Luis Camacho was born in the Bronx, New York City, on April 12, 1975, to Carlos and Alma Camacho. At the Age of 9 he was introduced to the trumpet by his Uncle and family musician, Enrique Medina, who had been playing, and continues, in the New York Salsa and Latin Jazz community for the past 40+ years. Continuing with his lessons into junior high school, Luis was privileged to study under Mike Viñas, who at the time was Ruben Blades’ bass player. Mike Viñas’ encouragement resulted in music becoming a top priority for Luis. Around this same time and through the promptings of a family friend (Robert Pope, bass), Luis began studying trumpet at the Jazz Mobile workshops under Eddie Preston and Jimmy Owens.
His years in F.H. Laguardia High school of Music and Art and Performing Arts were spent studying and playing much music. During those years, he got very close to the young Myron Walden (with the Brian Blade Fellowship), Miriam Sullivan (AKA Mimi Jones), and Lance Murphy (Tenor Sax). With this friendship, Luis grew stronger as a trumpet player. The young musicians spent every possible moment jamming and challenging each other and were often visited by musicians such as Ravi Coltrane, Antoine Rooney, Joshua Redman, Eric Lewis (ELEW), and Darren Barrett, who would often sit in. It was Miriam Sullivan who first recognized that Luis Camacho had a singing talent; but he was not yet ready to embrace it.
During these years, Luis studied with Justin DiCioccio (now a Dean at Manhattan School of Music) and Performed with the All City Jazz Band around NYC. Upon Graduating, at age 18, Luis was awarded the Outstanding Jazz Soloist award by BMI and was invited to play at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival (Jamaica) where he toured Negril, Montego Bay, Kingston, and Ocho Rios.
Upon graduating from high school, Luis received a full scholarship to study at SUNY Purchase, but instead opted to study at New England Conservatory where he received 80% of his tuition and board. At New England Conservatory, Luis studied with John McNeil and Scott Cowan (Jazz Trumpet) and Peter Chapman, 2nd Chair with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Classical).
Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control prevented him from continuing his studies at New England Conservatory so he returned to NYC where he was accepted into the Manhattan Praise Band (MPB) of Times Square Church and was privileged to play and study with musicians such as Todd Williams (Tenor Sax from the Wynton Marsalis Septet); Mark Sterbank (Tenor Sax); Edwin Parker (Alto Sax); Jon Cowherd (Piano, now with the Brian Blade Fellowship); Jose Grajales (congas from the Tipica 73 Salsa band); Wilfredo Velez (Alto Sax from Ray Barretto's Latin band); and many more great musicians. With all these musical giants, Luis had no choice but to learn and improve. Doors began to open for him. Opportunities began to come his way. One such opportunity was to tour St. Petersburg, Russia with MPB. While with MPB, Luis began to study the guitar and developed a great love for it. This transitioned him into a Christian Music artist as a bandleader, which he had been doing for the past 15 years. During which time, Luis also began to hone his singing into an art, making it ready for the New York, even the world’s music scene.
While a bandleader and singer/guitar player, Luis assumed his trumpet days were over and sadly did not continue developing his music. However, in early 2009, all that changed when he again developed the itch to go back to his first love, the trumpet. As a result, he has been wood shedding to make his entrance back into the music scene a success.
Recently, Luis participated by singing with the Turn Up the Peace Tour World Premiere at Carnegie Hall. He also has been playing in various Parades across the North East, and as a sideman in Latin, Funk, and Jazz bands across NYC. In addition, he has been studied with Jeremy Pelt (Trumpet) and Marion Cowlings (Vocal) and is now ready to show the world who Luis Camacho is.
Stay tuned for more on Luis Camacho