Thomas George Caracas Garcia, ethnomusicologist/musicologist, guitarist and lutenist, is an associate professor of Ethnomusicology and Latin American Studies at Miami University (Ohio). He previously served on the faculties of the University of West Georgia and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his Ph.D. in Performance Practice from Duke University, where he studied with John Druesedow and Peter Williams. He has also received a Master’s degree in musicology from UMASS, where he studied with the violinist Charles Treger, and has performance degrees from the Juilliard School as well.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Duke Endowment Fellowship and several Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (for research in Portuguese), as well as grants from the Tinker and Mellon Foundations, and, most recently, Faculty Research Grants from Miami University, the Miami University Dolibois European Campus, the University of Massachusetts and the University of West Georgia. He is the recipient of two Excellence in Teaching awards from UMASS, as well as Certificate of Appreciation for Artistic Contributions to the Education of West Point Cadets Enrolled in Spanish and Portuguese. Dr. Garcia has presented research in national and international conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Popular Culture Association, the Brazilian Studies Association, the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, and the 1st International Villa-Lobos Conference, among many others. His publications include articles on guitar history and Brazilian music in Luso-Brazilian Review, The Journal of Popular Culture and Stagebill Magazine, among others, as well as book chapters and numerous encyclopedia articles. Additionally, he is a former editor of the Lute Society Quarterly, and is the North American contributor to Roda de Choro magazine. Dr. Garcia’s recent book, entitled Choro: A Social History of a Brazilian Popular Music (with Tamara Livingston-Isenhour, Indiana University Press), which explores the history and performance practice of this Brazilian urban popular genre, was published in July of 2005.
Dr. Garcia is an active solo and chamber music performer, specializing in Brazilian music. He has performed throughout the United States and Brazil, and has appeared in recitals in Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York. He has been heard in recital on WKCR-FM and WBAI-FM, New York, and in chamber music at CAMI Hall and Carnegie Hall, and made his New York debut in 1987 with flutist Amy Porter (Porter/Garcia Duo) at Carnegie Recital Hall as winners of the Artists International Competition Chamber Music Prize (1986). He has performed with the Atlanta Chamber Players and Continuum (a modern music orchestra) among numerous other chamber ensembles. He was also the opening act for Bob Dylan during his 1988 national tour.
Dr. Garcia spends several months each year in Brazil, performing both in concert settings and in traditional popular music settings and continuing his research on Brazilian music, including solo recitals at the Villa-Lobos Museum and the Museum of the Republic in Rio de Janeiro, at the Federal University and Rádio Universitário of Goiania, in Brasília at the Casa Thomas Jefferson as well live on Brasília Cultural Radio, and nationally on TV Senado, Brazil. He has been in residence several times at the Villa-Lobos Museum. He recently lectured and gave recitals of Brazilian music for the new Portuguese Language School at Middlebury College in Vermont, was artist in residence at Mississippi State University’s Brazilian Music Festival, and has lectured on Brazilian popular music and culture and performed at universities throughout the United States and Brazil, most recently at Northwestern University and the University of New Hampshire.
In addition to performing on guitar, Dr. Garcia performs regularly on lute and Latin American folk guitars. Also an accomplished tubist, he served as principal tuba in the National Orchestra of New York and has performed with the Canadian Brass Quintet in Carnegie Hall.