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Playing this summer: Javier Mendoza

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 21, 2010 - HOME: Born in Virginia, raised in Madrid, Spain, now live in St. Louis.

INSTRUMENT: Guitar

HOBBIES: I love soccer and spending time with my family. I love watching movies. I played semi-pro soccer in Germany for Erfenbach. Then I got a scholarship to play for SLU where I injured myself. I was not meant to do it. Unfortunately it's my first passion.

The World Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world. I love it; and I'm from Spain, which is saying something, since we are the biggest jinxed team in the tournament year after year. I'm rooting for Spain first, secondly Mexico (for my dad) and third the States. I'm a fan of my neighbors in Portugal as well.

It's unfortunate that it's not that popular in the States. A good thing is that when I'm on tour and can't watch a big game and I record it, I never have to worry about finding out the score beforehand -- because no one cares here.

LAST CONCERT I ATTENDED: Radiohead

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: In May, I performed with a full band for the first time in Madrid, Spain, my hometown, and in Athens, Greece, on a show sponsored by MTV. We were featured extensively in the media and had a good turnout.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO: I do what I do because I love to perform my songs live for people and hopefully connect with them

QUOTE: "The destination is in the process."

(Paraphrasing Jeff Buckley)

PROFILE: It's no surprise that Javier Mendoza's music bridges many musical styles and cultural boundaries. He was raised in Madrid, Spain, but has lived in St. Louis for many years. He started his musical career as a songwriter in 1996 -- composing songs for the likes of Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. He evolved into performing his own music, and has opened for Willie Nelson, Los Lobos and the Roots. With more than a dozen recordings to his credit, Javier Mendoza and his music have expanded from his dedicated fan base in St. Louis to the rest of the U.S. and Europe.

HEAR HIM LIVE: Javier Mendoza is playing from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Wed., June 23, at the Whitaker Music Festival Series at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

On Fri., June 25, Mendoza will perform at the Gazebo Concert Series in Webster Groves from 6:30-8:30 pm. Both concerts are free.

Check out www.javiermendoza.com for his complete schedule.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer who has long covered the music scene in St. Louis.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

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