Juan Dhas is constantly seeking to push his limits and abilities as a guitarist, a composer and an improviser. Born on May 4th, 1994 in Dubai, UAE to a Colombian mother and Indian father, Juan began playing Guitar at the age of 12, after having taken several years of classical Piano studies. Eventually, Juan would find himself attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he was accepted on a scholarship in 2011. While there, he had the opportunity to study with musicians such as Tim Miller, Bret Willmott, Dave Fiuczynski, Freddie Bryant, Leo Blanco and Scott DeOgburn, among many others. Juan further honed his skills in improvisation, composition and arranging at Berklee, ultimately graduating at 20 years old with Summa Cum Laude honours.
Before graduating in 2014, Juan released his debut album Embracing Clarity, which introduced many listeners to his thoughtful, deliberate and intense guitar playing, in addition to his lyrical, yet intricate compositional style. Embracing Clarity was described as “very impressive in that Dhas exhibits a distinct musical personality at such an early stage of development” (All About Jazz).
The album saw critical acclaim, with numerous reviews and also international radio airplay in the US, as well as various countries in Europe and Latin America. Over time, Juan has had the opportunity to collaborate with various musicians and groups such as: Leo Blanco, Victor Bastidas, Eduardo Mercuri, Noam Israeli, Enrico Bergamini, Juan Mejía’s Conspiracy, Anthony Muthurajah, Misha Danilov, Sebastiaan Cornelissen, Armen Movsesyan, the Alejandro Gamboa Group, Azuljauz, Nasar Trio, Prisma, the Sebastián Viancha Quartet and the SF Project (led by Santiago Ferrer).
In late 2016, Juan returned to Bogotá, Colombia (where he currently resides). However, with a still-voracious creative appetite, Juan was ready to put together and create his sophomore album Catharsis. This also saw Juan return to his Classical roots, drawing from the likes of Bach, Chopin, and Debussy; pairing them with recent Modern/Contemporary Jazz influences such as Brad Mehldau, Vardan Ovsepian, Shai Maestro and Nelson Veras. Recorded in March 2018, Juan also decided to experiment with a new trio format, collaborating with local Colombian musicians Ramón Berrocal (drums), Kike Harker (upright bass) and Jacobo Álvarez (drums). The culminating result is a more developed and refined sound, building on the artistic foundation of his debut release to create a collection of nine adventurous compositions.
Since release, Catharsis, has received a wide variety of press internationally, with positive reviews in All About Jazz, Citizen Jazz and Something Else Reviews, as well as international radio airplay. Continuing with further success, the compositions "Deeper Spirit” and “Sleep” were both named as Semi-Finalists in the 2018 International Songwriting Competition for the Jazz and Performance categories, having been selected from a pool of 19,000 entries. In addition, “Deeper Spirit” was also selected as a Finalist for the 2019 Unsigned Only competition within the inaugural Jazz category.
Since arriving in Bogotá, Juan has slowly carved a name for himself within the Colombian Jazz scene. In August 2017, at 23, Juan accepted a teaching position at EMMAT (one of various Berklee International Network schools around the world) where he currently works as Coordinator of the Guitar Department, in addition to performing regularly with various local Colombian musicians, and composing frequently.