Begginings

Carlos was born in Zaragoza in 1976 into a family of musicians and shows an interest in music, percussion and plucked string instruments from an early age.

From the very start, Carlos experiments with a wide range of musical styles, from folk, classical, flamenco, soul, funk, rock and finally that which would make a mark on his life: jazz. The result of this experimental period is reflected in the following albums:

  • El Castillo Herido” with vocalist José María Dalda  (1999).
  •  Cuatro Cosillas” with the flamenco guitarist Alejandro Monserrat (2000).
  • Clásicos de Zaragoza (2º edición)” on classical guitar (2001).
  •  “La Nueva Cuerda” with plectrum instruments “La Nueva Cuerda” (2002).

In 2000 he concludes his classical guitar studies in the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Zaragoza with Ester Pérez. It is at this moment that he feels significantly drawn to Jazz and decides to specialise in this genre.

2002 sees Carlos undertake advanced studies in Jazz at Musikene (Conservatorio Superior de Música del País Vasco) with  José Luis Gámez, where he completes his postgraduate degree in Music, specialising in jazz electric guitar.

The musician

During his postgraduate studies, he collaborates with a number of groups: Eje Jazz Group” (saxophone, piano, drums, base and guitar quintet) y “Carlos Bernal Trío” (Hammond organ, guitar and drums). Of great importance in his artistic development are a number of performances and national contests with the afore mentioned groups and other line ups:

  • Eje Jazz Group” – Contest winners: “Certamen de Música Joven de Cantabria”. First prize in 2003 (Rafael Santana Group) y 2004 (Iván San Miguel Quintet).
  • Eje Jazz Group” – Festival de Jazz de Zaragoza, 2004.
  • Eje Jazz Group” – Festival de Jazz de San Sebastián, 40th edition. Jazzaldía (2005).
  • Eje Jazz Group” – Contest finalists “Debajazz” (Errabal), 2005.
  • La Nueva Cuerda” -“Influenciados”­- Músicas del Mundo (2006).
  • Carlos Bernal Trío” - Festival de Jazz de San Sebastián, 42nd edition. Jazzaldía (2007).
  • Eje Jazz Group” - Festival de Jazz de San Sebastián, 42nd. Jazzaldía (2007).
  • Carlos Bernal Trío” – Expo Zaragoza 2008. Balcón de las Músicas, (2008).

His need to constantly improve himself as a musician has led him to study with guitarists such as Gilad Hekselman, Jesse van Ruller, Maarten van der Grinter, Leonardo Amuedo, Jean Marie Ecay, Marcus Teixeira, José Luis Arrazola, Luis Jiménez, Adolfo López and Pedro López.

At the same time, he has continued his studies with musicians such as Perico Sambeat, Bob Sands, Dusko Goykovich, Andreij Olejnizaj,Jimmy Cobb, Kevin Hayes, Aaron Goldberg, Guillermo Klein, Miguel Blanco, Iñaki Askunze, Javier Colina and Edward Simon.

Among those who have influenced him greatly throughout his career are Red Garland, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Bill Evans, Django Reinhardt, Art Blakey, Chet Baker, Enrico Pieranunzi, Peter Bernstein, Tom Harrell and Dexter Gordon.

Teaching

He has also managed to find time for teaching following his time at Musikene:

  • 2006 -2007: Combos and electric guitar teacher at “José de Nebra”, (Ayuntamiento de Calatayud).
  • 2008-2010:  Harmony, auditory and rhythmic training in jazz at the Conservatorio Superior de Navarra.
  • 2010- 2012: Electric guitar, Combos and Jazz (elementary and improvisation) at the Conservatorio Profesional de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Islas Canarias). Speaker and coordinator of the “Primer Seminario de Jazz del CPM Tenerife”.

During his time in Tenerife he performs regularly with a number of musicians from the archipelago. Among these are his gig with trumpet player Eddie Díaz in the Festival de Jazz “Canarias Jazz Showroom”.

Discography

Always interested in composition, his music is characterised by the constant search for a unique, fresh and current sound, something which is easily recognisable on “Your Real Self¨.

This CD was recorded live in January 2008 at “La Campana de los Perdididos”, a jazz club in Zaragoza. Some of the tracks on this album include: El Duelo, My Real Self, Andrómeda, ¡¡Peroo!!, Chispón, Sol Naciente y Andrómeda.

Diáspora” is his latest venture in which he attempts to convey through music his life experiences. It was recorded on the 17 of June, 2012 in Valencia with the collaboration of Fran Gazol (drums), Marcos Sánchez (piano), Marcelo Escrich (bass) y Rodrigo Bauzá (violin).

Carlos lives at present with his partner on the island of Menorca.