Gary Johnson ("El Pulpo")
keyboard harp, piano, vocals, pandero, quijada, jarana

Gary’s first musical input growing up in Oklahoma was from the church, his grandmother’s country alto, and the country music on cornball local TV. He began piano studies at age 7 and admired Bach, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles. Gary attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and studied music at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He was a founding member of Blue Rose Café, the mid-'70s progressive country band that included noted songer-songwriter Kevin Welch. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1978 with r&b/rockers Fast Fontaine, he has played with Del Shannon, Robben Ford, the Rick Vito Band with Russ Kunkel and Bob Glaub, the Bonedaddys, Moris Tepper, Peruvian guitarist Ciro Hurtado, Nicaragua’s Raymond Myers, and Jedubley Ambouley from Nigeria among others. Gary joined Sabiá in 1985, producing the group’s third album on Flying Fish. He also co-produced Word of Mouth’s Somewhere in the World and both Conjunto Jardín CDs.