Rhythms of Change: North Carolina's Música Latina

Profiles: Guillo Carías

Guillo Carías' career as a musician spans decades, countries, and musical styles. With a life like Guilllo's, some people would be content to sit back and revel in their accomplishments. But then they wouldn't be Guillo.

Guillo has played in symphonies, jazz groups, and salsa bands and performed with great artists like Dave Brubeck, Celia Cruz, and Sammy Davis Jr., just to name a few. His stories could fill a book and he might write one if he wasn't so busy teaching, learning new instruments, and playing in groups around North Carolina.

Guillo began by mastering the piano at conservatories in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He studied trumpet with the late Harry Glantz, who was the first trumpet to solo with the New York Philharmonic.

Guillo, mentored by his father who played piano, trumpet, and sax, took his father's accomplishments as a challenge. “I say to myself I’m going to play more instruments than my father.”

"I was playing french horn (in the symphony), trumpet, piano, trombone, I don’t stop, the vibraphone, I play the guiro all these Brazilian and Dominican instruments. I’m learning the steel drum from the Caribbean. And a harmonica. I’m also learning this because I love the sound of the harmonica. Music is part of my life. It’s like my wife, another wife. I am music. I cannot live without it."

Guillo in his Cary, NC, studio with a painting of his favorite bar in Santo Domingo. That's him seated at the bar in the painting.

Guillo playing an Italian Melodica

Album Cover: Guillo Carias and his Orchestra

Guillo and Celia Cruz

Guillo (right) performing with Dave Brubeck
Project Description | Musician Profiles | Mexican Regional Music