Equinox Highlights: John Maldonado

While our lights are dark, we’ve been spending a lot of time over on Facebook and Instagram showcasing a variety of Equinox talents. From our Hidden Talent series on Facebook to our shout-outs on Instagram, we’ve had many of our performers and technicians get their chance in the Equinox spotlight. However, we’ve not yet introduced you to some truly important people who are part of our Equinox family – the band. We’ve been blessed with some of the most incredible local musicians who come in for show after show and bring so much to every production. We’re thankful to have them and so glad to get to feature them. 

First up – John Maldonado. He has been a regular fixture at nearly every musical we’ve done since Tommy and we are so glad he is part of our team. From his lovable smile to the insane amount of talent that pours from his fingers, our musicals would not be the high quality they are without his contributions. Get to know a little bit more about John with our five questions below.

About John: My name is John Maldonado. I play guitar of all types and styles. I also have an interest in playing other common string instruments. I think I’ve done about a dozen or so shows at Equinox since 2017. The first one I did was Tommy. I’ve enjoyed every single one but my favorites probably have been Reefer Madness, Atomic and Heathers. This is purely from my backstage/pit perspective. I ended up loving the music for these shows in particular. 

Who are your musical influences: As far as influences I first have to mention my guitar teacher Rene Heredia. I was lucky to have studied classical and flamenco guitar with him for 8 years or so. He is still teaching here in Denver. Then it’s probably Pat Metheny, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, certainly Miles and Coltrane, etc. It’s hard because I love so many different styles of music.
The Reefer Madness Band (L to R) Erik Sabbeth, Gabe Maldonado, Adam White, Dorothy Pino and John Maldonado
What keeps bringing you back to Equinox? What I like about Equinox is kind of a long answer but I’ll try to keep it short. I came here because my friend Adam asked me to do Tommy. Hard to say no to that one. What I discovered was that it is crazy fun with really talented and beautiful people. I also really enjoy the discipline needed to do these shows. I’m also a jack of all trades kind of player so being able to play all kinds of different styles, often in the same show, suits me very well. Plus I enjoy being behind the scenes. I think everyone knows that by now. It’s great to be able to play music and be a part of a great show and also be totally not seen. Is that crazy?
What else do you have in the works? As far as new projects go I’m currently working on my lap steel and banjo chops. I got into lap steel back when we did Cry Baby and was honing my banjo skills preparing for Spamalot. So Equinox has really influenced what I’m playing at the moment.
What would you like to say to our patrons? My message to the patrons, followers and those who might be interested is this, ‘Hey we have some of the best talent you will see and hear right here in this little theater in Denver. I am constantly amazed with the kind of passionate and skilled people I get to work with and I think it shines in the productions. Come and see for yourself if you haven’t yet and tell your friends if you have.’
Watch John Play: Check out this video of John playing with The Pino Project (a band that came together out of Equinox shows!)
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