Inspired at 18 after seeing Mr. Tim Reynolds and Dave Mathews perform at the Kiva auditorium in Albuquerque, I picked up a guitar and begin to teach myself to play. My next door neighbor, Tim, inspired me to struggle through teaching myself, saying that he believed his talent was derived from the idea that when you teach yourself and you don't know the "rules," you are unbound by them. By my high school graduation I had written my first song titled "finally gone" with my close friend X. Many frustrated moments and a couple of guitars later, i had a list of songs including "blue collar beats," "2 Sides," "I Scream," "The weed song," and "Santa Fe."
Soon after moving to Albuquerque in late 2002, i reunited with a close friend from elementary school, Aaron Lamb (drums), and later my high school friend, David Fishback (guitar). We began jamming songs i wrote in my room in the student ghetto at UNM where we began to draw a very small following of close friends that liked to hang out while we practiced. As a three piece, we began playing at house parties but continued to lack something. That something came in the form of Matt Ojinaga (bass), and in 2003, La Junta was born. Soon after, Matt CT (Dj) began performing with the group prior to the release of "Blue Collar Beats."
Though the group has changed since then, four years later i continue to grow and learn as a musician with a great and talented group of individuals supporting me: Aaron Lamb (drums), Matt Ojinaga (bass), Danny Hart (percussion), and Delmone Taylor (sax). I continue to strive for uniqueness, by writing what i see in the world and representing who i am and where i come from in a positive way.
Danny Hart, "Corazon" to his homies, was born August 12 in Albuquerque, NM, and was raised in Eldorado, just outside Santa Fe. Prior to about four years ago, he had zero experience playing a musical instrument. His only knowledge of music came from listening to it constantly as a kid. In the Hart house classic rock was always playing from his parents radio and gangsta rap was always bumping from his brother's system.
In 2003, when I was living with Aaron Lamb, he was given an opportunity to play music for the first time on Lamb's drum set. Nick Peña, a long time friend, along with David Fishback and Aaron Lamb, began jamming songs that Nick would write; La Junta was born. Good friend Matt Ojinaga, and Matt CT would join the band soon after. When Aaron was out of town, Danny would spend his days emulating the classic rock and gangsta rap tunes of his youth. In 2004 unfortunately Fishback and CT both left the band, leaving a void to be filled. Ojinaga, Peña and Lamb suggested that Danny pick up percussion (timbales, congas etc.). Suggestions became demands, demands became harassments, and in the middle of 2006 Danny Hart was the newest member of La Junta
Born on New Years Eve, Matt "Oji" Ojinaga came into this world ready for a party. At the age of nine, he began playing classical guitar and promptly gave it up at the age of twelve. Five years later, he decided once again to pick up an instrument but this time opted for the harmonica. However, this did not last long either and at his high school graduation party, after a long night of underage drinking, his harmonica ended up in a glass of beer. It was not until that tragic moment that he realized he needed a larger instrument and so he decided to go with the bass.
After two years of playing Nirvana and Sublime covers, Danny Hart finally introduced him to the founding members of La Junta. After learning the songs by writing the notes on the back of paper plates, within two weeks Oji played his first show with La Junta in Phoenix, AZ and has not turned back since.
In late 2002 I ran into long time friend Nick Peña at UNM. It was the first time I had seen him in a long time. He told me he had been playing guitar with David Fishback, that his drum kit was here in Albuquerque, and I should come by, jam a little and chill. That's how it all started and we never (or at least I never) thought we were going to become a band in the beginning.
Musical interest and talent comes from both sides of my family and it was expected that I would play an instrument of one form or another as well. I started playing piano when I was in third or fourth grade. I never really liked the piano and I knew my father had played the drums. So of course I wanted to play the drums too. My mom was all for it, and as long as I played something and would be in the school band, I was allowed to play the drums. I started learning percussion in fifth grade in summer band and then moved on to middle school band, both marching and concert. I did this all the way through high school never thinking I would really continue playing all that seriously after graduation. So when I ran into Peña that day on campus I probably hadn't played for half a year, if not longer.
When we first started to jam together it was more of a chill party then anything else. But as time went on Peña kept bringing out more and more songs, so we continued to jam along with him. The first show we ever played was at a friend's house party and it was just Pena and me, guitar and drums. Later Oji (bass) joined and then Matt CT (turntables), to complete the band. Later my long time friend and roommate, Danny Hart, joined, and around the same time, Delmone Taylor joined as well, to complete La Junta.
I have known Hart since third grade. We played basketball and baseball together and went to the same schools. I've known Peña since sixth grade and we also played basketball and baseball together growing up. Iâ€™ve known Oji since little league baseball, when we played against each other. Del started coming around in 2004 sitting in on a jam or for a show. and after a few years joined for good. These are my brothers.
Santa Fe Sam (Atkinson), the Saxophone Man.- Born in Las Vegas, N.M., in 1975, raised in Guadalupita, N.M., Moved to Santa Fe when he was 10 and started playing sax. Started playing professionally when he was 16 with a reggae band called the Elements. Since then, he has played lead sax in the S.F.H.S. and UNM jazz bands(butit bland), sat in with bands from Calico
Rose to Yque, and most notably was the long time sax player for The Lush Life. He's played sax on four of seven continents, and continues to strive for the "most fun I can have with a sax in my mouth". He lives his life through music, working at the Candyman, recording as an engineer for D.M.B.D. Audio Productions, repairing instruments of all kinds, and now playing with La Junta!! This solidifies his reputation as "Santa Fe Sam, The Saxophone Man".