A well-known Fondren creative says “so long” this weekend, on his way to the San Francisco bay area.

Daniel Guaqueta, who has lived in Jackson for the past ten years, follows his wife and recent University of Mississippi School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Megan Guaqueta, to a three-year residency program at Stanford University.

Originally from Hattiesburg, born to a Colombian father studying at USM and a south Mississippi mother, Guaqueta’s family returned to his father’s native country until he was 7.

When he moved to Jackson in 2005, he filmed legal depositions and later, painted houses before auditioning to play with local variety band, Hunter Gibson and The Gators. After becoming their drummer, it was Guaqueta’s goal to play with as many groups as he could and produce audio and music for videos, games and commercials. More recently, he has been the drummer for Buddy & The Squids. “After painting houses, I made a promise to myself that this is wanted I wanted to do, to make money from music and I’ve achieved that,” he says amidst boxes, packing for Friday’s departure.

Guaqueta is excited about the move for the potential opportunities it presents. “There are more people living (in California), obviously, not any different from Jackson, but just more,” he notes. “And by more I mean more of the creatives who think outside the box. It’ll be easier to connect and get bigger.”

When given the opportunity to say a simple thank you to Mississippi’s capital city, he lights up and even leaves some words of inspiration. “I just want to thank Jackson for accepting me and taking me in as Daniel Guaqueta, for accepting my crazy ideas and being open to whatever was going on in my head. People listened, they absorbed and they came out with their own ideas. The arts community is so loving, supportive, and giving and I wish I could pay everyone back ten fold. I think about people like Clay Hardwick who took me under his wing – Tre Pepper, Daniel Johnson, Josh Hailey – cool, progressive people, doing fun, creative things.”

“Jackson and, of course, Fondren, is a part of who I am and I’ll always represent you. People here need to be strong and believe in what they have. You are unique and original. Don’t let anyone put you down. Jackson is an amazing city. I’ve had too much fun here.”