AURORA – Vivian Garcia considers herself a singer who plays guitar, not the other way around.
Garcia is one of three area singer-songwriters who will perform Thursday, Jan. 9, at The Venue in Aurora as part of its Songwriters Showcase. Also appearing will be Lisa Gloria, as well as The Kevin Trudo. This is the third time Garcia will perform at The Venue, which is operated by the Fox Valley Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
Hosting the evening will be Dave Glynn, who fronts the Aurora-based group called the Empty Can Band. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music will start at 7 p.m.
General admission tickets cost $10, available at themusicvenue.org. The Venue is located at 21 S. Broadway Ave. (Route 25) in downtown Aurora.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Garcia about the upcoming show. The interview has been edited for length and style.
Eric Schelkopf: What do you like about performing at The Venue?
Vivian Garcia: It's got a very warm feeling to it. It's a great room and has a wonderful stage to play on.
And the staff is really nice.
Schelkopf: You will be part of this Songwriters Showcase. Do you consider yourself a songwriter first?
Garcia: I've had an interesting journey as a musician. I started off only as a vocalist for other bands about 20 years ago.
In the past 12 years, I've really taken up the guitar more, so I could accompany myself. But I was still playing covers.
It's really only been in about the past seven years that I ventured into the realm of being a songwriter. And so now I play a lot of shows where it's about a 50-50 split that I play my original songs and covers, when I have to play at restaurants and nightclubs and whatnot.
When I have the opportunity to just do original content, that's really enjoyable too.
Schelkopf: Like you said, you started singing before you picked up the guitar.
Garcia: Absolutely. I didn't even know I was going to be a musician. I have three degrees in literature.
I used to be a high school English teacher at one point in my life. I picked up the guitar in my mid-20s. I studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
I ended up living in Sarasota, Florida, for some years, and then in Madrid, Spain, for a few years. During that time, I picked up the guitar more so that I could accompany myself.
I came to music in a very unconventional way, so I sing and play unconventionally. I just wanted to be able to sing the way that my soul and my spirit feel in music rather than getting into someone else's paradigm.
Schelkopf: You sing songs both in English and in Spanish. How do you try to divide that up?
Garcia: Almost every venue I play at, I will sing in both English and Spanish for a number of reasons. My parents were from Cuba, but I play more of like rumba-flamenca music, which is more Spanish-tinged, because that's where I studied guitar.
As a songwriter, different emotions come to me in different languages. I do enjoy having another language to express myself in.