Producer John Escobar is also an engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator. Born to a Colombian father and a Mexican American mother, he grew up in a multicultural environment across multiple continents, spending his childhood in several countries in South America and his adolescent years in East Africa. Having the privilege of experiencing life from this angle, he gained a deep appreciation for the music and sounds of the world early on.
Escobar is well known for his versatility, which he attributes to his culturally diverse upbringing. His work has spanned many genres over the years, allowing him to work with such great artists as the multi-Grammy nominees Highly Suspect, the jazz guitar virtuoso Larry Coryell, Grammy-winning folk artist Sarah Jarosz, indie pop band Fences (featuring the Grammy-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis), and classical violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, among many others. Over the last few years, he has had a chance to spend some time in academia, having taught at some of the most prestigious institutions in North America, such as Boston University, University of Southern California, Northeastern University, and Harvard University. He enjoys sharing his real-world knowledge with the up-and-coming talent in the music industry.
"I fully believe in the 'learn the rules to break rules' approach. I want students to learn as much about the technology behind music as possible so that eventually they can transcend the technology and focus fully on the act of making music, regardless of the role they play in that process. I want my class to be a place to start this explorational journey. They will have access to a wide spectrum of technologies at the college, not commonly found even in some of the world's most well-known studios."
"Berklee is really the perfect sandbox for accessing the knowledge and contacts a student of contemporary music will need in order to be successful in today's music industry. One of the most important aspects of music-making is establishing a human connection first. I want students to leave my class not only with technical skills, but also understanding the social setting that cultivates good music production."
"I have spent the last 16 years working mostly as a freelance producer and engineer in several pockets of the industry. I have had a chance to work on bluegrass, country, R&B, pop, rock, jazz, and classical; on traditional album releases, radio broadcasts, TV, and film. Budgets change from project to project, deadlines get moved around, and creative ideas morph sometimes minute to minute. This diversity has taught me to think fast, plan for a variety of outcomes, and, above all, work with many different types of people. To me, this is the kind of industry our students will face and need to be prepared for."