Some recent praise for John's playing: "...exquisite work..." Catherine Thomas, The Oregonian, March 14, 2007 "...expressive live playing ..." Willamette Week, March 14, 2007 "...excellent video of performance..." PBS From the Top at Carnegie Hall - season 2 episode 2 "...estimable..." Willamette Week, October 22, 2008 John Mery's background is quite intriguing: he was born in Santiago, Chile, grew up in the US and has lived and studied music in Europe. John began playing the guitar at an early age and, like most guitar players, was originally interested in rock and other popular styles. He discovered the classical guitar after his family moved to Spain when he was eleven; it greatly inspired him. Upon returning to the U.S. he dedicated himself to the study of classical guitar; he became completely absorbed in pushing the boundaries of music. His skills earned him a scholarship to the guitar program at the University of Arizona where he went on to receive a master's degree in guitar performance. During his time as a student, John was invited to perform in master classes held by some of the world's top guitarists, including David Russell, Abel Carlevaro, Oscar Ghilia and Christopher Parkening. John has performed as a soloist and in ensembles across the U.S., in Europe, and in South America. He moved to Portland, OR in 1999, where he became head of the music program at PCC. Since then, he has become a regular member of the Northwest music scene as he continues to perform in a wide variety of genres and styles. In 2006 John founded the Oregon Guitar Quartet along with David Franzen, Peter Zisa and Ian Luxton. John's other passions include gourmet cooking and traveling (he speaks a number of languages fluently). He also shares his time and talent with his wife and two children.