Jason McGuire "El Rubio" began playing guitar at the age of nine, inspired by his mother, who was an accomplished guitarist and folksinger. His formal musical training began in Dallas, Texas from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he studied jazz and classical guitar, and composition. After studying these opposing musical genres, Jason discovered the music of Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, and fell in love with flamenco’s powerful emotional depth. While in school he was given the prestigious "DEE-BEE" award from Down Beat magazine in the category of intrumental jazz soloist and later was one of four finalists in the 1988 American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Classic Guitar Competition. Still hungry for more diverse musical experiences, he began working and collaborating with other artists in an array of styles, including gospel, rock, fusion and Afro-Cuban.
In 1994, Jason relocated to New York to pursue a career in flamenco, and began performing with Gypsy guitarists Chuscales and Pedro Cortes. He was chosen to record with famed gypsy guitarist Carlos Heredia on his “Gypsy Flamenco,” available on the Chesky Records label, and has since performed with many of Spain’s most distinguished artists include Enrique “El Extremeńo, Jose Anillo, Chuscales, Alejandro Granados, Domingo Ortega, Antonio and Manuel de la Malena, Silverio Heredia and Jesus Montoya. In 1997, Jason became the Musical Director for Yaelisa & Caminos Flamencos, an award-winning dance company whose flamenco productions have won critical and audience acclaim for innovation and choreography, and where he has demonstrated his creativity as a composer and arranger. The Los Angeles Times recently wrote that “McGuire’s solo managed to be atmosperic and fiendishly complex at the same time.”
In 1999, he was selected as the Musical Director for the San Jose Repertory Theater's production of "Twelfth Night (or What You Will)" by William Shakespeare, a flamenco adaptation which featured Yaelisa, El Grillo and members of Caminos Flamencos. Jason has appeared as a guest artist with various artists and companies in the U.S., including the Festival Flamenco in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2000, he was awarded a distinguished Music Fellowship from the California Arts Council for composition. His recording, “Distancias,” was released in 2002 and features El Grillo and world-renowned bassists Kai Eckhardt and Benny Rietveld. Jason signed with Bolero Records and re-released “Distancias” in 2005 with six new compositions, and also in 2005 began to produce several other groups, including the new metal band Zeromind.
Jason McGuire “El Rubio” is also the Musical Director for the highly acclaimed New World Flamenco Festival, which premiered in August 2001 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine, and has earned its place as one of the top two flamenco festivals in the U.S.