J.R. feels more fortunate than most when it comes to music. Throughout his years growing up it was taken
for granted that the music of guitars and singling voices would be ringing out tunes around the house. His
family has always been blessed with musicians and singers. At one point they counted six different bands
made up of Muniz family that covered three generations.
He started out as a Muniz roadie, always helped out, went to rehearsals and unknowingly began growing
musical roots with every passing moment. His induction to playing live music came no further than his family
home. In the late 60's, 'The Muniz Family Band' began it's genesis with JR's father Cheto, his brother Albert,
his sister Rosie and Rosie's husband Pat. As the music for the Muniz family grew, it became more difficult to
keep a bass player because people would play and eventually move on. The family's solution came as quite
an unexpected surprise to JR. He arrived home one day to be told that he would be the new bass player for
the family band. JR protested and reminded everyone that he had no experience, no equipment and no clue
as to where to begin being part of a band. But the family made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Shortly
thereafter, they went out to buy JR the necessary gear - then a few rehearsals to teach JR his parts. Within
two weeks JR had stage lights shining in his eyes! He was about 19 at the time. He is reminded often by
family members that he was scared to death that first performance - JR tried hiding behind the speakers all
The Muniz family group eventually took on the name 'Suavecito' followed by 'All in the Family (Todo en la
Familia)'. They recorded and performed Mexican music in the tri-state area for decades. As time went on
they were joined by 'Harry Zemmer' on guitar and trumpet. He arranged the charts for an eventual horn
section that evolved into a nine piece band. Harry became a lifelong friend and still performs with the Muniz
Family to this day.
It was in college that J.R. got to know his Uncle Tim. Muniz family folklore had it he was the best guitar
player the family had ever known. Once J.R. saw him play, it was clear to him the stories about his uncle's
talent were no exaggeration. J.R. knew immediately that he wanted to play guitar too. To J.R.'s chagrin, his
Uncle Tim soon left for Texas and J.R. never saw him again. But he never forgot how his uncle's hands
moved effortlessly around the neck of a guitar. The itch to play guitar had firmly been implanted in J.R.
As time went on, the family band became more in demand, but J.R. was still thinking about how wonderfully
his Uncle Tim had played guitar. That led J.R. to playing bass & guitar with other groups beginning with an
Oldies/R & B band called x'Parallel', followed by x'The Harmonix' and then with a group called x'Chaser'. And
for a time J.R. also had the fortunate opportunity to perform with Larry Arbor who has that classic
troubadour vocal and guitar style and who is still performing today. They performed as an acoustic duo in
smaller venues and supper clubs.
In the summer of 1999, J.R. had the great pleasure to perform with a talented group of musicians and
singers in the xVocal Point Band.He began with them as a temporary fill in for a few weeks and ended up
performing with them for over ten years. Most of the members of this band were also part of xSouthern
Reignx a very popular country group that played in and around the Detroit area for some thirty years.
Given the choice, J.R. would listen to Motown or other tunes from the 1960's "when music was real music and
lyrics dug deep into your soul". His favorites are Smokie Robinson and Marvin Gaye and enjoys performing
their ballads. Years ago J.R. had the honor to meet and befriend Uriel Jones, an original member of
Motown's house band, The Funk Brothers. Uriel told J.R. many stories that put all the Motown music in
perspective for him, giving him a closer connection to events that he had experienced growing up. J.R.
listens to and enjoys many types of music. The good solid harmonies like that of the Eagles or the old
Doo-Wop groups are always a treat for him to listen to.
His most embarrassing professional moment came when he tried to sing one night at a performance, only to
find very little coming out. Nodules and polyps were soon discovered on his vocal cords. It took some
surgery and some recovery time and J.R. gives all the credit to Dr. Sheila Ray - for giving him back his pipes
and his vocal range.
J.R. currently plays guitar, bass and button accordion and loves singing. LEGEND The Band is very proud to
welcome him to the line-up. His unique vocal style and talented bass playing is a wonderful addition to the
"It's been a blessing for me to be surrounded by awesome musicians in every step of my musical career. The
same can be said for being welcomed into a group of talented players that make up LEGEND. The future for
me is music in some form or fashion."
|" I owe my musical roots to my father and
my brother Albert. I owe my vocal roots to
my mom. She was a great singer.
The highlight of my musical career are
the memories of playing along side my
father in the living room or on stage."