Stockton’s Music Man

Geovanie Brooks makes a name for himself gigging across the city—and beyond

Geovanie Brooks, 29, is ten years into his music career. Ever since a friend convinced him to take a guitar class at Delta Community College, Geo hasn’t put one down. Learning to play guitar fed a desire he’d always had, one that led him to choir in elementary school and theatre and musical theatre in middle and high school.

His need, however, may be less musical and more about telling a story. The theory behind music, using chords to share different emotions, using the instrument to portray feelings, it all gave him an outlet for telling a story, a practice he was vehemently pursuing in college as he worked toward his bachelor’s in film and television production at California State University, Sacramento.

Geo performs with two bands—a rock and roll/punk group called Static Symphony and the r&b/funk Marvin Zeller Band—as well as picks up singer-songwriter gigs on his own. “I really like writing and performing blues music or folk music,” Geo says. “I like letting the song project the mood. With funk and blues that’s all you have. It’s more stripped down, more intuitive.”

Every year Geo does about 25 gigs, many in Stockton, ranging from packed crowds at Cast Iron Trading Co. to stripped down performances at Empresso at College Square in Stockton. “[The music scene in Stockton] is still growing and ever changing, Geo says. “There are always new bands, new acts, new people trying to do something different.” He describes it as genuine and true, a reflection of the city itself; rough around the edges but always growing, and the people are genuine and hard working. In addition to gigging, Geo has a full-time job at Music Around in Stockton and does freelance work shooting weddings and music videos. “There are times where it gets kind of tiring,” Geo admits. But, “it doesn’t feel like work… it never feels like it’s a job.”

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