--MalaMaña Music!