John is a jazz pianist and neuroscience phd
John is a Mexican American jazz pianist and neuroscientist residing in Tampa Bay. John was born in the Yucatan Peninsula where he started piano lessons at age three and played classical piano until the age of 12. Once in the US, he learned to play the tuba in the Middle School concert band. His junior year in High School he was selected to perform in the All-State Concert Band, and attained superior ratings in state level solo performances Junior and Senior year. As a pianist, John played in the Zephyrhills High School jazz band, which attended the State Band competition. In the 2002 Lakeside Jazz Festival John was awarded best piano soloist.
John attended the University of South Florida where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Jazz Piano Performance, a minor in Tuba Performance, and an Honors Thesis in Biochemistry. John toured Italy and France with the USF Big Band and Jazztet combo, playing in the 2007 Umbria Jazz Festival and Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival. As a member of these bands he has played with jazz greats Conrad Herwig, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Steve Davis, Jack Wilkins, and Wycliffe Gordon.
After music school John completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, where he was the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke. John’s dissertation research examines a group of proteins termed “chaperones” and their effects on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and stress-related psychiatric diseases like depression. The depression component of his research was highlighted by the post-publication peer-reviewing agency Faculty of 1000, which places the article in the top 2% of all published articles in the biological and medical sciences. John has been an invited speaker at the Society for Neuroscience conference, Midwestern Stress Response conference, American Chemical Society conference, as well as TEDxTampaBay, TedXUSF, and TEDxDouglasville.
As a music professional John has performed and/or recorded with Dick Hyman, Marty Morell, Chuck Redd, Jeff Rupert, Margaret Morrison, to name a few.