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Diego Mondragon

Sound description

A fiery blend of Gypsy, Latin, jazz, and Flamenco, with sensual romantic overtones.

RIYL

Jean-Luc Ponty

Influences

Jean-Luc Ponty, Jose-Jose, Pandora, Yuri, Armando Manzanero, Victor Iturbe "El Piruli"
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Violinist Diego Mondragon grew up in San Ysidro, where he began playing in the second grade and gave his first concert in 1970 at the age of 10.

His father Jose de Jesus Mondragon spent nearly 25 years with the San Diego Symphony and was first chair of the Orquesta de Baja California. “[He] played with the magic violins of Villafontana,” says Mondragon. “He toured all over South America, Cuba, New York, Las Vegas, and finally settled in San Diego.”

Mondragon was 15 when the Royal British Conservatory offered him a full scholarship. However, “After a turbulent relationship with my demanding and perfectionist father, I left home at age 15 and wanted nothing to do with the violin. I didn’t return home and didn’t play the violin for over 10 years.”

While working on a second bachelor's in string pedagogy at SDSU, he says, “During that time, I heard Jean-Luc Ponty and hence began my pursuit of playing jazz violin. I started a band called Jazz-Vaz and played throughout San Diego, Mexico City, and Baja California. I was much more connected in Mexico.”

In addition to performing, Mondragon has held teaching positions in Spring Valley, Temecula, Murrieta, and elsewhere. His ensemble with saxophone player Ben Menancio, Savio (merging saxophone and violin), made its debut in July 2004 at the first International Temecula Jazz Festival. They perform locally and have released a Christmas album, Latin Beat Christmas.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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