Havana, Cuba, whose family emigrated to the United States in 1961 and put
down stakes in Hoboken, New Jersey.
When he was nine years old, he picked up a guitar and cut his chops
on big band and jazz. Then he
saw The Fab Four on Ed Sullivan’s
television program, and it was a life-changing moment. Rock and roll, he decided, was where
it was at. Unfortunately, rock
and roll was not offered in high school. Neither was guitar. Julio, who had heard the call of music,
longed to be a part of the school band and conformed by deciding on the
In college, he
continued his music studies, but by his sophomore year he had had enough
and left school to pursue music on a professional basis. He did attend a few workshops that
afforded him the opportunity to hone his jazz skills, and he took a class
in songwriting with publisher and tunesmith, Lou Stallman. This opened up some networking
avenues to him, and he was eventually introduced to Spyro
Gyra’s percussionist, Gerardo Velez. The two of them became fast friends
and worked together on a variety of musical projects. It was only fitting that when the band
was in the market for a guitar player, it was Julio who had the inside
track. He aced the audition and
has been playing with them, off and on, ever since. His first album with them was 1985’s
Alternating Currents and he has appeared on most of their recordings
including 2009’s Down the Wire.
on which he can be heard include Pozytywne Wibracje 2 – Brand New Acid Jazz Collection,
Smooth Jazz Café 2, and Sound & Vision SACD Sampler.
In his copious
free time, he performs with another jazz outfit, Cat Lingo. As recently as 2006, they
entertained at the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival. In 2008, Julio reunited with his old
partner-in-crime, Gerardo Velez, for a few live sets at Shades of Hoboken.