Adrián Terrazas-González: On Artistic Process, His Unorthodox Approach to Overcome Cancer, Why He Doesn’t Drink, Mastery, and How Life is Different after Winning a Grammy

June 19, 2024

In this episode, Adrián Terrazas-González explores his early exposure to Central American traditional music in Chihuahua, Mexico, and his musicianship journey spanning from the flute to the clarinet and saxophone. The discussion highlights his fight against cancer, his stint with the Grammy-winning band The Mars Volta, and his artistic ventures in Los Angeles. Adrián elaborates on his multidisciplinary approach to music, his collaborations with international artists, and his dedication to teaching workshops globally. Marcus and Adrián also delve into creative processes, the role of imperfection in art, the inspirations drawn from notable philosophers, and the limitations of AI in capturing human emotion. The episode wraps up with insights into Adrián’s disciplined approach to music, his ongoing projects, and his philosophy towards overcoming adversity.

Episode Highlights:

06:01 Early Musical Influences

11:26 First Professional Gigs

13:53 Avoiding Substance Abuse

15:59 Growing Up in Chihuahua

33:41 Recording with The Mars Volta

40:41 Performing on Letterman

42:27 Childhood Memories and Influences

01:03:44 Winning a Grammy and Its Impact

Raised in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, Adrián Terrazas-González grew up surrounded by the traditional music of Central America from Danzón, Boleros and Rumba, to Son and Mambo. Terrazas-González began developing his musical ability starting at the age of eleven. He was inclined to play the flute and the tenor saxophone with an understanding of classical music and a distinct attraction to jazz, and five years later chose to take on the clarinet. His grandmother, a “Danzón Nut” according to Terrazas-González, urged her grandson in that direction, but the young player was adamant towards a newfound paragon for himself: Hubert Laws. 
In May 2002 Terrazas-González was diagnosed with Cancer that spread to his stomach and abdomen, treatments included surgery and extensive radiation treatment to the stomach and abdomen. In 2004, he was declared cancer free and in the same year he joined the band The Mars Volta as a full-flesh member. 
From The Mars Volta (Earning his first GRAMMY in 2008) years to an Alternative Metal, and or a Chamber Music pad. Terrazas-González’s professional involvement with the music industry has continued to develop in Los Angeles, California leading T.R.A.M. one of the strongest lineups in music. This dignified and prolific musician collaborates with an eclectic number of international musicians, tours internationally on an intense and annual schedule, and endless collaborations, all the while teaching workshops to numerous school districts and universities around the globe.

Connect with Adrián here: @adrianterrazasofficial

Episode Details

Adrián Terrazas-González: On Artistic Process, His Unorthodox Approach to Overcome Cancer, Why He Doesn’t Drink, Mastery, and How Life is Different after Winning a Grammy
Episode Number: 205

About the Host

Marcus Aurelius Anderson

Mindset Coach, Author, International Keynote Speaker