Nettai Tropical Big Band
Session & Touring Drummer
Ill Nino & Puya
Educator & Performer
Composer & Percussionist
Ruckatan & Caravanserai
RaĂşl Lara y sus Soneros
Orlando "Maraca" Valle
Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars
Performer & Educator
Yuvisney Aguilar Rojas
Pedro Pablo Rodriguez
La Rumba de Pedro Pablo
La Rumba de Pedro Pablo
Roberto "Chino" Bolanos
Educator & Performer
Independent, Composer & Educator
Gustavo Di Dalva
Percussionist, Singer, Songwriter, Producer & Clinician
Geraldo de Oliveira
Performer & Educator
Performer & Educator
Jorge Emmanuelli NĂˇter
Bomba & Plena Elder & Master
Composer, Arranger & Percussionist
Performer, Producer & Educator
NYC Freelance Percussionist
Go-Go Mickey Freeman
Rare Essence, Familiar Faces
Cirque Du Soleil - MystĂ¨re
Performer & Educator
Performer & Educator
Pedrito Martinez Group
Educator & Performer
Independent, Bernhoft, Kurt Nilsen
Domingo â€śSunnyâ€ť Ortiz
Paul Alexander Gonzalez
Miguelito "Pacha" Pozo
Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas
Educator & Performer
Joaquin "Joaco" Arteaga
Educator, Author & Performer
Educator and Performer
Ingrid Michaelson / Sessions
Author, Educator & Performer
Abel Valentino & Salsation
Beat the Donkey
Bandleader & Educator
Blue Mambo & Educator
Tito Puente, Jr.
The Last Mambo King
Marcos J. Lopez
Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas
The Latin Playerz, Educator
Henrique De Almeida
The Brazilian Jazz Project & Educator
Spanish Harlem Orchestra
The Benge Family
Selena Gomez & the Scene
Happy the Man & 4Front
Sting, Steely Dan
Felipe Pipe Alzate
Grupo Falso Baiano
The King of Latin Jazz
Karl Van den Bossche
Courtney Pine, Desire, Blur
Performer, Educator & Author
In 1979 Tito Puente appeared in Tokyo, performing with his Latin Jazz Ensemble and conducting a workshop in Latin rhythms. Attending both events was a young Japanese percussionist, Shingo "Carlos" Kanno. It was his first experience hearing live Latin music, and it ignited him with an irrepressible passion for Latin and Caribbean rhythms. He began playing congas, studied the recordings of Puente and Carlos "Patato" Valdez, and has since mastered most every Latin percussion instrument there is.
In the early '90s, from his base in Tokyo, Kanno formed a salsa band, Orquesta de la Luz. The all-Japanese group perfected its groove by jamming with every salsa band that toured Japan, and even learned some Latin "moves" from New York choreographer Eddie Torres. Orquesta gained a huge following, their early albums topping Billboard's Latin charts. The Japanese salseros were living proof of Kanno's motto: "Salsa has no borders!".
Kanno now leads a swinging 18-piece big band, the Nettai Tropical Jazz Band, that has released two albums in the U.S. ("September" and "Live from Yokohama") and a third in Japan. Nettai recently opened for an all-star Latin show (which included Puente and Giovanni Hidalgo) at New York's Carnegie Hall, and is scheduled to appear at several jazz festivals in Japan.
Besides leading his own bands, Kanno has performed with jazz flutist Dave Valentin, jazz keyboardist Naoya Matsuaka, and rockers Casiopea. He also produced an instructional video (in Japanese) that demonstrates techniques for playing modern salsa percussion.
Lee Davies is an English drummer from northwest England who has worked with artists such as Jerry Donahue and Lucie Silvas. Davies has carried out session work for Warner Brothers Records, Stanley House Studios (London) and Rollover Studios (London).
Lee began playing Drums at the age of four, and gained tuition throughout his younger years from well-renowned players including Francis Seriau (Founder of Tech Music Schools, London). In 1996, at the age of 16, Lee was the youngest student in Europe to be enrolled on a Full Time Grant funded course at Tech Music Schools in London.
As well as performing and recording, Lee takes an active approach to education and has performed workshops for such companies such as the Academy of Sound in the UK, and has been featured online for Mike Dolbear Drums and has been published by Drummer Magazine (UK) and Sound on Sound Magazine.
With over 17 years of stage and studio experience, Rich Redmond has become one of the most respected and in-demand drummers in the music industry today. He has performed around the world with such superstar acts as Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Bryan Adams, Joe Perry, Kid Rock, Jewel, Alabama and many more.
Rich has played on sixteen #1 hits, sold more than 13,000,000 downloads, recorded multiple platinum records, and performed live for more than 1,000,000 people yearly. Rich also played on the #1 and #2 most played songs on radio for 2011 and has appeared in multiple videos that are in regular rotation on CMT (Country Music Television). More recently, his powerful signature drumming can be witnessed in sold-out stadium shows with Jason Aldean and heard on a string of hits for artists including Thomas Rhett and Parmalee. Rich is also a highly sought after speaker and educator with a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Using his own insights and experiences as a foundation for success coaching, Rich developed the “C.R.A.S.H. Course for Success™” (which stands for Commitment-Relationships- Attitude-Skill-Hunger). He presents customized versions of this course to a wide variety of audiences ranging from grade schools, to music shops, to Fortune 500 corporate clients.
Rich is the creator and host of the highly acclaimed “Drummer’s Weekend” which brings students of all ages and stages face-to-face with their drum heroes for an immersive weekend of inspiration and perspiration, as well as a highly sought after clinician and teacher providing a variety of educational experiences from full and half-day drum camps, to master classes and individual Skype lessons.
Rich is also a contributing writer for Modern Drummer magazine and co-authored the book/DVD “FUNdamentals™ of Drumming for Kids.” Rich has also developed and presented online instructional material for the Drum Channel.
Van Romaine is one of the busiest drummers around and he's maintained that status for more than twenty years. Best known for his long tenure with the Steve Morse Band, Van's exceptional drumming skills have also earned him first-call status for dozens of other major artists.
Born in Montclair, New Jersey, Van first started playing drums at the age of five, jamming along with his musical family. By the time he was twelve he was playing professional gigs at parties and banquets in the New York/New Jersey area. As he got older the jobs got better, until he ultimately landed his first "big gig" with the legendary horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears. "My first show with BS&T was a 4th of July festival in South Carolina," Van recalls. "We were opening for Hall & Oates in front of 250,000 people—with no rehearsal! That was a pretty scary debut, I can tell you."
Van toured the US, Japan, Australia, and Europe with BS&T until he joined the Steve Morse Band in 1989. His first recording with the high-powered trio was the critically acclaimed Southern Steel. That recording won "Guitar Album Of The Year" in Guitar Player magazine. It also brought Van's dynamic playing to the attention of the worldwide drumming community—and the rest, as they say, is history.
In addition to performing regularly with the Steve Morse Band, Van keeps busy playing with a wide array of other artists. These include recent and/or upcoming tours with Latin/pop superstar Enrique Iglesias and Europop sensation Nena. He's also done gigs with funk master Bernie Worrell and prog-rock pioneers Kansas, as well as with Billy Joel, Joan Osborne, The Dixie Dregs, Naughty By Nature, Kim Wilde, TM Stevens, Hiram Bullock, Jack McDuff, and The London Symphony Orchestra. (How's that for versatility.)
When he's not on the road or in a session, Van can be found in his own LiveWire recording studio on New York City's Lower East Side. He's also in high demand as a clinician, appearing at drumming events around the world.
Oscar Santiago was born in New York, raised in Puerto Rico and has been living in Los Angeles since 2004. Both a drummer and percussionist, Oscar is a ten-year ambassador of Latin metal drumming, playing and recording with the likes of Ill Nino, Ankla, Puya and Ortiz. He has also collaborated with Dave Lombardo and Thomas Lang. Oscar's recording credits include Ill Nino - Enigma, Ankla - Steep Trails, Persistence, Puya - Areyto, Ramon Ortiz – Ortiz, among others.
Eduardo Andres Espasande Mesa, also known as Eduardo Cubano, is a percussionist, drummer, and events producer.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Eduardo graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Havana. He has recorded and performed with many Brazilian artists such as Jota Quest, Eduardo Costa, Banda Beijo, Gil Melandi, and many more.
In 1996, he taught Latin percussion at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Conservatory in Brazil. Currently, he is living in São Paulo. Eduardo performs worldwide and teaches Latin and Cuban music workshops and seminars on both drums and percussion.
March 15, 1944 - December 18, 2011
Ralph Mac Donald was a gifted musician, composer, percussionist and friend to us. Though we are saddened by his passing, and will sorely miss his sense of humor and warmth, we know this his memory will always be preserved in the legacy of beautiful and timeless music that he left behind as a gift for us all to enjoy.
Few have the power and versatility that Ralph MacDonald possessed. Ralph, a Grammy award-winning artist, an endorser for Latin Percussion for nearly 40 years and was one of LP Founder Martin Cohen’s friends and sounding boards for new products. Martin began bringing prototypes of instruments for MacDonald to play in the 1970's. "There has always been a real camaraderie of company, product and player at LP," said Ralph.
Ralph’s first big break was with Harry Belafonte, which led to work with artists like Ashford & Simpson, the Bee Gees, David Bowie, Brecker Brothers, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, Bob James, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, and Steely Dan, to name a few. Since 1988, most of his time on the road had been with Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reef Band.
Some people may not know of MacDonald's great success as a songwriter. He co-wrote the Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway hit “Where Is The Love”, and Grover Washington, Jr.’s, platinum hit “Just The Two Of Us”. Mac Donald also wrote the song “Holiday” for Jimmy Buffett's Banana Wind album. The songwriting had been a bonus, Ralph once said. "I just wanted to play some music. I was playing on everybody's record and just got the chance to spread it out."
Singer, songwriter, percussionist and bandleader, Carlos Elizalde has developed a solid reputation as one of San Francisco’s top front men, leading one of the brightest and energetic groups to come out of the Bay Area club scene with Ruckatan. Carlos’ dynamic style combines elements of Latin, Rock, Soul, Reggae and World music.
His musician father, who opened up his musical soul to many creative styles, heavily shaped Carlos. He was also influenced by many of the best percussionists on the West Coast including Armando Peraza, Pete Escovedo, Mingo Lewis, Sheila E., Karl Perrazo, Raul Rekow, Juan Escovedo, Mio Flores, Eric Engstrom, Frankie Parise, Derek Rolando and many more.
Being of Basque, Ecuadorian and Mexican heritage, he was immersed in a melting pot of incredible world music. From a very early age, his home was filled with music from England, Italy, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. With no formal music training, Carlos’ success can be attributed to his work ethic, desire to learn and the generosity of his extraordinary influences.
Carlos and his band have shared stages with Latin Rock royalty including Santana, Malo, Tierra, El Chicano, Joe Bataan, Los Lonely Boys, WAR among many others. In 2011, Carlos was invited to tour with the nationally recognized Santana tribute band, Caravanserai, this gave him the opportunity to showcase his percussion prowess and vocal talents.
Born and raised in El Cerro, the vibrant heart of Havana, Cuba, where Afro-Cuban music and culture is ubiquitous. Raised by a family of dancers and musicians, Rolando’s inspiration is never far from these art forms.
In the early 1990s, Rolando left Cuba for a new beginning in Sweden, following in the footsteps of his brother, Raúl Lara. He immediately started performing with his brother, who had firmly established himself as one the premier players in the Latin music community in Scandinavia. The Lara brothers, often perform together with their own bands, and with many other musicians including El Rey Shangó, Timba Odara, Son Entero and Raúl Lara y sus Soneros.
Initially a self-taught percussionist, Rolando completed his Bachelors Degree at age 36 from the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg. In 2004, while studying at the Academy of Music, Lara was awarded honorable recognition and cultural grant by the city of Gothenburg. Rolando continues exploring and developing Cuban music in Northern Europe, bringing diversity and innovation to his projects including Timba Odara (Afro-Cuban Jazz) and Habaneros (Traditional Son).
As a young boy in Cuba, Rolando enjoyed listening to traditional orchestras perform various Afro-Cuban styles of music including Danzón, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha and Boleros. After many years away from his native land, Rolando returned to Cuba to research traditional music of Cuban orchestras and big bands, which were led by such great composers as Ernesto Lecuona, Bebo Valdés and Adolfo Guzman. This was the beginning of his project, El Rey Shangó Superior.
Rolando is, without any doubt, a leading advocate of the Afro-Cuban culture. He has expanded the vocabulary of Afro-Cuban music with his arrangements and performances, which feature a wide range of Cuban music styles like Afro-Cuban Folklore, Timba and Afro-Cuban Jazz. In 2013, Rolando had the honor of being part of Raúl Lara y Sus Soneros Grammy Award nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album category.
Rolando’s musical character is timeless and groundbreaking, and he strives to maintain the roots of the Afro-Cuban rhythms in all his productions. The result is a confluence between the traditional and the contemporary while highlighting his own original style.
Grammy nominated percussionist, composer and singer Raúl Lara was born on Valentine’s Day in 1965. Raised in San Martín, El Cerro, Cuba, which is just behind Plaza de la Revolution in Havana, music came naturally to Raúl. His family consists of dancers and musicians, all of whom play Cuban music.
Raúl was also inspired by Benny Moré, Arsenio Rodríguez, La Sonora Matancera, Sierra Maestra, Pacho Alonso, Rolando Laserie, Conjunto Los Latinos, Rumbavana, Los Van Van, Son 14, among many others. As a child, Raúl played Afro-Cuban Rumba and Son with bands at school and with his peers.
In the 1980s, Raúl performed with local groups at Casa de Cultura. Tutored by renowned percussionist José Luis "Changuito" Quintana, Raúl started his professional career playing mainly at large hotels in Havana.
In 1990, Raúl moved to Sweden, where he currently performs and records with groups such as Timba Odara, Rey Changó, Son Entero and Laroye. Raúl has toured northern Europe, playing Latin rhythms as well as numerous other genres including Jazz, African, Caribbean, Pop, European Folk music. Raúl is, and always will be, rooted in the Afro-Cuban tradition. He has also formed a number of Salsa and Son groups including his own band - Raúl Lara y sus Soneros.
Raúl has evolved as a composer, and has his own unique sound with bits and pieces of inspiration from different époques from Cuban Music. He also has a way with words, and his lyrics contain references to everyday life in Cuba, as well as the African Cuban religion, Santeria, which is an important part of his life. He is an award-recognized composer, and has studied music at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Orlando â€śMaracaâ€ť Valle was born in Havana, Cuba to a family of musicians. He started playing flute at age ten and later studied at the Higher Institute of Art of Havana. By 1988, he was asked to join Cubaâ€™s famous band, Irakere where he served as flutist, keyboardist, and arranger. After six years with Irakere, Maraca launched his solo career in 1994 with Pasaporte, which featured collaborations with noted Cuban percussionists Tata GĂĽines and Miguel "AngĂˇ" DĂaz. He has since earned an international reputation not only as a master flutist but also as a multi-instrumentalist, writer and arranger. His albums represent his foray as a composer and showcase his astonishing talents.
Maracaâ€™s talent was honed through years of touring and collaborating with the worldâ€™s best musicians. After decades building an international name for himself in prestigious Cuban and Latin ensembles, his Grammy-nominated 2003 solo release Tremenda Rumba reached the top 15 on Billboardâ€™s Tropical Album chart in the U.S. His masterpiece album Descarga Total! is one of Cubaâ€™s bestselling albums ever.
Maraca has appeared at prestigious festivals in Aspen, Montreux, Montreal, Vancouver, Istanbul, North Sea, Paris, Nice and many others. He has performed at top international venues like the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the House of Music in Moscow, and the Athensâ€™ Opera House in Greece and has also lent his arranging and composing skills to the likes of Cesaria Evora, Leonid Agutin, Cubanismo, the Afro-Cuban Allâ€“Stars, Orlando Poleo, Nora, Amadito ValdĂ¨s, Yumuri, Monique Seka and many others.
Maraca continues to collaborate and share the stage with some of the worldâ€™s best musicians including Russian Pop star Leonid Agutin, Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guitarist Al di Meola with whom he performed at the Jazz Ă Vienne Festival in France. At a recent performance in Paris, Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars featured notable artists Steve Turre, Brian Lynch, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Irving Acao and GrĂ©gory Privat.
Hilko Schomerus was born in Hannover, Germany, in 1964. He began his autodidactic studies in percussion at the age 17. Numerous trips during his music studies took him to Venezuela, Indonesia, and West Africa (amongst other places), where he learned and collected musical instruments and culture of these countries. His openness and curiosity have kept Hilko traveling, trying to find and discover extraordinary traditional percussion instruments from all over the world. He spends most of his time trying to adapt these various styles into a unique combination that has become his own.
Hilko has toured on the national level with various top German acts such as Fury in the Slaughter House, Cultured Pearls, Inga Rumpf, Soul Lounge, Echt and NDR Big Band, just to name a few. He has also performed and/or recorded for many international acts including Richard Clayderman, Sandra (Enigma) and Lamont Dozier. He has toured worldwide with Randy Crawford, DJ Bobo, Cunnie Williams and Mousse T.
When Hilko is not traveling, touring or playing gigs, he teaches courses in Latin and Pop Percussion throughout Germany. He works regularly for the Hannover University for Music and Drama and the University of Music in Cologne and gives guest lectures at University for Music in Detmold, Bremen, Hamburg and Osnabrück. He has also presented various international seminars.
Dwight Muskita, of Dutch and Moluccan heritage, has been performing and playing percussion since 1985. Originally self-taught, Dwight expanded his musical education by studying with Steve Boston, Eddy Conard, Nippy Noya and Mario Jaurequi. He further enhanced his studies, by spending two weeks at the Kahnawake Mohawk Reservation in Canada. Later, he came to the United States to study with world-renowned percussionist Ron Powell.
Dwight believes that great percussionists play from the heart and continually learn using creativity and humor. As an all-round percussionist, he incorporates the skills and techniques that he’s acquired into the many styles of music he plays, including Jazz, Rock, R&B, Pop, Latin and Fusion.
Some of the notable artists whom Dwight has performed and recorded with include Stevie Wonder, Lee Towers, Rosa King, Wolter Kroes, and Frans Bauer, Dancing with the Stars, Kenny G, and many others. Dwight has performed on TV with many globally recognized artists including Lionel Richie, Laura Pausini, Gloria Estefan, Mary J Blige, Gipsy Kings, Ricky Martin, Time Bandits, Rosa King, Massada, Justine Pelmelay, Vanessa Mae, Jamie Cullum, Phil Collins, Tatjana, Franklin Brown and Maxine.
Yuvisney Aguilar Rojas was born in the village of San Luis, in the province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. His interest in art and music began at the age of six, participating in youth community projects for fans of culture, which consisted of singing children's songs and greatest hits of the 1980’s. From childhood he began to receive awards at different festivals and events, as a solo singer, instrumentalist and percussionist.
Yuvisney began his musical studies at the Raúl Sánchez School of Art and later at the Carlos Hidalgo Professional School both located in Pinar del Río, where he graduated in 2001 specializing in percussion. Between 2000 and 2004 in Havana, he attended numerous Afro-Cuban Percussion (Yoruba) seminars given by the prestigious teacher Lázaro Pedroso, who is an instructor at I.S.A. (Superior Institute of Art) and founder of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba.
Yuvisney’s professional credits include percussionist, singer, composer and musical director for the group Manana, as well as percussionist for Chuchito Valdés and Sandra Carrasco. Yuvisney was also percussionist in the musical NY Story, which was directed by Pepe Rivero and choreographed by Dani Panullo. Yuvisney has also performed and/or recorded with such notable artists as: Richard Bona, Paquito D’ Rivera, Pablo Milanés, Néstor Torres, Ángela Carrasco, David Murray, Orquesta Nacional de Jazz, Luis Cobos and Spain Jazz Band, Raúl Paz, Carlos Maza, Síntesis and Café Quijano. among many others.
More recently, Yuvisney collaborated on a CD by Chuck Loeb, and was honored to appear with some of the great artists in the music industry including Steve Gadd, Will Lee, Eric Marienthal, and Peter Eskine.
Charles K. Santiago, better known as Charlie “Bongo” Santiago, was born on May 29, 1961 in Manhattan, New York. At age two, his family moved back to Puerto Rico, where he first showed talent in drumming. By age eight, he played bongos for the first time at a holiday celebration. Trumpet player Elliot Feijo gave him his first opportunity to play bongos professionally at a Durango y su Nuevo Tumbao rehearsal.
Charlie was influenced and taught by Richie Ray’s bongo player, Manolito Gonzalez. Later tres player Nelson Gonzalez taught him the New York style of bongo playing and Frankie Rodriguez taught him Cuban rhythms.
At age 16, Charlie played with the group, Rafaga. A few years later, he joined Nelson Gonzalez Band Revelation II. He performed and recorded with Ismael Miranda and Nelson on various television shows, dances and concerts. This exposure led Charlie to work with musicians like Roberto Anglero, Elias Lopes, Orchestra Panamericana, Poldo Castro, Andy Montanez, Tommy Olivencia, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, La Lupe and Tabin Pumarejo Trio. Charlie is a founding member of the group, Zaperoko.
In 1983, Charlie relocated to Miami to perform with Luis Lefty Perez and Orchestra Fuego. Since then, Charlie has performed with Grammy Award winners and nominees including Celia Cruz, Nestor Torres, Willie Chirino, Hansel y Raul, Alex Leon, Roberto Torres, Rey Ruiz, Eddie Santiago, Tony Vega, Charlie Cruz, Cano Estremera, Tito Nieves, Conjunto Clasico, Michael Stuart, Giro, Edgar Joel, Hector Tricoche, Menique, Adalberto Santiago, Lalo Rodriguez, Ley Lejandro and Ricky Martin.
Currently, Charlie performs and records with the founder of the Miami Sound, Carlos Oliva and the Judges Nephews, Issac Delgado, Frankie Vazquez, among many others. He also enjoys playing drum set at church along with recording and performing with various Christian Salsa groups.
Israel Morales was born in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba on September 17, 1986. At a very early age he showed an interest in music. At age ten, he began his formal musical education at the Vocational School of Art, ?ola Sahig. At age sixteen, he continued his musical education at José White of Camagüey Conservatory. After three years of study, Morales participated in the International Percussion Festival & Drum Festival, directed by Giraldo Piloto Barreto, and was awarded first place in the percussion category. He graduated in 2007, at the top of his class, and began to develop his professional career. He became a member of several different groups, improving his skills as a percussionist.
In 2008, Morales was invited to be part of Klimax, a prestigious internationally recognized Cuban Orchestra created by Giraldo Piloto Barreto. As part of this orchestra, Morales refined his skills in percussion, playing timbales, bongos, and guiro. In 2009, he became part of the popular orchestra, Orchestra Salsa Mayor, directed by Maykel Blanco. In 2010, Morales continued his musical career with the popular international artist Paulo FG, recording on the album Sin Etiqueta (Without Label) and touring throughout Europe, Mexico, Peru and the United States.
After the tour in the United States with Paulo FG in 2011, Morales relocated to Miami, Florida. Soon after he performed with such artists as Price Royce, Jenny Rivera, Paulina Rubio and Cristian Castro for the Billboard Awards. He continued his career as an independent artist and toured with such notable artists as Albita Rodriguez and Elvis Crespo.
In 2013, Morales participated in several Jazz festivals including Kaslo Jazz Society and Richmond Jazz Festival. He also performed with the Macao Symphony Orchestra in a concert of traditional Cuban music in China with the band Tiempo Libre with whom he is currently a member.
Born in the city of Pasto, Colombia, Alexandra Alban’s musical career began as a trumpet player in several different musical groups in her home city. Soon, she was also singing and participating at national level competitions in which she won numerous awards.
Alexandra traveled to Cali, Colombia to start her career as a percussionist, where she joined several female musical bands. One was the Canela Band, which enabled her to be recognized in the music industry as a percussionist while performing in different parts of the world. Alexandra was also a member of the distinguished Colombian group, Kema. The band’s internationally recognized Colombian trumpet player and producer Jose Aguirre invited Alexandra to record as a singer and percussionist on several of his group’s productions.
During Alexandra’s extensive musical trajectory, she has had the opportunity to perform and record with artists at the national and international level. Among her more recent recordings was with the renowned Puerto Rican flute player Nestor Torres, on his recent Latin Jazz Album Nouveau Latino, which was nominated to the Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards for best album in its category.
Some of the notable artists that Alexandra has worked with include Maelo Ruiz, Tito Nieves, Jerry Rivera, Luisito Carrion, Ray Sepulveda, Ray De La Paz and Henry Fiol, to name a few. She has also had the opportunity to work on Alberto Barros’ recording “Tribute to Colombian Salsa”, which won two Gold Discos for sales in Mexico.
Currently, Alexandra is a percussionist and singer for New Wine, the musical group for King Jesus International Ministry, one of the biggest and fastest growing Hispanic churches in the United States.
Indonesian drummer, Wahyu Prastya received his Bachelor of Music at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. He has performed with several artists at world renowned venues throughout Australia including The Basement, Marble Bar, Big Top-Luna Park, Supper Club, Establishment, Oxford Art Factory, the Vanguard, and many more. Wahyu also won First Place in Billy Hyde Drum Competition in 2009.
Now, living in Indonesia, Wahyu is currently playing with famous Indonesian musicians such as Dr. and The Professor, Tompi, Andien, Glenn Fredly, Tohpati, Dewa Budjana, Rio Febrian, Ahmad Dhani, Mulan Jameela, Mike Mohede (Indonesian Idol), Judika (Indonesian Idol), Adon ‘Base jam’, Sidney Mohede (ex-GMB & True Worshipper), Franky Sihombing, Petra Sihombing, Harry Anggoman (ex-Gong 2000), Morgan Sigarlaki (Emerald Band), Adi Prasodjo (GMB) and Mus Mujiono (Cannizaro).
D*LOC was hired in his early teens by Snoop Dogg and is the original drummer for the Snoopadelics. This lead to him becoming the Hip Hop Drummer/Percussionist of many of the West Coast classics and Death Row Records hits of the mid- to late 1990’s. He is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, music director, Grammy Award winning musician, and an icon in the drumming world.
At 5, the self-taught drummer played for churches throughout Long Beach and the greater Los Angeles area. Funk, Gospel, and Jazz artists influenced his music, including: Sly of Sly and the Family Stone, The Hawkins, Clyde Stubblefield, Gaylord Birch, Steve Gadd, James Brown, and his mentor and teacher–the incomparable, Joel Smith. His mastery and mature-beyond-his-years style in his early childhood led to his first gig with Miki Howard.
His recording career started once he connected with Andrew Gouche, one of the most prolific music directors and bass players in Gospel music. From their partnership, D*LOC recorded albums and toured with Andrae Crouch, the L.A. Mass Choir, Daryl Coley, Kurt Carr, Tremaine Hawkins and others. He spent a significant part of his career recording and performing with Snoop Dogg, TuPac, Dogg Pound, and other Death Row artists and touring worldwide with Snoop Dogg. On July 2nd, 2005, he had the opportunity to perform in London at Live 8, a nationwide string of benefit concerts to campaign against poverty. This benefit concert has gone 9X platinum to date, selling over 9 Million copies.
In 2008, D*LOC founded his music company: TFD Music. Its name is short for “ThFunkyDrmr,” a moniker given to him by Jody Watley, his godmother. While handling a variety of responsibilities for TFD’s artists, D*LOC serves as drummer/music director for Rahsaan Patterson. Over the course of their partnership, he contributed on the entire Bleuphoria album and added his musical expertise, produced and arranged “Little Drummer Boy” of the The Ultimate Gift LP, and wrote and produced the title track for After Hours, Rahsaan's third studio album. Additionally, D*LOC wrote, produced and arranged the debut album "Cracks of the Concrete" for the hip hop/rock band, the Bottom Dwellerz.
Currently, you may find D*LOC performing percussion on the #1 song and album of the summer, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke or with any of the following artists: T.I., Lil Wayne, Pharrell, and Miley Cyrus.
Born in 1979, and raised in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, drummer Henry Cole is at the forefront of a growing wave of Jazz innovation and cross-cultural rhythm in the 21st century. With his flexibility, grace and sheer power behind the drum kit, his playing has proven indispensable to some of the world’s most acclaimed Jazz groups, including the Grammy winner Quincy Jones, Grammy-nominated Miguel Zenón Quartet (Awake, Esta Plena, Alma Adentro), Grammy winner David Sánchez (Cultural Survival), the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, and the all-star quartet “90 Miles” featuring David Sánchez, Stefon Harris and Nicholas Payton.
Henry is also the leader of the band, Afro-Beat Collective. Their music draws on the raw groove and momentum of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, as well as the depth and complexity of Modern Jazz. Henry and the Afro Beat Collective strive to integrate varied influences, including Puerto Rican folklore, Funk and R&B, Jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythmic traditions.
Henry first began his Jazz immersion in 1998 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He relocated to San Juan in 1999 to study Classical Percussion at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico, where he became one of the most in-demand and influential Jazz drummers on the island. There he gained pivotal, formative experience in the varied music scene of Old San Juan. During this time, he worked extensively within and beyond the world of Jazz with artists such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Dave Valentin, Jerry Gonzalez, Danilo Pérez, Branford Marsalis, Luis Marin, William Cepeda’s Afro-Rican Jazz, Salsa artists La PVC and the rock band Vivanativa, among others.
Relocating to New York in 2003, Henry received a scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music to study with master drummer John Riley. Since completing his studies, Henry has performed with the likes of Chris Potter, Adam Rogers, Drew Gress, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Big Band, Ray Barretto, Orlando “Puntilla” Rios, Papo Vazquez, Paquito D’Rivera, and many more.
Henry is also a successful and sought-after educator, often substituting for his mentor John Riley at the Manhattan School of Music and at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music. His quartet has also taken part in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Rhythm Road” (a.k.a. “Jazz Ambassadors”) Program, which involves concerts, master classes and lecture-recitals for musicians. In addition, Henry has provided master classes and clinics under the auspices of Carnegie Hall, Marsalis Music and other institutions.
Pedro Pablo Rodriguez Mireles, a Cuban by birth, a native of Pinar del Rio province in the western end of the island.He began his career as a professional musician in the capital's Cabaret Parisien National Hotel. In 1998 he made his first international tour in Japan, promoting Cuban music and teaches percussion. Famous musical groups joined as the band of Jorge Luis Rojas "Rojitas" (the golden voice of Cuba), NG La Banda, led by José Luis Cortés (the Tosco) with whom he appeared at numerous stages in Europe, Asia and America. He was part of the set of Pius Leiva, El Montunero, accompanied to other speed in the Buena Vista Social Club and Eliades Ochoa and Amadito Valdes. He shared stage with important figures of Cuban culture and Juan Pablo Torres, Guillermo Rubalcaba, Paul FG, Mayito Rivera, Rolo Martinez, Teresa Caturla, Pedrito Calvo and Latin music celebrities, including Andy Montañez boricua.On arrival at Madrid in 2004 joined the project Habana Blues Band (created after the success of the film Habana Blues) in which was presented at numerous stages of the Iberian country, concerts with the Creative Big Band, Big Band Havana, Son of Gold, Kelvis Ochoa, Lucrecia, Yellow Lizards, Andy and Lucas, Blanca Romero, Ernan Lopez Nusa, Kelvis Ochoa, José Luis Rodríguez singer "El Puma", Javier Maso (Candy), Lulo Perez, Boris Larramendi, TelMarys, Alain Perez Jerry Gonzales.Among stands burned discs "Bach to Cuba," Emilio Aragon, "Neither you nor pa pa Me" from the Creative Big Band and a CD of Manu Tenorio (three words), Bebo Valdes recording the soundtrack for a movie the filmmaker Fernando Trueba. Galas for TV Castilla la Mancha, Ana Belén accompanying, Pastora Soler, Valderrama, Isabel Pantoja, Nuria Fergó and other stars of the Spanish culture. It was presented at the Summer Festival of Belgium and The Live Earth concert for the rythms of the World, in Hamburg, Germany. During his career are the creation of the group's rumba PEDRO PABLO, which is its director, concerts at various jazz clubs with Joshusa Ederman, Alain Pérez and Javier Maso, Jerry González, Pepe Rivero, presentation on disk BNK Madrid, Manu Tenorio, presentations and tours within and outside Spain with the renowned singer Luz Casal, promoting his latest album "The Passion".
Born in Lima, Peru, in 1968, Roberto "Chino" Bolanosâ€™ first musical influences were his grandfather Pepe Bolanos, and his brother. He immigrated to the United States in 1981, and soon after joined the Peruvian trio, Elegancia Peruana, to play cajon in venues throughout the New York City area. Around that time, Chino also played with world-renown Peruvian singers such as Lucila Campos, Lucia Dela Cruz, and Pepe Vasquez among others.
In 1990, Chino performed with Lalo Rodriguez and Paquito Guzman, and soon after, accompanied Nacho Sanabria, Marvin Santiago, Luisito Carrion, Ray Ruiz, and Ismael Miranda, to name just a few.
Chino has performed several times at the New York Latin ACE Awards, and in 2001, he toured internationally with Henry Threadgill at such prestigious musical events as the Vinnie Jazz Festival in France, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and Verona Jazz Festival in Italy. He has also toured with Orlando Rios Puntilla in Switzerland and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Chinoâ€™s recording highlights include such top Latin artists as Jose Alberto, Alfredo de la Fe and Santiago Ceron. In 2012, he recorded an album with his group, Kambalache Negro, and is currently touring throughout South America and Europe.
Ivan Llanes was born on December 30, 1985 in Camaguey, Cuba. At an early age, he showed an interest in music. At age 10, he began his formal music education at the Vocational School of Art Luis Casas Romero. At age 13, he joined the Estrellitas de la Charanga Orchestra and participated twice in the National Festival of Charanga Orchestra in Palma Soriano, Cuba. At age 15, Llanes furthered his music education at the Jose White Conservatory. He graduated in 2004, at the top of his class, and began to pursue his professional career. He became a member of several different groups, honing his skills as a percussionist and singer.
In 2008, Ivan moved to Havana to join the internationally recognized Cuban orchestra, Ricardo Leiva y Sur Caribe. As a part of this orchestra, he refined his skills on drum set and percussion and was exposed to a wide variety of popular Cuban music. Ivan also took a sincere interest in playing Jazz.
In 2010, Ivan joined Grammy-nominated Orlando "Maraca" Valle and Otra Vision. Under the musical direction of Maraca, a master flute virtuoso, Ivan combined the use of drum set and timbale. He rapidly developed the skills necessary to perform Maraca's complicated compositions and playing style.
After a U.S. tour with Maraca in 2011, he relocated to New York to expand his musical career with world-renowned musicians. Since then, Llanes has become an indispensable member of the Latin and Latin Jazz communities, respectively. He has performed alongside many distinguished artists including Descemer Bueno, Raul Paz, Xiomara Laugart, Franci Vazquez, Jesus Diaz, Mario "Mayito" Rivera, to name a few. He has also started to collaborate on the American music scene with Hank Lane Music and Production Company, singing and playing percussion. Ivan also works in the music education industry as part of the United Visions and Rhythms Agency and is the Percussion Director of the band, Via Veinte.
Ivan is currently working on his own project, the Cuban Way. It is an effort to reflect the wide variety of Ivan's musical influences, while incorporating traditional elements of Timba and Folklore in a creative setting that showcases his energy and passion. In 2013, Ivan and his band performed at the Havana Film Festival at the Bronx Museum.
Originally from Curitiba in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, Los Angeles-based percussionist Felipe Fraga began playing percussion at age 9. He studied at the Fine Arts and Music School of Paraná (EMBAP), and performed with local orchestras, big bands and marching bands including the MPB Orchestra of Curitiba along with artists Arthur Moreira Lima, Altamiro Carrilho, Joel Nascimento, José Canuto and Roberto Gnatalli. After moving to the United States in 2001, he has performed and/or recorded with Robert Irving III, Wallace Roney, Orbert Davis, Victor Goines, Yolanda Adams, Janelle Monáe, Stanley Clarke, Aloe Blacc and opened for renowned acts including Vinicius Cantuária, Daniela Mercury and Bajofondo.
Felipe was a featured percussionist for Robert Irving III's "Sketches of Brazil" project that debuted at Millennium Park in Chicago. He has lent his musical talents to brand advertising for McDonald's and Nestle, to event properties that include the World Music Festival Chicago and Oprah!, Disney's Viva Navidad! and to the movie soundtrack to Blue Sky Studios' Rio 2.
Felipe founded and previously directed Unidos do Quilombo Brazilian percussion ensemble in residence at the Quilombo Cultural Center of Chicago. Felipe has taught Brazilian percussion at the Chicago Public Schools, the Music Institute of Chicago, Capital University's Conservatory of Music in Ohio and DePaul University's School of Music.
Miguel Valdes was born in Havana Cuba, surrounded by a musical family. Inspired by his father, “Miguelito” a famous percussionist and dancer. Miguel received his education at Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte in Havana, Cuba. His playing credits in Cuba include Richard Egües, Raúl Planas, Xiomara Laugart, La 440 Cubana, Emiliano Salvador, Carrasco y su Ley, among many others.
Miguel has resided in Mexico City since 1993, where he has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of tenor, Fernando de la Mora. Other performance credits include Gonzalo Romeu, the Orchestra 40 Grados, Ariadna, Denise de Kalaff, Elvis Crespo, Celio González, Alquimia y La Sonora XXI, Tony Pérez, Boby Caracasés, Chocolate Armenteros, Patato Valdéz, Celia Cruz, Cachao, Saxteto NY, and the Afro Cuban All Stars among others.
Miguel’s recording career has also been very prolific, recording with such notable artists Xiomara Laugart, Charanga Cubana, Emiliano Salvador, Judith Banalt, Olimpo Carvajal, Yomira Jhon, Ricardo Benítez, Brenda Cervantes, Jorge Luke, Osmany Paredes 2000 Latin Jazz, Orquesta 40 grados 2000 Timba Cubana, Tony Pérez and many others. Currently, Miguel is playing with Afro Cuban All Star Group.
An instrumentalist from Bahia, Brazil, Gustavo Di Dalva started playing percussion when he just was seven years old, guided by his father and teacher, Tony Mola. He had great support from some of the most influential names in Bahian music including Carlinhos Brown, Vovô and Ivan Huol.
Gustavo Di Dalva’s musical knowledge covers a wide range and variety of rhythms. Brazil's northeastern rhythms including Baião, Samba, Bossa Nova and Afro Bahian were his influences. He used them as starting points for incorporating Reggae, Funk, Latin Rhythms, African Tribal Music and Bahian Rhythms into his current repertoire.
At age eleven, Gustavo played with Luiz Caldas (Axé Music’s pioneer) and Gerônimo. Later, he helped found the group, Vai Quem Vem, and recorded a CD with Sergio Mendes. He also helped establish the Timbalada band, Bragadá that played throughout Brazil, often accompanying Reflexu.
At age fifteen, he made his big debut alongside Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil for the Tropicalia 2 Concert. Gustavo has played and recorded with some of the biggest names in Brazilian popular music including Milton Nascimento, Gal Costa, Maria Bethânia, Djavan, Marisa Monte, Daniela Mercury, Ivete Sangalo, Margareth Menezes, Luis Caldas, Dominguinhos, Lulu Santos, Netinho, among many others. He recorded on the following Grammy-winning albums: Sergio Mendes – O Brasileiro (1993), Gilberto Gil -Quanta Live (1999), Caetano Veloso- livro (2000), Gil e Milton - Gil e Milton (2001), Gilberto Gil -Eletra Acústico (2006), Gilberto Gil - Fé na Festa (2010), Ivete, Gil e Caetano - Ivete Special ( 2012)
Gustavo performed with Gilberto Gil for 16 years and performed internationally at many prestigious events such as Umbra Jazz Festival in Italy, Montreal Festival in Canada, ¡ Fiesta! (International Festival of Latin American Music and Culture) in Italy, the Summer Stage in New York City, Nice Jazz Festival in France, North Sea Jazz Festival among many others.
Today, besides being an percussionist, Gustavo is a singer, songwriter, producer and clinician. His music represents the grace and diversity of the drumbeat through his Bacia Sonora project.
Geraldo de Oliveira started playing percussion professionally at the age of fourteen in his hometown Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He moved to the United States in 1975, where he continued to develop his skills as a musician and an educator, performing, recording, and studying at the American Conservatory of Music, in Chicago, under Mr. James Dutton. Geraldo has been privileged to work with all major bandleaders in Chicago, and presently is the percussionist for the Lake Side Singers, and Andy Tecson’s musical productions “The Jazz Passion” and “Bending Towards the Light”.
Geraldo’s sounds have been heard in the recordings of many Chicago artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Judy Roberts, Jerry Butler, Tyrone Davis, Walter Jackson, Linda Clifford, Rich Fudoli, Bobby Lewis, Guy Fricano, Joannie Pallatto and Sparrow, Gene Chandler, The Chi Lites, Lesley Spencer, Mike Ferro, Andy Tecson, Scott Anderson, Chévere, Don Stiernberg, Robin Lukas, Paulinho Garcia, Grazyna Auguscik, Bobby Schiff, Allison Ruble, Arlene Bardell, The Numa Band, and many others. He was also a guest artist on the last album recorded by world renowned drummer Buddy Rich.
Geraldo is a guest faculty member for the Birch Creek Music Center in Door County, Wisconsin, Brazilian percussion instructor for the Old Town School of Folk Music, and one of Ravinia’s Jazz Mentors. As a Jazz Mentor for the Ravinia Festival, he performs with the Mentors Ensemble under the direction of Willie Pickens and conducts Brazilian percussion master classes at many high schools in the Chicago area. Geraldo has been a presenter on Brazilian Percussion at PAS events, and recently, received the 2013 Dal Segno Recognition for Professional Achievement.
Geraldo performs regularly in the Chicago area with different groups including Trio Copacabana, Paulinho Garcia, and Planeta Azul.
It was the mid-1980's and a memorable episode of Saturday Night Live. George Clinton and P-Funk crowded the stage and pandemonium hit. Despite the gregarious leader and costumed dancers, all eyes focused on Dennis Chambers. When Dennis Chambers took a pass around the toms, the speed was frightening, the articulation impeccable. Only your heart missed a beat.
Amazingly, he also handled percussion chores, his left hand playing timbales and bells. The drumming community took note. Chambers did covers for Britain's Rhythm magazine, France's Batteur, and America's Modern Drummer. By this time, he was scoring all the coveted gigs - Mike Stern, Bob Berg, the Brecker Brothers, Steely Dan, George Duke, John Scofield, and John McLaughlin. No matter the style, Chambers left no ambiguity about the time.
Entirely self-taught, Chambers' first instrument was a drumset. However, he is at home on percussion. "When I joined P-Funk, there was a percussionist, but he quit," he recalls. "They left his setup on stage, but he never came back! One day I told them to move all that over by the drumset and I'd play it myself. I'd listened a lot of Latin music and percussionists, like Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente. I'd also seen Ndugu play both drums and percussion with Santana: of course, I was competitive, so I tried that at home. You fail at first, but you keep trying."
All along, Chambers says he has relied on LP: "That's what all the serious percussionists played when I was coming up." As a rule, he uses any percussion that he can strike with a stick. "I prefer the LP Mambo Cowbell," he adds. "It's sound fits best with what I do. Every now and then I have to replace a cowbell - not because they break, but because somebody runs off with them!"
To date, Dennis Chambers has two DCI instructional videos under his belt, two solo CDs, and a long discography. Between tours, he could do sessions at home in Baltimore, but he says: "I don't want to mess up what some of the local guys have built up, take food from their table."
Paul DeLong is best known for his multi-platinum success with rock artist Kim Mitchell. He has forged a career which encompasses Funk, Fusion, Jazz and Latin styles, working with such diverse artists as Tom Scott, David Clayton-Thomas (B,S & T), Hilario Durán (Arturo Sandoval), David Blamires (Pat Metheny), Domenic Troiano, Carol Welsman, Lawrence Gowan, Carlos Del Junco, Doug Riley, Roger Hodgson and The Canadian Tenors to name a few. As a Juno Award winner and respected session player, Paul has performed at P.I.T. and the NAMM show in L.A. He’s also been invited to perform twice at the Montreal Drumfest and at the Cape Breton Drumfest.
Always active on the studio scene, Paul has recorded numerous jingles and worked on TV shows such as Degrassi Junior High, Top Cops, Counterstrike, E.N.G. and more recently, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
As an educator, Paul has been a faculty member at the prestigious, Humber College in Toronto for 25 years; he’s written several articles for Modern Drummer magazine and has taught and performed at KoSA 2010. His book, "DeLong Way To Polyrhythmic Creativity On The Drum Set", is distributed worldwide by Hudson Music. As a Broadway style drummer, in 1994 Paul started doing shows like Tommy, Joseph and Rent in Toronto, then did the tours with these productions across Canada and the U.S. He was the first sub on the Toronto production of The Lion King for 3-1/2 years, and in 2004 he was first chair for the musical Hairspray. Next came Hair in 2006 and Peter Pan in 2007.
Paul's fusion band The Code, has 4 CDs; the last release being Dreams Speak Song. Paul has recently been involved with various tribute acts including Heavy Weather (Weather Report tribute), Brass Transit (Chicago tribute) and You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor tribute). For the past few years he has also performed with Jeans 'n Classics, which pairs a Rock band with a Symphony orchestra, and more recently, he’s been recording with the newly reformed version of the band FM.
Jorge Emmanuelli Náter was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico where he defined himself as a master practitioner and researcher of both Plena and Bomba as early as his teenage years. Jorge is a great grandson of master Bomba musician Sergio Náter Peña (most well known for his mastery of the “Primo” or “Subidor” lead drum of Bomba during the early 1900s). Through this vein, Jorge embodies the legacy of at least 100 years of Bomba & Plena knowledge in his family and is the founder and director of the Bomba & Plena ensemble known as “The first family of Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena Evolution” – Hermanos Emmanuelli Náter.
During his 30 years of cultural work, this master drummer has made significant and historical contributions in the preservation and execution of both Bomba and Plena in Puerto Rico, the broader United States, and in Europe. His work and research related to Bomba and Plena have been endorsed by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICPR), La Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, and the late historian and ICPR founder Ricardo Alegría to name a few. Mr. Emmanuelli Náter has been featured in documentaries such as De Africa al Caribe and En Búsqueda de la Verdad de la Bomba Puertorriqueña (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico) and contributed to programming for HBO, MTV International and local Puerto Rican television shows and commercials.
Most recently, Jorge has worked to further the evolution of these genres through his conceptual orchestra CAPRE – Chicago Afro Puerto Rican Ensemble which is the first ensemble to have Plena and Bomba as its root musical forms and purposefully only utilizes traditional Puerto Rican instruments in its percussion section. In addition to these and other projects and accomplishments, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is bringing together his knowledge of ancient Afro-Boricua music traditions and expert execution for several upcoming book projects.
Luis Muñoz, composer, arranger and percussionist, was born in San José, Costa Rica. In 1972 Luis entered the University of Costa Rica and the National Music Conservatory, where he studied both Architecture and Music. In 1974 Luis completed his degree in music composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the tutelage of renowned British composer Peter Fricker. Luis Muñoz has written music for documentaries, animation films, dance and theater, and has performed in some of the best Jazz festivals and venues in the world.
In 1988 he signed with CBS Records and recorded "La Verdad". In 1996, Fahrenheit Records "The Fruit of Eden", marked Muñoz's U. S. recording debut. In 1998, Muñoz released "Compassion", continuing to evolve as an innovative force in instrumental music.
In 2004 Muñoz released "VIDA" which received the acclaim of the music media worldwide: DownBeat magazine 4 stars, "Best Latin Jazz CD of the Year" by Jazzreview.com, "A truly Monumental Work" by Americas Magazine, "A Masterpiece" by Mark Holston /Hispanic Magazine, "One of the 10 best recordings of the year" by Latin Jazz Network. In 2006 Mr. Muñoz was given an ACAM award in Costa Rica, for Jazz Composer/Producer of the year.
In 2007 Mr. Muñoz released "Of Soul and Shadow", a recording that explores his Central American roots through the idioms of Costa Rican folklore, classical music and jazz. "Of Soul and Shadow" features the collaborative efforts of over 25 musicians, including special guests Adolfo Acosta (Tower of Power) on trumpet; chromatic harmonica player Ron Kalina; trombone player Ira Nepus (Diana Krall); and New York sensation Dave Binney on alto sax.
Luis Muñoz returned in 2010 with “Invisible”, receiving once again the acclaim of the music media worldwide (Top 10 Jazz CDs of the Year by JazzChicago.net). In 2011, Luis participated in a TED conference in Costa Rica, and won his second ACAM award for "Composer of the Year" by the Costa Rican Association of Musical Authors and Composers. Luis Muñoz is finishing a new album, entitled “LUZ”, to be released in January of 2013. With this new project, Luis Muñoz will confirm his place as a music visionary, and as one of the today’s most sensitive, melodic and talented Jazz composers.
New York City based Cuban-American drummer, Amaury Acosta incorporates an authentic blend of Jazz, Hip Hop, and Afro-Cuban rhythms to his music. At the age of 11, he began studying privately with master drummer Alex Garcia. At age 14, Amaury was awarded a scholarship to Harbor Conservatory of Music in New York City where he studied with noted musicians and educators David Oquendo, Johnny Almendra and Ramon Rodriguez. Amaury attended La Guardia High School for Performing Arts and graduated from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School in 2006. In 2008, he attended The New School For Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City.
Amaury co-founded the band (U)nity along with Cuban pianist Axel Tosca Laugart. The group is a collective of five young international musicians that fuse Afro-Cuban grooves with modern Jazz and R&B. The group has been extremely well received in the artistic community, playing at such engagements as the Winter Jazz Fest in Greenwich Village, and the New Jersey Jazz Summit. They also won first place in the Pepsi Cola Independent Music Contest for their hit song “Gaurapachanga”.
Besides being an in-demand drummer in New York City. Amaury posses strong composition, arranging, and producing skills and spends a great deal of his time composing and producing for notable musicians.
Amaury Acosta has played and/or recorded with Candido Camero, Jose James, Paquito D’Riverra, Wynton Marsalis, Ambrose Akinmusire, Ray Mantilla, Luques & Zaccai Curtis, Michael Rodriguez, Casey Benjamin, John Ellis, Joe Sanders, Boris Kozlov, Charles Tolliver, Chris Smith, Xiomara Laugart, Robert Glasper, Kris Bowers, John Ellis, Pedrito Martinez, Isreal “Cachao” Lopez, among many more.
Over the course of five years, Grammy-Award winning percussionist Paulo Stagnaro has established himself as an innovative voice in today's generation of creative young artists. With a myriad of performances across the globe, studio projects, television appearances, along with contributions in Jazz, Pop, Latin, and World music, he has been hailed by jazz great Ralph Peterson as "a young master percussionist".
Stagnaro has been a force on the ever-evolving New York scene since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. He has performed and/or recorded with NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera, Grammy-Winner Angelique Kidjo, Jazz Legend Dave Liebman, and formed part of the all-star rhythm section for Sting’s 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fundraiser at Carnegie Hall featuring James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Stephen Stills.
Born to an artistic family of Peruvian parents, Stagnaro took piano and cello lessons early on in his childhood. After a hiatus for most of his early adolescence, he was eagerly re-introduced to his musical beginnings, attending a summer camp at the Berklee College of Music in 2003. His father, renowned bassist and educator, Oscar Stagnaro, played an instrumental role in this, encouraging him to choose his own career path.
“I think the biggest reason I was so drawn to music at that particular time, and not sooner, was because it was a desire that stemmed from having the freedom to pursue what I wanted,” Stagnaro recalls, “I never felt any pressure from either of my parents to follow in the footsteps of my father’s legacy. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for that.”
Paulo attended Berklee College of Music for four years, where he travelled extensively, representing the school with his band, La Timbistica. They graced the stages at the Monterey Jazz, Duke Ellington, Saratoga, Hoopcity, and Newport Jazz festivals, to name a few. In 2008, the band received a Downbeat Magazine Award for “Jazz Group of the Year” in the collegiate category.
In the fall of 2008, Paulo began working with legendary alto-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera. He recorded on D’Rivera’s 2008 Grammy-Award winning release, “Funk-Tango.” Since then, he has toured across the Americas and Europe as part of D’Rivera’s ensemble, including performances at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and some of the worlds most prestigious jazz clubs.
Upon leaving school in 2010, Paulo embarked on a journey across three of Latin America’s richest Afro-Centric cultural meccas to further his studies. Living first in Brazil, then Cuba, and finally Puerto Rico. He was fortunate to be able to immerse himself in an immense new world of music, for the subsequent year. “The trip opened my heart in a way that I would’ve never fathomed,” he reminisces, “The people, experiences, and cultures that I have encountered will forever influence my desire for self-expression and communication in this art form.”
Since moving to New York, Stagnaro has performed in the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, the Ralph Peterson Fo’Tet, Manuel Valera’s New Cuban Express, Pedro Giraudo, and Alon Yavnai Big Band Orchestra, and more recently, the Matthew Stevens Group. In summer of 2013 he performed and shared musical direction duties for Cuban Superstar Issac Delgado. Early in 2014, he joined Grammy-Award winning Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo for her “Eve” U.S. Tour.
Paulo recently performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” with pop-duo sensation Karmin. He has also appeared on numerous commercial recordings – some produced and recorded in his home studio in the U.S. and abroad, including campaigns for Aldo Shoes, Smirnoff Vodka, Cerveza Aguila, Fanta, Knorr, and Kayak.com among others.
Alberto López received his first music lessons as a child in a neighborhood music school in Medellín, Colombia. Upon his family's move to the United States, he furthered his studies in piano and percussion at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts and The Juilliard School in New York City, respectively. In addition, Alberto studied counterpoint, harmony and orchestral conducting privately under the great Jacques-Louis Monod. While in New York, he came under the tutelage of Afro-Cuban drumming master and legend Felipe García Villamil, with whom he learned not only the drumming and music, but also the religious and ceremonial aspects of various Afro-Cuban cultural and spiritual traditions. Furthermore, he has traveled to Brazil, Puerto Rico and Cuba to develop his knowledge of Afro-American music and culture.
Residing in Los Angeles since 1999, Mr. López has performed, recorded, composed and/or produced music with artists such as Quetzal, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Lee Ritenour, Stanley Clarke, LCD Soundsystem, Airto Moreira, The Brand New Heavies, The Dalai Lama, Juanes and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, among others. He was part of the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for the 20th Century FOX animated film "Rio" and in 2013 received a Grammy Award (Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album) for his work on the "Imaginaries" album by Quetzal, released on the Smithsonian Folkways label.
In November 2004, Alberto founded Belú Music, a music production house and independent label, with the aim of developing and sharing the musical vision of artists around the world. His releases have generated praise from some prominent world music radio stations, including KCRW (Los Angeles), BBC (UK), WGBH (Boston).
Mr. López has also been an active educator, teaching privately as well as giving lectures and workshops in schools and universities, including UCLA, SDSU, Occidental College, LAMA, Plaza de la Raza and community centers throughout California, Arizona and Oregon. In 2010, he released "Afro-Colombian Rhythms Method, Vol. 1" with Colombian master percussionist and gaitero Eduardo Martínez (Totó La Momposina, Petrona Martínez). Currently, Alberto is working with Scott Wardinsky in the production of an instructional DVD/CD set of Afro-Cuban rhythms featuring Cuban masters Ramón "Sandy" Pérez and Lázaro Galarraga.
Dave Roth, a freelance percussionist in New York City, has been performing and teaching for over 25 years and has appeared in over 200 cities worldwide. Dave is an active player in the Broadway musical theater scene and is currently performing in The Three Penny Opera at the Atlantic Theater Company. He most recently performed in the A Christmas Story at the famed Madison Square Garden thie 2013 holiday season and the revival of Evita by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dave also had the percussion chair on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Pirate Queen where he served as an assistant conductor.
Dave has performed with nearly 30 other productions on Broadway. He has also toured throughout the world including the North American and Asian tours of West Side Story, the national tour of Mamma Mia and the national tour and European tour of Smokey Jo’s Cafe.
Roth is an accomplished orchestral percussionist, and has performed with orchestras throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Some of these include San Antonio Symphony, New York Grand Opera, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Chamber Symphony, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Light Opera Works, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Maryland Symphony Orchestra.
Dave has appeared onstage with Sir Paul McCartney, Gladys Knight, Patty Lapone, The Temptations, Doc Severinson, Henry Mancini, The Chieftains, Pincas Zuckerman, Susan Anton and many more.
Dave trained at Kansas State University and also at Northwestern University where he received his Masters of Music Degree in Percussion Performance. He is an active clinician and loves to share his experiences as a Broadway percussionist.
Dave is also a lobbyist in Washington, DC for Alzheimer's Research and supports a very exciting personalized music therapy approach. Please visit his web site for more information.
Go-Go Mickey Freeman has become a Washington DC legend, known for his fast hands on congas and his raw beats that have become a staple for many area conga players. Freeman won “Conga Player of the Year” in 2006 at the first Go-Go Awards presented by Washington DC radio station WKYS, and again in 2007. In addition, Freeman has won two individual “Wammies” from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) and five awards as a member of Rare Essence along with a spot in WAMA’s Hall of Fame.
Mickey was born and raised in Washington, DC by a musical family. His mother was a pianist and singer and his father was a guitar player and lead singer. Go-Go Mickey’s father bought him a drum set when he was two and taught the young prodigy how to play.
Sheila E. inspired Freeman along with DC legends Jungle Boogie and Ricky “Sugar foot” Wellman. He joined Reality Band in 1980 and followed that with stints in Redds & the Boys, Ayre Rayde, and several other go-go groups, before joining Essence in 1984.
Mickey released a solo, instrumental album on Liaison Records in 1991 titled “It Gets no Rougher”. In 2008, he created No Rougher Productions. Freeman has played with several R&B and Hip Hop acts including Prince Markie D, Heavy D., The Roots, Doug E. Fresh, Teddy Riley and more recently Raheem DeVaughn. He has also played with the godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown and reggae band Soljah’s of God’s Army, who he still plays with from time-to-time.
Freeman has played on numerous Rare Essence live and studio albums and performed on Chuck Brown’s hit 2007 album “We’re About the Business.” With Rare Essence, Freeman appeared with rapper Ludacris for performances of his hit song “Roll Out” on the Jay Leno Show. Rare Essence and Freeman appeared again with Ludacris at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards performing the song "Pimpin’ all Over the World". He also appeared in Aretha Franklin’s “Jimmy Lee” video.
Go-Go Mickey was with Rare Essence for 28 years. He can now be seen performing five nights a week with Familiar Faces at venues throughout the DC area. When he is not performing, Freeman is likely to pop up at local venues to catch other go-go bands and can often be persuaded to get on stage to play conga. Freeman enjoys playing in church and teaching percussion. Currently, he is working on a project with his sons Mickey and BJ.
Edwin Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and was influenced by his grandfather, percussionist Miguel Angel (Rocky) Journet who is also percussion idol, Giovanni Hidalgo’s uncle. From an early age, congas and bongos surrounded Edwin and thus his love for percussion began.
As Edwin matured he ventured out to play various percussion instruments, but always had a profound love for bongos, especially since family friend and renowned musician Ray Colon influenced him. Edwin attended Boys Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts and was tutored by percussionist Johnny Almendra.
Other musical influences include Giovanni Hidalgo, John (Dandy) Rodriguez, Eddie Montalvo, Eric Velez, just to name a few. Edwin’s musical endeavors have allowed him to perform with top local groups in the New York area including Ray de la Paz, Herman Olivera, Hector Tricoche, Paquito Guzman, Luisito Ayala, Luis Damon, Brenda K Starr, Kevin Ceballo, Raulin Rosendo, Miosotis, Pedro Brull, Ruina Nueva, Boricua Legends, Sol, Conjunto Imagen, and others.
Jeffrey Lopez has been playing professionally for over 30 years and is considered to be one of the most talented timbaleros in the New York City area. Playing with today’s hottest Latin bands including Pequeno Johnny Y El Cartel de NY, Swing Sabroso, Chris Alfinez and many more.
Jeffrey’s career began in New Jersey where he participated in his school’s Latin band. Growing up, Jeffrey was surrounded by music as his dad was a bass player and his uncle was a piano player. By the age of 13, Jeffrey was playing professionally in his father's band called "Swing Combo".
He has been fortunate enough to have played with Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Luis Perico Ortiz, Larry Harlow, Ray Sepulveda, Charlie Cruz, Huey Dunbar, La India, Rey Ruiz, and many more great Latin legends. He also feels that he has been blessed for being a part of the music industry, traveling to places such as Europe, South America, Japan, and Africa.
Jeffrey has also recorded with many top producers such as Grammy award winner Sergio George, Isidro Infante, Ricky Gonzalez, Efrain Davila-Junito, Ray Barretto, Luis Perico Ortiz and many more. He has also appeared on the soap opera "Guiding Light" and in the motion picture "Confessions of a Shopaholic." His talent also has led him to receive multiple awards such as "The Recognition Award" for timbaleros of the millennium and a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea for performing for the United States Military.
Jeffrey currently performs with bands such as Swing Sabroso, New York Cartels and others. He is proud to say that he still owns his very first pair of LP timbales that he purchased in 1983 and he still uses them when he rehearses.
Ernesto Valenzuela was born in Los Angeles to a musical family. Following Ernesto's early enthusiasm for singing, he discovered that percussion is where his passion lay. However, it wasn't until he saw Carlos Santana's world-class percussion section live that he completely fell in love with Latin percussion.
At the age of 17, mentored by Skip Howlett, Ernesto co-founded La Orquesta Primo in San Diego with the help of Manny Rivera Cepeda (Familia Cepeda de P.R.). While with Orquesta Primo, Ernesto had the opportunity to open for many headline acts including El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Tito Nieves, Manny Oquendo and Conjunto Libre, Cachao, Oscar DeLeon, Irakere, Cubanismo, Albita, Poncho Sanchez and many others. Apart from being one of the premier Salsa bands in San Diego, Orquesta Primo recorded several live morning news shows for NBC, and performed at notable fairs, festivals and corporate events.
Since 2002, Ernesto has been freelancing in Los Angeles, performing regularly with several bands in the Los Angeles Salsa "Cuchifrito" Circuit as well as accompanying high-profile Salsa artists who visit from out of town or abroad including Andy Montanez, Tony Vega, Camilo Azuquita y su Melao, Johnny Rivera, Tito Puente, Jr., Anthony Cruz, Nino Segarra, Wilson "Saoko" Manyoma, Ommy Cardona, Joe Lopez, Chepito Areas, Rudy Regalado, Carmelo Garcia, Victor Pantoja among others.
Ernesto considers himself a purist, in that he always respects the traditional "Afinque” and "Marcha". He credits his main influences as Eddie Montalvo, John "Dandy" Rodriguez, Jr. and Papo Pepin. Understanding that one must evolve with the times, in 2007, Ernesto began to study under the tutelage of conga master David "La Mole" Ortiz, in order to learn modern solo techniques while keeping the traditions at the forefront in his playing.
Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Jimmy Figueroa began his self-taught musical career at age 9. As a young boy, he was inspired by such timbaleros as Endel Dueno and Orestes Vilato. It was these well-known percussionists that influenced him to pick up the timbales, among other percussion instruments, and play in marching bands. Jimmy’s admiration and fascination with drums led him to master the tambora, which was predominantly played by Dominicans. Shortly thereafter, he gained the respect and admiration of his peers. At the age of 12, his unique style on timbales, bongos and tambora enabled him to play and sing Coro professionally with numerous Salsa, Charanga and Merengue bands in various nightclubs such as The Corso, and the Copacabana. Jimmy has performed in several Salsa Congresses in England, Italy, Greece and New York.
As his percussion techniques develop throughout the years, he continues to evolve as an accomplished musician. Jimmy has recorded on many productions and has traveled with a wide range of artists including Justo Betancourt, Cuco Valoy, Rafu Warner, Ray Reyes, Toby Rivera and others.
As a freelancer, Jimmy continues to play with various bands including, the Grammy nominated New Swing Sextet, Charansalsa, Cubanoson, Luisito Rosario and Jimmy Sabater, Jr. His natural talent is creative and limitless. His style and technique are unique and he’s always evolving musically in keeping with today’s sound.
Jimmy’s ability to sing Coro along with the ability to play many different instruments has made him a highly sough after, dynamic and versatile musician who is very much in demand.
Martha Paredes, born in Caracas, Venezuela, began playing “el cuatro”, a Venezuelan national instrument, at an early age. She was encouraged by her father Manuel Paredes, renowned Venezuelan drummer known as “El Frances”, who wisely introduced her to the rhythms of jazz, rock, world music, and other genres.
At the age of nine, Martha began playing Latin percussion. Under the guidance of Professor Neville "Pichi" Ainsle, she began eight years of studies on timbales, congas, and bongos. With her teacher’s recommendation, she became part of the female band, Pop Latin Girl. At that point Martha began to define her career as a timbalera, and, later, joined the groups Instrumental y Voces from Universidad Simón Bolívar and Combolution.
While in these groups, Martha performs many styles of music, including Latin American, folklorist, and contemporary. During her tenure with Combolution, she had the opportunity to share the stage with many of Venezuela’s famous artists including Alfredo Naranjo, Gerry Weil, Marisela Leal, Mauricio Castro (Morito), Victor Cuica among others.
In 2002, Martha expanded and deepened her knowledge of music, by moving to Paris, France to study at the School of Jazz ARPEJ. While there she studied conga with noted percussionist, Orlando Poleo, with whom she performed in concert at the Salon du Chocolat. In Paris, she also had the privilege to work with Cristobal Soto, another Venezuelan musician, on Parrandas Venezolanas, a popular style of music in Venezuela. During the same time, she also had the opportunity to perform Latin jazz with Madrugada Orquesta directed by Nicholas Coyez.
Martha continues to advance her studies in music with various teachers and continues to become recognized for her accomplishments as a skilled percussionist. She currently is working with renowned duo, Chino & Nacho where she excels as multi-percussionist and vocalist. She also performs with several well-known Venezuelan bands including Yordano, Roque Valero, Franco & Oscarcito, as well as the new female salsa group Son Kribeñas.
Being able to create music and art has always been one of Dan Konopka's passions. Whether it's a chunky rock groove behind the kit or a experimental groundbreaking music video, Dan and his band OK Go always let creativity and freedom guide the way.
Growing up in a musical household and starting drums at the age of 10, Dan always had music and art on his mind. Playing in rock bands through high school and college, Dan finally met up with the other members in OK Go in 1998 and have since released three studio albums.
The band's video for "Here It Goes Again" won a Grammy Award for "Best Short Form Music Video in 2007.
According to Carlos Lopez’ mother, he was banging on pots and pans before he spoke. Growing up in a musical family in Los Angeles, Carlos played in city youth bands and music programs at school at an early age. In his never-ending search for new sounds, Carlos’ influences are diverse and include Rock & Roll, Soul, R&B, Jazz, Reggae, Classical and World Music.
Carlos’ style of playing and musicianship has enabled him to perform and record with some of the top artists of today and his unique style and rhythmic approach keeps him in demand. Whether playing in a small trio or big touring production, Carlos’ personality and great sense of humor add to his creative and rhythmic performance. He strongly believes his talent is a gift from God to be shared with people around the world.
After completing national tours across the US and Canada with ABC’s hit TV show “Dancing With The Stars”, Carlos is on a new journey performing nightly with Cirque Du Soleil’s, Mystère in the “Entertainment Capitol of The World” . . . Las Vegas.
Philip Galinsky is a percussionist and ethnomusicologist specializing in Brazilian music. Conducting music research in Brazil since 1993, he has published widely in the field of ethnomusicology, including pioneering work on the pagode samba and mangue beat movements. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where his doctoral dissertation, Maracatu Atômico, was selected for publication in Routledge's Outstanding Dissertations series. Dr. Galinsky has taught ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, UC Davis, and Hampshire College, also founding and directing samba percussion ensembles at each of these schools.
Dr. Galinsky is the founder, director, and principal percussionist of Samba New York! (www.sambanewyork.com), praised by the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo as the “most famous and active ‘school of samba’ in New York City.” The group has been featured on Brazil’s most widely viewed nightly news program (TV Globo’s O Jornal Nacional) as well as on the Dr. Oz Show (Fox) and CBS Early Show in the US. Samba New York’s performance credits comprise some of the New York area’s most prestigious venues, including the Best Buy Theater in Times Square (opening for the famous Brazilian band, Skank), Joe's Pub, Brooklyn Museum, and Sounds of Brazil. The group has become a mainstay at the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (serving as the head band twice), while also helping to make the success of such local events as “Samba with the Sea Lions” at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo and the popular Fire On the Water Brazilian boat cruise along the Hudson River. Samba New York’s clients include Kraft Foods, Pepsi Co., Starbucks, Bloomberg, Carnegie Hall, Macy’s, and the State Secretaries of Tourism of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, and Amazonas States in Brazil, among many others.
As a percussionist, Dr. Galinsky has studied with various master Brazilian drummers, including Jorge Alabê, Jonas de Oliveira, and Odilon Costa. He has performed in the Rio Carnaval since 1999 with some of the world’s most renowned samba schools, including Mocidade, Salgueiro, and Imperatriz—a rare honor for a non-Brazilian.
Dr. Galinsky has been lauded as one of the foremost educators of Brazilian percussion in the United States. Since 1994, he has taught hundreds of samba students, including the leaders of such groups as Phillybloco, Harlem Samba, Mais Um, and Batala NYC. He has given workshops or held residencies at such institutions as NYU, City University of New York Graduate Center, Stony Brook University, Drummers Collective, Frederick Douglass Academy, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty of the California Brazil Camp in Cazadero, California since 2009 and regularly teaches percussion courses through Samba New York!
Felipe Torres is a drummer, recording artist, and educator who has played throughout the US, Japan, and Canada. He has appeared on the CBS Morning Show, TV Land, the Biography Channel, The View and the Modern Drummer Festival in 2008.
Felipe was born in Germany, and spent his young childhood in Colombia until age four. He has resided in NYC area for the last several decades. He started playing drums at 14 with a private teacher, and in high school he played in every group he could — from a marching band to chorus — and was voted Band President by senior year.
It was that year when Felipe started taking lessons at New York City's Drummers Collective with such notables as Memo Acevedo, Sandy Gennaro, Mike Clark, Ian Froman, Guy Licata, Vince Cherico, and Gary Kelly. Through the years, Felipe also studied privately with Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Robby Ameen, Matt Johnson, Kenny Aronoff, Carmine Appice, Billy Ward, and Joe Ascione.
Felipe has been playing drums professionally for the last 15 years. He has toured in the US and Canada with The Monkees, Dreamworks Artists OURS, Road Runner Records and Peter Karp, and for the last 11 years as drummer/back-up vocalist for the Davy Jones Band. He is currently in the progressive/fusion/rock trio, In Musth, and also tours with Grammy nominee Bobby Messano. He also finds time to play with the NYC band, Senator and The New Republic.
As a session drummer, Felipe prides himself on his instincts, adding just what the music needs, for any style or performer, which makes him an in-demand musician.
Teaching for the last 15 years has led Felipe to perform clinics around the US as well as produce his own online video series, Flip of the Week. He teaches all levels from beginners to advanced players on drum set, orchestral percussion, reading, rudiments, and various styles of music.
For lessons, performances, and more please check out Felipe at YouTube.
Pedro “Pedrito” Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, on September 12, 1973. He began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines and Los Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998 by Jane Bunnett to tour with her group, Spirits of Havana. His decision to remain in North America to pursue his career proved to be an auspicious one when, two years later, the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Cuban Hand Drumming for the first time ever. Pedrito entered and won first place.
Since settling in New York City in 1998, Pedrito has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Paquito D’Rivera; Brian Lynch; Steve Turre; Meshell Ndegeocello; Eddie Palmieri; Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill; Stefon Harris; Bebo Valdés; Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen), Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Pedrito was also featured in the documentary film on Cuban music, Calle 54 and his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, animated feature, Chico and Rita. PMG have been featured in The New Yorker magazine and in the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Martínez was a founding member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena with which he recorded two albums and toured the world. Pedrito has lent his talents as a percussion player and vocalist to over one hundred records, including albums by Paquito d’Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Edie Brickell and many others. These include six records that have been Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch, called “Simpatico”, that was awarded a Grammy®.
His current band, the Pedrito Martinez Group [PMG] has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. With a home base gig in Midtown Manhattan, the group has built a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Derek Trucks, Steve Winwood, Herlin Riley and Wynton Marsalis.
The PMG has appeared in festivals around the globe, including The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Umbria Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and the Red Sea Festival, among many others. The group has self-released two live albums recorded at their home gig in NYC and plans are in the works for a studio album in the near future.
Javier Diaz is a percussionist living in New York City. He has played with Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Pedro Martinez, Michel Legrand, Sean Kingston, Edmar Castañeda, Lázaro Galarraga, The New York World Music Institute, Ara Oko Folkloric Group among others.
Javier has performed in several Broadway productions including The Lion King, In The Heights and Tarzan. Javier is also well versed in the classical percussion genre and has appeared with several symphony orchestras along with chamber music groups.
Javier has lectured on Afro-Cuban percussion at The Juilliard School, Rutgers University, Paws Music Institute in Los Angeles, the Peabody Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory and at New York University. He currently is Professor of Percussion at the University of Connecticut. He received his B.M. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and his M.M. from The Juilliard School, New York.
For over 15 years, Martin Windstad has become one of Norway´s most respected drummers and percussionists. His dedication and his ability to master different styles of music have made him made a popular player performing Pop, Soul, Funk, Folk, Blues and R&B on both drums and percussion.
After starting to play drum set at age seven, he shortly after taught himself to play percussion by listening to Ralph MacDonald, Paulinho da Costa and Eddie Bongo Brown recordings. Growing up with Soul, Funk and Pop music made him focus on those aspects of percussion.
Playing professionally since 1996, along with many years of studio work and touring, has earned Martin a reputation as Norway´s most in-demand Pop and Soul percussionist. Throughout his career he has also worked extensively both live and in the studio for several of the most popular Norwegian artists.
Martin Windstad has recorded and toured with a wide range of prestigious Norwegian and Scandinavian artists including Bjørn Eidsvåg, Bernhoft, Odd Nordstoga, Bigbang, Kurt Nilsen, Hellbillies, Vidar Busk, Marit Larsen, Maria Mena, Kari Bremnes, Lisa Nilsson and Samuel Ljungblahd. Martin’s current projects include touring Europe with Pop/Soul star Bernhoft on percussion and World Idol winner Kurt Nilsen on drums.
Tom Teasley is a multi-dimensional performer and composer, crossing the boundaries of solo performance through the use of instruments from the world over, and cross-pollinating techniques from diverse traditions, and combining ancient percussion with digital technology.
As a cultural envoy, Teasley has traveled throughout the Middle East on behalf of the US State Department, giving historic performances in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, and Iraq in collaboration with indigenous musicians as well as in solo concerts and educational programs. He also shares his engaging experiences and global travels as musical and cultural ambassador in his keynote speaking engagements. He is the recipient of three Fulbright-Hayes Awards. He has also toured extensively, performing at world music and percussion festivals across the US, Europe, South America, New Zealand and Samoa.
Taking his music beyond the concert arena, Teasley has also performed with individual visual artists, such as performance artist Nick Cave, and with art galleries, including Washington, DC's Kreeger Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia, and the Philadelphia Textile Museum. Tom has began setting the abstract film of Dadaist master Hans Richter and others to his original music and superimposing the images of his performances into the art. He's equally renowned as a theatrical composer, sound designer and performer, and his work has earned him two Helen Hayes Awards (and a third nomination) for outstanding sound design for productions at several Washington, DC, theaters, including the Constellation Theatre and the Folger Theatre. Tom is the 2012 WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Award) winner for "Best World Music Instrumentalist". In addition, he has performed with the National Symphony as both a composer and a soloist, and has been an artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at the Levine School of Music.
A dedicated educator, Teasley continues to explore new instruments and playing techniques, and to share his newfound experience in various workshops and clinics. PASIC (the Percussion Arts Society International Convention) broke with tradition to feature his presentations three times at the world's largest gathering of percussionists. He has also been a clinician/artist-in-residence at Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and University of Maryland, among others. His innovative fusion of jazz, world and western classical music has earned him many endorsements. Teasley is proud to be supported by The Virginia Commission for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Born in Texas, Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz started playing drums at age 12 in conjunto and tejano bands. In 1971, he became interested in congas by listening to Santana, Earth Wind & Fire, War, Kool & the Gang, and Tower of Power, to name a few.
Willie Bobo, Willie Colon, Mongo Santamaria, The Fania All-Stars, and Tito Puente heavily influenced Sunny’s playing. While in Austin, Texas, he worked on percussion with local musicians including Jay Williams and the Tribe, Spur of the Moment, Texas Electric, Crosstown, Christopher Cross, and Tomas Rameriz.
After moving to Georgia in 1986, Sunny hooked up with Widespread Panic and is still performing with them today.
Cassio Duarte was born in Southern Brazil, where he started playing in marching bands and neighborhoods Samba schools at age 13. He later moved to Rio de Janeiro to study at the Villa Lobos School of Music and work with Brazilian stars like Moraes Moreira, João Bosco and Djavan. He also took private lessons in the State of Bahia in Brazil, where Afro-Brazilian roots are strong.
His search for knowledge of different styles brought him to Los Angeles in 1991, where he developed a career as an active studio musician for movie soundtracks and albums, working with people like Toots Thielemans, Lee Ritenour, Sergio Mendes, Strunz & Farah, Brenda Russell, Angelique Kidjo, Googoosh, Paul Winter, and many others . He also has experience teaching at places like Sangeet School of World Music, The Music Center of L.A., U.C.L.A. and LAMA Music Academy.
In 2003, Cassio was invited by LP (Latin Percussion) to write and perform on the instructional DVD, "Introduction to Brazilian Percussion", which is distributed by Alfred Music Publishing. In 2004, he released the CD “Tempo de Brasil” with his group Braziliando.
Since 2006, Cassio has also been working in Brazil, co-producing and recording on many albums with contemporary artists like Celso Fonseca, Aline Calixto, Arthur Maia, and Grupo Vocal Nosatro. He also performs on jingles and soundtracks. He is currently working on his 1st solo album.
In order to collaborate with artists from all over the world, Cassio put together a website, LivePercussion.com which allows to him work out of his studio on many different projects.
Arejay Hale, drummer and resident wild child of the hard rock group Halestorm, first realized his hunger for the drums at the ripe age of three. “My parents bought my sister a little toy drum kit for her birthday, and I would sneak in to her room to play it when she wasn't around,” he laughs. “After being caught bashing the hell out of the poor defenseless set of drums several times, my parents and sister eventually just gave it to me, and I haven't stopped since!” A few years later, Arejay and his sister Lzzy started Halestorm, he was only 10 years old. “The biggest challenge we faced growing up was giving up a normal life to commit to making music full time. We didn't have all the luxuries that other kids had. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, and any money our parents made went back into buying guitars, drums, amps, PA speakers, lights and yes...even pyro,” says Arejay.
Having recently released their second album, The Strange Case Of…, Arejay and his band mates have come a long way since their days of basement rehearsals and homemade pyrotechnics. The band has been praised by Billboard for their “chugging riffs, wailing solos, drums that kick like a boot to the gut, and never-out-of-style soft/loud dynamics that lead to massive choruses.” The album is shaping up as the group’s biggest release yet, debuting at #1 on Billboard’s “Hard Rock Albums” chart, while also making a top 15 entry onto the overall Billboard 200. It features the single “Love Bites (So Do I)” which reached #1 at Active Rock radio outlets nationwide, marking the first ever female-fronted group to top the format’s airplay ranking.
Halestorm has also made an array of national television appearances including NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The group has had their music featured on Fox’s hit series, Glee, and the band has been featured in Revolver, Guitar World and Modern Drummer, who profiled Arejay. True road warriors, Halestorm have established themselves as a major league hard rock outfit via countless North American gigs alongside such artists as Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, and Disturbed.
Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Paul Alexander Gonzalez began playing drums and percussion when he joined his elementary school band at the age of 11. He received many awards and accolades early on in grade school, and they would continue throughout his high school and college years. Some of these awards include: Texas All State Band/Orchestra (3 years in HS), Most Outstanding Freshman, Junior, and Senior Awards at Sam Houston State University, C.R. Hackney Award for Music Education, the Berklee College of Music Percussion Department Achievement Award, and Regional and State winner of the first Percussive Arts Society International Drum Set Competition.
Paul currently resides in the Los Angeles area, where he continues to be active as a performer, studio musician, and composer. He has had the honor of performing, touring, and or recording with many artists including: The Rembrandts, Chaka Khan, Nelly Furtado, All 4 One, Sheila E, Richie Kotzen, Wynonna Judd, Gloria Estefan, Thalia, Jose Feliciano, Narada Michael Walden, Joy Enriquez, Jon Secada, Cristian Castro, Louie Shelton, Carlos Vives, Jorge Calandrelli, Brian McKnight, Lonnie Jordan, DJ Kane, Nicho Hinojosa, Cherie, Ziggy Marley, Shaila Durcal, and Paulina Rubio.
Paul has recorded and appeared on many albums, TV show cues, commercials, films, and live Television performances including: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, "In Performance" at the White House, The Latin Grammys, CD USA, MTV, The US Open, MUN2, Vina Del Mar, Nobel Peace Prize Concert, Hoy, Ritmo Internacional, and Conciertos Clandestinos.
Paul has composed many TV commercial and show cues including work for Univision, UPN show – 7 Days, CSI, CSI Miami, and the FOX show – Johnny Zero. Paul has three published works with Row-Loff Productions: Bump Thump, Blast Off, and Flying Start.
Paul has a B.M. in Music Educationfrom Sam Houston State University, and a B.M. in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music (Summa Cum Laude). Paul is an Honors Graduate from Hanna High School in Brownsville, Texas.
Percussionist Jeong Jeong-bae was born on September 9th, 1955 and worked as a performing musician for KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Orchestra through his twenties and late thirties. At 37, he studied Latin music in Brazil and then in New York.
In 1998 after seven years of studying and performing Latin music, Jeong returned to Korea and formed Orquesta Cobana, a Latin Jazz big band. The band established itself as the biggest Latin band in Korea and it has been very active ever since.
For the past twelve years Jeong lectures as a professor at Korea National University Art and in 2008 he released a double record with Orquesta Cobana titled Gracias. Jeong also manages World Rhythm Center, a percussion institute where he gives free monthly lectures and concerts on Latin music.
Jeong is currently creating a new genre by combining Korean music with Latin music using Latin Percussion instruments.
Miguelito "Pacha" Pozo was born November 9, 1954, in San Manuel, Oriente, Cuba. He arrived in the United States in 1958 at the age of three. Pacha always enjoyed music and took up percussion, focusing on the timbales. At the age of thirteen, he competed in a Tito Puente contest and earned 2nd place. He soon also learned how to play trap drums and later got involved in Salsa music. Pacha started to play with bassist Glen Vargas in a band called "La Contraria" from the Lower East Side of New York City.
In 1976, Pacha began to play with Orquesta Realidad from New Jersey. After a few years with performing with Orquesta Realidad along with other local bands, Pacha learned that the great flute player Jose Antonio Fajardo was looking for a timbalero. After several calls to Fajardo, Pacha played his first gig with them in August 1980. Pacha recorded live and in the studio with Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas, until Fajardoâ€™s death in 2000. Pacha rejoined the band playing guiro in 2001 under the direction of Fajardo, Jr.
Pacha has shared the stage with many greats in Latin Music including Tito Puente, Machito, Larry Harlow, Tipica '73, Orquesta Broadway, Hector LaVoe, Charanga America, Tipica Novel, Adalberto Santiago and his Orchestra, Conjunto Libre, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Pupi Lagaretta, Alfredo de la Fe, Dave Valentin, Javier Vasquez, Jose â€śEl Canarioâ€ť Alberto, Conjunto Clasico, Grupo Facinacion, Hector Casanova, and many others during his long career.
David Rozenblatt's talents have drawn him to all corners of the globe and all styles of music, performing in the world's most revered concert halls as well as intimate nightclubs. Since joining Barry Manilow's band in 2003, David has been performing to sold out arenas all over the world. Barry's album "In The Swing Of Christmas" went Gold in the US alone and was Grammy-nominated for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album." The album features The Matt Herskowitz Trio, David's inspired collaboration with virtuoso pianist Matt Herskowitz, with whom he tours nationally and internationally. The trio's CDs, Forget Me Not and Jerusalem Trilogy were released to rave reviews and were nominated for both the Felix and the Juno Awards for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year".
As a drummer and equally talented percussionist, David has shared the stage or studio with some of the finest talents in pop, jazz and classical music including Joe Zawinul, Paquito DíRivera, Ornette Coleman, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Neil Diamond, John Legend, Usher, Baby Face, John Mayer, Reba McEntire, Bette Midler, Leon Russell, Alice Cooper, Ronnie Wood, The Killers, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Cindy Lauper, Donna Summer, Judy Collins, Micky Dolenz, David Foster, Lara Fabian, Katherine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson, Esperanza Spalding, The Ronettes, Paul Shaffer, Little Anthony, Bobby Womack, Ronnie Wood, and Dave Koz.
As drummer, producer, and composer for the critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated and "German Record Critics Award" winning Absolute Ensemble, David can be heard on the group's seven remarkable recordings.
David received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Juilliard School where he became a founding member of the critically acclaimed New York Percussion Quartet. Born in the Ukraine, David moved to the United States at the age of four. One year later he began playing drums professionally. David also devotes his time to recording and producing all styles of music from his recording studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and is on the faculty of Hofstra University as Adjunct Professor of Percussion.
David's original music composed for the ballet Three Point Turn premiered at New York City Center, The Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Stanislavsky Musical Theater in Moscow. David's commission of Dwight Rhoden's "Othello" for the North Carolina Dance Theater premiered in Charlotte, NC to rave reviews. His latest commission for Complexions Contemporary Ballet entitled Dirty Wire premiered in Seattle and had a critically acclaimed two-week run at the Joyce Theater in New York City. All ballets are currently on tour.
Neil Garthly is the owner of the Academy of Drums, which is considered to be one of the premiere drum schools in the country. Garthly is also the creator and host of a cable TV show, “Drumology”, that airs to over 400,000 viewers in New Jersey and surrounding areas.
Neil prides himself in being a drum set innovator by creating what he calls the “21st Century Drum Set”. He is also an international clinician performing clinics through out the U.S. and Canada. Most recently, Neil has taught and performed at numerous clinics and seminars including KoSA Workshops, The Greater Milwaukee Drum Expo, The Cape Breton Drum Fest, and The Collective in NYC.
Recently, Neil can be seen playing throughout the Northeast USA with Juggling Suns. They are a headlining jam band that has been featured in the movie “Runaway Bride”. Juggling Suns has also performed with guest solo artist Keller Williams and Tim Carbone from Railroad Earth. Neil is a member of the International Percussive Arts Society (PAS), National Association of Musical Merchants (NAMM), and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
Percussionist JoaquĂn â€śJoacoâ€ť Arteaga was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began playing and studying drums at an early age, influenced by several music styles.
In 1998 he moved to Barcelona, where he explored diverse musical styles ranging from Flamenco to Acid Jazz; passing through Afro-Venezuelan rhythms and Pop. Throughout his first years in Spain, he played with bands such as Flameland, Tambores de mi Pueblo, Orquesta Kanabayen, El Cholo and Asstrio.
Since 2002, JoaquĂn has been a musician in Europe for renowned Latin artists such as Andy MontaĂ±ez, Larry Harlow, Frankie Vazquez, Andres Cepeda, Cano Estremera, Marcial Isturiz, Gabino Pampini, John Lozano, Gerardo Rosales, Estrellas de Niche, Ender Thomas, Venezuelan Masters Orchestra, Paul de Castro & Orchestra Dengue, Asstrio+2, La Sucursal S.A and Bloque 53. He has also played at various notorious international festivals both on the Latin American and European circuit.
JoaquĂn Arteaga currently divides his time between teaching, playing as a session artist, and developing projects of his own. His most recent project, â€śBloque 53,â€ť is a succesfull band where he participates as musical producer, composer and timbalero. â€śTe hace mover los piesâ€ť (2011) their latest album, got excellent reviews from salsa critics. â€śJoacoâ€ť also teaches and produces percussion workshops and master classes both at his private studio and abroad (Colombia, USA, Europe).
Drummer, percussionist, author, educator and recording artist, Eduardo Guedes is originally from Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he earned a Law degree at PUC/RS. He moved to New York City in 2000 to pursue him musical career. Since then, Eduardo has been actively collaborating with a variety of artists in the United States. He has been a member of Maracatu New York, Brazilian percussion and cultural exchange program, as a featured performer, conductor and clinician.
As a member of Nation Beat, he has recorded the CDs “Maracatuniversal” (in collaboration with Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante) and “Legends of the Preacher”, featuring Grammy award winners The Klezmatics. With Nation Beat he has been touring extensively the U.S., Canada and Brazil while conducting assemblies, clinics and residencies with universities in New York and Florida.
Returning to Porto Alegre in 2004, he teamed up with composer and percussionist Esdras Bedai to create Maracatu Truvão, the first Maracatu group of his native state Rio Grande do Sul. His music training includes a Certificate Program at Drummers Collective in NYC, private drum classes with Kiko Freitas, Michael Lauren and Dom Famularo. He has studied percussion with Airto Moreira, Naná Vasconcelos and Taiko drums with The Kodo Group from Japan. His recent performing and recording credits include: M’lumbo, Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey, Frank London and the Klezmer All Stars, Vive os Timoneiros (Brazil), Michael Hardie, The Myla Hardie Family Band and Annette A. Aguilar & Stringbeans.
Eduardo is an LP artist and a member of the educational team. He is also on the roster of teaching artists for Young Audiences of New York and The Brooklyn Philharmonic. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Brazil for Drum Set” – Volume 1, Northeast (Tunesguedes Publishing).
Born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Brazil, Rodrigo Vasquez started his music career at age fourteen in Salvador, Brazil. He studied at the Music Conservatory of the University Federal in Bahia, Brazil and with master percussionist, the late Frank Malabe.
Constantly traveling from Brazil to Chile, he was one of the pioneers of the Brazilian batucadas in Chile. Between 1982 and 1990 he co-founded the first Salsa band in Bahia, Brazil, called Rumbahiana. He is credited to be one of the first percussionists to introduce bat'e1 drums in Brazil.
During his more than 25 year career, Rodrigo has played and recorded with many artists in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Portugal, France and Spain including Daniela Mercury, Adalberto Santiago, Ruben "El Negro" Rada, Carlinhos Brown, Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. to name just a few.
Rodrigo has participated in music festivals around the world including Montreux Jazz Festival, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, Perc Pan, Madrid International Jazz Festival, and Vi'f1a del Mar International Festival. He has also performed workshops in Chile, Brazil and Dominican Republic for Latin Percussion.
In 2001, Rodrigo became Master Professor for the Percussion Department at Arcis University and in 2006 he was appointed Professor of Percussion for the Pop Music Program at the University of Chile. Currently, Rodrigo is giving private lessons for musicians in Europe.
Elliot Jacobson is a Texas native hailing from Houston. After moving with his family to Buffalo, New York, Elliot cut his teeth playing in bands, practicing in the basement and performing at local venues. While attending college on Staten Island, he was introduced to Ingrid Michaelson. The day before Ingrid recorded her album Slow the Rain, Elliot was asked to join the project. Elliot has been recording and touring with Ingrid ever since.
In addition to Ingrid, Elliot is often called upon to work with a long list of talented artists. He is the go to guy for Jenny Owen Youngs, Dan Romer (producer), Bess Rogers, Allie Moss, Lelia Broussard, Espionage (production team), Katie Costello, Jim Bianco, Wakey! Wakey! and Allison Weiss. He has had the honor of working with Regina Spektor, Diane Birch, Greg Laswell, The Woes, Rosi Golan, Greg Holden, April Smith, The Paper Raincoat, Mieka Pauley, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Cara Salimando, Anya Marina, Abigail Breslin, Guggenheim Grotto, Nick Howard, Rachel Platten, Lauren Zettler, Ricky Valente, Hayley Taylor and Kelsey Byrne and many, many others.
Elliot has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, The CBS Early Show and others. In 2010, Elliot was honored to be voted #1 Up and Coming Drummer in the Modern Drummer Magazine’s Reader’s Poll.
Elliot spends his free time working on his side project, The Healthy Musician blog.
Bulú was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. His passion for percussion began at the age of 14 when he started playing congas with the Gaita Band (Venezuelan folk music). He then decided to study at the Conservatory of the Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (Orchestra Sifónica Juvenil).
At the age of 16, he was already playing with leading bands in Maracaibo such as Guaco, La Combinación, La Nueva Generación and Carangano (where he shared the responsibilities with Archie Peña, Jose Luis Garcia and Federico Britos).
After this experience, he went to Caracas for bigger opportunities and it was there that he started his own band "La Crema", recorded an album and even got to be Number Two in Venezuelan radio’s Top 50 (Chachacha para Ti). He was also percussion player to Ricardo Montaner (the Venezuelan singer who for many years has been among the top artists in South, Central, and North America) for about four years, and part of a television program called "Almorzando con Orlando", where he was both percussion player and musical director.
In 1984 he started working as the Musical Director in the Tamanaco Hotel (LaBoite Hotel Tamanaco), where he worked with shows like Ballet Carmen Mota (Spain), Oba Oba (Brazil), Follies Follies (France), Simon Diaz (Venezuela), Los Hermanos del Rio (Spain, best known for their hit “Macarena”). In 1988 Bulú went to Aruba to accompany the show, Oba Oba of Brazil and stayed for eight years, working with numerous popular music and Latin jazz bands.
In 1997 he went to New York and worked as musician and sound recording engineer with bands and musicians such as Timbalaye, Jose Mangual Jr, Eddie Santiago, Song by Four, Papo Pepin, Milton Cardona, Yomo Toro, Raul Agraz, Robert Quintero, Leopoldo Pineda, Joe Torres, Robert Vilera, Marc Quiñones, Chicas del Can, Miosotis, Joe King, Cuco Valoy, Javier Vasquez y La Sonora Matancera, Fuerza Juvenil, Junior Gonzalez and many others.
Since 1999 he has lived in The Netherlands, participating in many of the best-known festivals in Europe with bands such as Gerardo Rosales (Trabucombo), Azucaribe, Curacao Jazz Project, Charanga La Crisis, Lucas van Merwijk (Cubop City Big Band), Gerald y La Ritmica, Eddie Martinez Big Band, Arturo Castillon, Franklin Caesar, Eddy Veldman en Opo-yeye, Arena Latin Gipsy Band, Jose Lopretti en Candombe Jazz, Nueva Manteka, FP La Banda, Rumbata Big Band and many others.
He has also shared the stage with Larry Harlow and Guaco, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Soneros del Barrio, Maraca, Candy Dulfer, Marco Borsato, Krezip, Relax, Trijntje Oosterhuis, The Sheer, Guus Meeuwis, Tasha's World, Thomas van Luyn, Mike Boddé, Lange Frans and Baas B, Ninthe, Frankie Vazquez and many others.
Drummer, educator, clinician, author and health coach, Shirazette Tinnin was born and raised in North Carolina. As a child she would travel with her parents listening to them sing in large Southern Gospel groups up and down the east coast. Due to her musical family and surrounding peers, her initial gospel influences eventually grew and branched out into jazz, soul and many other styles of music. From the time that she was 4 years old, she knew that she would play the drums. A graduate of Appalachian State University, Shirazette studied with Todd Right, Dr. Rob Falvo, Rick Dilling and Scott Meister.
In addition to her academic background, she has also received private instruction and mentoring from great musicians such as Cindy Blackman, Lewis Nash, Terri Lyne Carrington, Allison Miller, Sherrie Maricle and Ernie Adams. Following her years at Appalachian State University, Shirazette was offered the opportunity to attend Northern Illinois University on a full scholarship for drum set and jazz pedagogy. She accepted, and in 2005 relocated to Dekalb, IL to study with Ron Carter (saxophonist and jazz educator) where she got involved in the Chicago music scene. She began by performing in various projects around the Chicago area with flutist Nicole Mitchell as well as representing NIU in the Liberace Jazztet Scholarship Program.
Shirazette is one of the last recipients of The Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars for IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) Award in 2008. She has taught as a professor at Columbia College in Chicago and today Shirazette is an in demand drummer in residing in New York City. She has recently been on tour with Tia Fuller at The Umbria Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival and the Turkish Ambassadors in D.C., as well as leading her own group. She recently performed at the 2012 NAMM Show with Lipstick (formerly known as The Beyonce Band). Shirazette’s artistry on drum-set is just as poetic on percussion with her versatile ability to swing a ride cymbal, slap a back beat and then flip to an Afro-Peruvian groove is making her one of the most sought after drummers worldwide. Besides performing as a professional musician, Shirazette is an active clinician and teacher, constantly sharing her knowledge to anyone open and willing to learn. She is also author of two published articles for Modern Drummer and Tom Tom Magazine.
Trevor Salloum studied music with Cuban master drummers Changuito, Enrique Pla, Roberto Vizcaiño, José Eladio Amat and the groups Cutumba and Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. He has made several trips to Cuba and studied at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, in addition to music schools in Santiago and Guantanamo.
Salloum is a best selling author with Mel Bay Publications including Fun with Bongos/CD, The Bongo Book/CD, Bongo Drumming: Beyond the Basics/CD, Afro-Latin Polyrhythms/CD, Afro-Cuban Rhythms Vol. 1 & 2, The Art of Bongo Drumming DVD, The Art of Arabic Drumming DVD, Afro-Cuban Percussion Play Along/CD and The School of Bongo/CD.
Trevor has performed with Armando Peraza, Pat LaBarbera, Alex Acuña, Jane Bunnett, Dee Daniels and many of Canada’s top jazz musicians. He currently teaches privately, at schools, universities and percussion clinics.
Fascinated by the complex and mysterious religious nature of the rhythms of AfroCuban music, Abel Valentino has spent his life immersed in the study and performance of that dynamic, spiritual percussion. As a child growing up in a Puerto Rican household in Arizona, he delighted in the sounds of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Ismael Rivera as family and friends danced Salsa into the early morning hours.
A self taught percussionist, Abel began his professional career at the age of 14 with the Pete Robles Orchestra. His longstanding friendship with Tito Puente began in 1976 at the Casino Ballroom in Tucson, Arizona, when he was invited to perform with Puente's band. Over the years, Abel continued to be a guest performer with Tito Puente and his band, the final time being at Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona in 1998.
Abel has also been a guest performer with Larry Harlow and Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Poncho Sanchez, and Malo. His band, Abel Valentino & Salsation, opened for Tito Puente and has had guest performer Poncho Sanchez. He performed with the Brazilian band Zum Zum Zum for President Ronald Reagan during the Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington, DC. He has participated in clinics with Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Jeff Hamilton, and Steve Smith.
Although Abel plays various musical styles, including straight ahead jazz and Latin rock, his main focus is as a Salsa and Latin jazz timbalero. He is currently living in Phoenix, Arizona, playing with various salsa bands on the West Coast and working on a recording with his band, Abel Valentino & Salsation.
Drummer and percussionist Meg Thomas has performed in musical realms that range from rock to calypso, avant-garde to spoken word, Latin jazz to punk, and dance ensembles to percussion ensembles. As a percussionist, Meg creates a set-up that is unique to almost every ensemble or band in which she performs. She received her degree in Music from Millikin University.
Meg teaches private lessons out of her studio in Chicago and writes a Drum and Percussion Tips column for the Chicago Music Guide. Meg won runner-up "Rising Star Percussionist" in Drum! Magazine's 2010 Drummie Awards.
Meg plays a variety of percussion instruments and set-ups as well as drum set. She plays recording sessions and performs with several different bands and ensembles.
Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest percussionists of all time, Puerto Rico born LP artist, Giovanni Hidalgo, began playing percussion at the age of five. Born into a family of musicians, Giovanni first played on a set of congas handcrafted by his father, the great Jose "Maneñgue" Hidalgo. He also practiced on other percussion instruments, developing the lightning fast precision technique for which he is noted today.
Giovanni first became popular outside of Puerto Rico in the early eighties when traveling to Cuba to work with the group Batacumbele, in which he forged his life-long friendship with Changuito. Hidalgo soon after appeared on Batacumele's debut album, which has subsequently become a cult favorite. Featuring his incredible hand-drumming technique, the album shot Giovanni to instant prominence. Inspired by his method, musicians incorporated it into their own, hybrid musical style called Songo.
While performing with Eddie Palmieri in New York, Giovanni forged another life-long friendship, this time with Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured in 1988 as a member of Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra. He has also toured extensively with Tito Puente and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, and has performed with the likes of Dave Valentin, Paquito d'Rivera, and Carlos Santana. A noted session player, Giovanni has recorded with numerous distinguished musicians, including Freddy Hubbard, Paul Simon and Mickey Hart.
In 1992, Giovanni accepted a teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. That same year, he released his first solo album, Villa Hidalgo, followied it up with Worldwide in 1993. His collaborative effort with pianist, Michel Camilo, Hands of Rhythm, released in 1997, was nominated for a Grammy award in The Best Latin Jazz category.
An unrivaled performer, whose skill and technique are admired by percussionists around the world, Giovanni is constantly evolving as a musician. His style is a melding of Latin, jazz, and folkloric influences, delivered in his signature nimble handed fashion.
A number of innovative products have flowed from Giovanni's long time collaboration with LP, including the LP Galaxy Giovanni Congas, Bongos and Djembe, LP Giovanni Compact Conga, the vintage style LP Giovanni Palladium Congasas well as the LP Prestige Series Giovanni Timbales. All LP Giovanni instruments have elicited accolades worldwide. In particular, the Giovanni Compact Conga, a portable, shellless hand drum that delivers a surprisingly rich and authentic conga sound for practice or recording, won a 2003 Musikmesse press award (MIPA), voted tops in the percussion category by representatives of musical instrument magazines from around the globe.
After leaving school at 16 years of age, Shovell found his first job far away from the field of music. He worked as a plumber for a number of years, playing music as a hobby.
During the late 1980's the European house and dance scene exploded, as after-hours clubs opened up all across the continent and in England. Shovell was asked to play at a London club called the Monkey Drum, which was to be his first professional musical gig. Shovell would play his bongos and congas over whatever the DJ was spinning at the time. According to Shovell, the result was much like instrumental "rapping."
In 1990 Shovell recorded a cover of the Gap Band's "Outstanding" with a musician named Kenny Thomas. The song was a hit all over Europe, and broke into the top 10 in the UK. Needless to say, Shovell was no longer interested in being a plumber.
After freelancing as a recording and club percussionist, Shovell joined the band Natural Life. After over two years of touring they were signed by the Disney-owned label Hollywood Records, but the band broke up only a year later. Immediately after, Shovell joined the band M People. He is hard at work with the band, recording another album and planning a world tour.
Lisette Santiago is a multi-instrumentalist who began singing at the age of four. When she was nine years old, she auditioned and was accepted into the Children’s Metropolitan Choir.
Lisette later pursued her musical studies at the famed LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts, and while at Columbia University, received vocal coaching as part of a Columbia–Juilliard joint program.
A daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Lisette’s primary musical experience was rooted in Latin music. Lisette began learning hand percussion in her youth and later went on to study drum kit. She has studied Afro-Cuban percussion with great masters in Cuba and in New York, and currently plays Batá and congas. As well as her exploration of Cuban rhythms and songs, Lisette has immersed herself into the world of Brazilian music, singing and playing percussion in several Brazilian bands.
Lisette is currently residing in Brooklyn and performs and teaches in and out of the US. As a performer, Lisette plays in bands ranging in musical styles and is a member of the popular group, Beat the Donkey; led by the Grammy award winning percussionist, Cyro Baptista.
Lisette is currently working in new projects (Warixe, Brasil Underground, Chico Mann) in which she is experimenting with electronic music, vocals, percussion, and theremin.
The music and drumming styles of the island of Sri Lanka, an independent nation situated off the southern coast of India, are as diverse as the populace. Influences include Portuguese folk music, Caribbean calypso, Indian folkloric compositions, pop & dance music, and even American classical. This rich cultural milieu inspires musicians to heights of creativity and innovation.
Take, for example, the case of Rakitha Ruwan, a child prodigy who, by the age of seven, was performing traditional Sri Lankan music in concert. Understandably, Rakitha's head start on his instrument soon distanced him considerably from his peers. At competitive drumming performances, he began leaving them in the dust. As a teenager, Ruwan eclipsed the work of drummer and percussionists hailing from across Sri Lanka. Rakitha speaks proudly of the four awards he took home from all-island championship bouts.
After mastering indigenous Sri Lankan drumming, Rakitha turned his gaze to the percolating pulse of Latin. The exciting blend of Spanish and African rhythms, centering on the essential two-measure clave rhythm, fascinated him and continue to motivate him to this day.
While the lilting Latin drumming traditions appealed intellectually and aesthetically, Rakitha's physical skills-his chops-rose to dizzying heights. Band leaders called upon him to tour and, accordingly, Rakitha's talents were appreciated by audiences and media in neighboring India, Singapore, and other Asian destinations. Concurrently, Rakitha began to contribute his drumming and producing skills to studio projects. Perhaps his most significant recording is the mega-budget Sri Lankan feature film Aba. Released in July, 2008, the movie is based on Sri Lankan history.
Never one to pause for respite, Rakitha enrolled in the performing arts degree program at the University of Colombo and also managed to squeeze in concerts with famous flutist Rk Bikramjit Singh. The acclaim was such that Rakitha will accompany Bikram overseas in 2009.
Rakitha recently spearheaded the formation of Naadro, a six-member drum ensemble that breathes the passion of a new generation of Sri Lankan musicians unafraid to embrace Indian, Mediterranean, Latin, and native Sri Lankan musical styles. Audiences thus far have gravitated to the exhilarating blend of rhythms and sounds, thrusting Naadro into the spotlight. In addition to delighting crowds at significant national concerts, Rakitha and Naadro acknowledge responsibility to educate-draw youths into the new world of world music. The band's objective is to foster world peace through music.
Aquiles Priester was born in Otjo, South Africa. At the age of four he heard drum set playing for the first time. It was a transforming event. In November 1997 after playing drums for 12 years, Aquiles formed the band, Hangar, which played heavy metal cover songs before making their own music. Their first album was well received by critics and was promoted with a national tour.
Hangar’s second recording “Nomad” was recorded in São Paulo, in 2000, immediately the band went on tour throughout Brazil to promote it. In 2001, Aquiles became the drummer for Angra and recorded the albums Rebirth (2001), Hunters and Prey (2002), Live in São Paulo (2003), Temple of Shadows (2004) and Aurora Consurgens (2006).
In 2004, Aquiles released his first instructional DVD, Inside My Drums, and promoted it by performing over 80 drum clinics and workshops. In 2006, Aquiles participated at the Drummer Live Festival, in London, and conducted his first workshops outside Brazil throughout Colombia, Portugal and Spain.
In 2007, Aquiles dedicated himself to recording and releasing a new album for Hangar, The Reason of Your Conviction. Hangar toured throughout Brazil in 2008 and at the end of the year the band released a re-mastered version their debut album, Last Time – Was Just The Beginning.
At the end of 2009, Priester recorded a new instructional DVD, The Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming, where he emphasized his double bass technique and also presented a series of exercises that are the foundation of his evolution on the drums.
Aquiles released his first official biography “Aquiles Octopus Priester – From Fan to Idol” at Expomusic 2010. Also that year, his DVD, The Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming and his book on double bass techniques, Inside My PsychoBook – 100 Double Bass Patterns, were published worldwide by Mel Bay Publishing.
In 2011, Aquiles performed at the Modern Drummer Festival, and was recognized in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll. He was ranked as 5th best Prog Drummer and his DVD, the Infallible Reason of My Freak Drumming, ranked 3rd as best instructional DVD.
Former band member of the Tonight Show Band, Vicki Randle's passion for percussion was seen by millions of viewers. "When I first began playing there weren't many female role models to learn from" she recalls. "Fortunately I'm able to change that for the next generation of female percussionists."
The oldest of five children, Randle moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1970's, and was encouraged to learn congas by drummer/percussionist Babatunde. She also studied with the esteemed Escovedo family in the San Francisco Bay Area. "It was looked on as an asset to have a woman percussionist, and Sheila E. had a lot to do with that," Vicki says. Randle also used her vocal and percussion talents with drummer/producer Narada Michael Walden in San Francisco.
Vicki Randle, the first female member of the Tonight Show Band, and has been an LP artist for many years. Her comments regarding LP shakers and cabasas have led to improvements in the quality of design of those instruments.
Paul Picard is one of Montreal’s busiest recording and performing percussionists. He is the percussionist for Celine Dion and Gregory Charles.
Picard has enjoyed a diversified career as a pop, jazz, and classical percussionist. He performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival with bassist Charlie Haden, and has performed with conductors Arthur Fiedler and Henri Mancini. When he's not on the road, the Montreal-based musician teaches and plays a number of studio and television gigs.
Picard began "banging on things" at age 4, and was seriously playing percussion by age 9. His early influences include drummers Sandy Nelson, Ringo Starr, Ginger Baker, Max Roach, Joe Morello, Elvin Jones, and Philly Joe Jones. At age 18, he entered the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec, where he studied under classical artist Louis Charbonneau ("the best timpanist on earth"). Later, Picard was influenced by studio percussionists Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph MacDonald, and, especially Don Alias, "who knows how to make a pop song groove."
Fidel Morales began his formal music education at the age of 12, having previously studied music reading and theory with the great Cuban clarinetist Amado Valdés. He graduated in 1981 from the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, Cuba.
As a professional drummer, he has played with musicians such as Danilo Pérez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Giovanni Hidalgo, among many others. He has also accompanied soloists such as Omara Portuondo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Elena Burke, Malena, Roberto Roena, to name a few. He has toured extensively around the world, having traveled on music engagements through Austria, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.
In 1990, he directed the Dalsa and Timba group Orquesta Layé, creating the music and appearing in public performances with important Cuban choreographers such as Tomás Morales, Alberto Concepción and Andrés Gutiérrez, from the famous nightclubs Tropicana and Parisién. He is considered one of the creators of the timba genre in Cuba.
Fidel is the composer of Cuban dance classics “La Expresiva” and “Mamina”, among others. Artists from Cuba, the United States, and Puerto Rico have recorded his compositions. He contributed as well in the album “Bajando Gervasio” by Amadito Valdés, nominated for 2004 Grammy Awards. The documentary Seguir a través de los años (To Follow through the Years) by Daniel Diez, is inspired in his music. His album Salsa Son Timba was released in 2005 and reissued in 2010.
Fidel has performed as percussionist with the Panama Symphonic Orchestra for 10 years. He recorded with the Cuban Radio Television Orchestra and the Symphonic Orchestras of Cuba and Panama. He has taught drum clinics and workshops in Europe, Panama, El Salvador, Chile, United States and Puerto Rico for students from the Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Drummers Collective, the University of Miami, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, and the University of Puerto Rico.
At present, Fidel is professor of Drum Set for the Jazz and Afro Caribbean Music Department at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. He also offers private lessons, and is, as well, an active clinician.
In 2010, Fidel published his first book Afro-Cuban Techniques for Drum Set and Percussion, an advanced instructional drum set book on Cuban rhythms, covering from fundamental tools to complex ones, for the musicians to practice and develop coordination and independence in the whole drum set.
Fidel is director of his own bands: Fidel Morales Jazz Trio, Fidel Morales & the Modern Latin Quartet, and the Salsa orchestra Proyecto Nega. He also performs with José Ramírez’ Tambores Batá.
Drummer/percussionist Victor Rendón is a highly respected educator, author, and veteran of the New York City Latin music scene. He studied intensively for many years with Jimmy Ramirez (1st teacher), Louis Bauzo, John Almendra, “Little” Ray Romero, Frankie Malabe, Mike Collazo Sr., Pablo Rosario, Changuito, Roberto Borrell, John Amira and Papo Angarica as well as jazz drummers Paul Guerrero and Charli Persip among others.
Formerly co-leader of the Rodríguez/Rendón Latin Jazz Orchestra, he now leads the Latin-jazz group Blue Mambo and the percussion group, Co-Tim-Bó. He has worked as a side man with Mongo Santamaria, Chico O’Farrill, Carlos "Patato" Valdez, Ray Santos Orchestra, Grupo Caribe, Latin Jazz Coalition, The "New" Xavier Cugat Orchestra, Grupo Latin Vibe, Los Mas Valientes, Rudy Calzado, Chembo Corniel, the Bronx Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Off Broadway shows, and many others.
As an author/transcriber, his work has appeared in Modern Drummer, Percussive Notes, LP Newsletter, Music in Motion Films, DCI Music Video, Drum! Magazine, and Warner Bros. Publications. He is author of The Art of Playing Timbales distributed by Alfred Publishing.
Rendón, who holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas and a Masters Degree in Education has had a lengthy career teaching instrumental music and Latin percussion in the New York City Public Schools as well as the Boy’s Harbor Performing Arts Center in El Barrio. Currently, he teaches and directs the Latin Jazz Ensemble at Lehman College in the Bronx. A successful clinician, he conducts workshops in Latin percussion styles.
French-Canadian drummer Dominique Messier played his first concert with super-diva Celine Dion in August 1995. The enormous success of the two albums Celine has released since (not to mention her colossal hit single, "My Heart Will Go On," the love theme from the film Titanic) has catapulted Messier into a life on the road. His second world tour with Celine, slated to last two years, commences this summer, playing to fans across the US, Asia, South Africa, Australia, and Europe. It is a life he enjoys, Messier says, "Because I see the world, the musicians are treated well, and we are like family."
At home in Montreal, Messier is also a busy studio drummer. He performs for Canadian television, and runs a recording studio. He has also played on four albums with Cirque du Soleil, (the travelling circus nouveau), including their hugely successful recording "Alegria". Messier also records with Roch Voisine, a singer popular in French Canada and Europe.
Messier began playing a snare drum at age 8, and at 14 he started a rock band. Influenced by early Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor, the drummer-percussionist played both folk and jazz gigs in college.
The comparison is inevitable. Tito Puente Jr., carries his father with him – imprinted on his physical being and locked in his soul. It’s in his looks, his joy, and his music.
Tito, Jr. is on a passionate mission. The younger Puente is determined to nurture the musical legacy left by his father. He refuses to let his father become a distant memory. “He was just too vibrant, too exciting. There was magic in the music my father made. It made people happy all over the world.”
He has found captive audiences who echo his passion. Crowds lured to a venue by the father are returning to see the son - and to once again participate in the high voltage celebration that takes place on stage.
Tito Puente, Jr. has become an audience favorite in casinos, performing arts centers, symphony halls and jazz festivals worldwide, performing more than 300 shows over the past 5 years.
His 2004 album, “In My Father’s Shoes,” featured the classic Puente titles and was spun into a BET Jazz television special of the same name.
He was seen in a tribute to his father’s music on NBC’s two hour special, “The Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem.” He has also appeared on the ABC soap opera hit “One Life to Live” in performance with his big band.
Symphony appearances include Dallas, San Antonio, Colorado, South Bend, and performances with the Palm Desert Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.
Tito, Jr.’s CD release, “Got Mambo?” is a mixture of the old and the new as he takes a musical departure into some powerful new music he can truly call his own. Guest artists Bobby Cruz and Hansel & Raul help make this a coming of age project for Puente, Jr. and the album is receiving heavy praise from Tropical and Latin Jazz critics alike.
The story of Orlando Marin is inextricably tied to the Hispanic struggle for pride of place in American society. In post-war New York he brought his music from the street corners to the living room, and his records, under the name of the Orlando Marin Orchestra, continue to sell today.
Although self-taught, Orlando was surrounded by musicians who gave him pointers including Joe Rodgriguez (Charlie Palmieri's drummer), Mike Collazo and Sabu Martinez. When he was a student, he took his conga to school, often playing between classes. This meant lugging his heavy bulky conga on the New York City subway system from his home in the Bronx to art school in Manhattan . Although he was considering becoming a cartoon illustrator, he was so overwhelmed by the mambo that he decided to change careers. "Eventually, I hustled a pair of timbales, and formed a small group in the Bronx. These musicians included such well-known players as Eddie Palmeri and Joe Quijano." They played stock Cuban arrangements, purchased from the local union office. Later, he enlisted arranger Hector Rivera (author of "Bang, Bang") and others.
During a two-year Army stint, Marin won a talent competition and was placed on the Ed Sullivan show. After his tour of duty, he resumed his own orchestra, recording eight albums. He had a hit in 1961 with Se Te Quemo La Casa ("Your House is Burning Down"). His subsequent bands have all enjoyed his timbale and vocal energy. Lately recordings have been scarce, a fact which bothers Marin, "I'd like to show people some excitement. Today they're selling ballads with cowbells behind them."
Marin received the Bobby Capo Lifetime Achievement Award, not only for his musical performance, but also for his "other life" in human resources, retraining workers who were victims of downsizing.
"Tito Puente was the first person to stand up and lead, and I was the second," Orlando says proudly of his dual role as timbalero and vocalist. Sometimes Marin will perform with a multiple-timbale setup. "But my typical setup," he notes, "is one set of timbales, because of small rooms and stages. But I do a lot on one pair of timbales!"
A delightful effect in ballads is Orlando's use of crotales (tiny thick orchestral cymbal discs), which he suspends from an LP Claw.
Puerto Rico born percussionist Marcos J. Lopez is one of the most promising percussionists emerging in the music scene. Armed with a profound reputation for transitioning seamlessly between styles ranging from Salsa to Jazz, Pop to R&B. Marcos studied with great musicians like Anthony Carrillo, David Marcano, Chago Martinez, John Blackwell, John Ramsey, Mike Mangini, Ernesto Diaz, Jamey Haddad, Victor Mendoza, Giovanni Hidalgo and Eguie Castrillo.
Marcos has worked with different artists including N’Klabe, Issac Delgado, Victor Manuelle, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Larry Harlow, Plena Libre, Wisin & Yandel, Wyclef Jean, Jerry Rivera, Kalani Trinidad, Omar Sosa and shared stages with musicians like Phillip Bailey, Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades, Chucho Valdez, Victor Wooten, Paoli Mejias, Giovanni Hidalgo, Cachao, Sheila E., Roberto Roena, Steve Winwood, Dave Valentin, Oskar Cartaya, Rosa Passos, Mario Rivera, Luis Enrique, Tito DeGracia and many more.
Coming from a musical family, Marcos began playing congas, timbales and bongos at the age of two years old. At the age of seven he entered to the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico. Several years later he entered Escuela Libre de Musica (from which he graduated from in 2006.) During his time at Escuela Libre de Musica, Marcos attended the Berklee in Puerto Rico Workshops which gave him the opportunity to perform at the Heineken Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico for five consecutive years. In 2005, he won a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated with a degree in Music Business & Management.
Marcos is also part of “La Timbistica”, a group of “Latin Jazz” music that has headlined the Heineken Jazz Fest in Puerto Rico, the Monterey Jazz Fest in California, DC Jazz Festival in Washington D.C, the Saratoga Jazz Festival in NY. They were awarded Downbeat Magazine’s 2008 Jazz Group of the Year Award, in the collegiate category.
Marcos is continually working to reach new levels musically and artistically. His evolution rests on a solid foundation layered with diligence, a strong work ethic and professionalism. Always striving for growth and improvement, Marcos Lopez is on a journey destined for continued success.
Dom Famularo has been traveling the globe preaching the gospel of drumming for over 30 years. An intense performer, Dom is a well respected solo drum artist, with a career built solely upon his unique skills as a drummer and motivational speaker.
He has presented master classes and clinics around the globe in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Phillipines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico,Canada, and the United States.
He has directed and emceed major drumming expos around the world, and has been one of drumming industry's most sought-after private instructors. A major player in the percussion industry, Dom acts as Education Director and consultant for several companies in the drumming industry, for whom he oversees programs worldwide.
Emedin Rivera was born in the Bronx, NY, and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He started playing the bongos at the age of 8, and his exposure and passion for music came from his father and uncle who both played in a trio in Puerto Rico.
Emedin possesses the unique and creative ability of incorporating and blending his Latin, Caribbean and African influences into a vast array of musical styles. Emedin has developed his own system of playing drums and congas simultaneously, (sounding like three people), calling it "Percussion Kit". Emedin is well known for his sound effects, many of which are handmade by him, and can be heard on some of National Geographic shows. He has also won two Emmy Awards: The America Experience (PBS) and Picture Perfect (PBS).
Emedin has performed live with Harry Belafonte, Gregory Hines, Paquito De Rivera, Vicky Sue Robinson, Angela Bofill, Gloria Gaynor, Ben E King, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentine, Andy Narell, Latoya Jackson, David Broza, Emeline Michel and Bernie Williams just to name a few.
He has recorded live with Larry Coryell, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Nelson Rangell, Harry Belafonte, Maria Schneider, Rick Cua, Denise Williams, Albert Castiglia (Keeping On). Emeline Michel (Reine de Coeur). Blues Council (Let the Healing Begin), Paula Atherton (Inter Play), Lou Watson (Taking a Chance on Love), Thos Shipley (My Favorite Things), Clyde Criner (The Color of Dark) and many others.
Emedin has also played on a few movie soundtracks, such as Sixteen Blocks, Tough Turf, End of Night and more. Emedin's commercial credits are Anheiser Bush, Mercedes Benz, Visa, Seven Up, Crest Toothpaste and more.
Bahia, Brazil native, Marcus Santos is a contemporary percussionist and educator. He commits his life to the study, teaching and performance of his hometown's Afro-Brazilian music and heritage.
Marcus has performed for the President of Brazil, and on TEDx, Telemundo with the “One World Band” produced by MTV. He also played on Sony Pictures, Oscar-nominated movie, ‘Rachel's Getting Married’ with Anne Hathaway. He has received several industry honors including the KoSA Recognition Award (2013), Outstanding Arts Performer Award by the Brazilian Immigrant Center (2008) and Outstanding Percussionist Award by Berklee College of Music (2004).
Marcus is the author of the DVD ‘Modern Approach to Pandeiro’. He also performed on the DVD ‘Musically Speaking II’ by BOSE. In the education field, Marcus has lead workshops on Afro-Brazilian percussion and music for social change at notable universities and conventions including Carnegie Hall, PASIC and Harvard.
Marcus the director of the network project, Grooversity, and artistically directs fifteen drumming groups throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Drummer Beto Hale was born in Mexico City where at an early age, he developed a love for all musical styles. When he was eight years old, Beto’s mother bought him a beginner’s drum set. At the age of ten, Beto studied classical guitar for one year before quitting to pursue the self-taught method. The first band he participated in performed at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and consisted of members who were no more than eleven years old.
In 1981, Beto’s dad gave him a professional drum set for Christmas, and during high school, Beto was a recognized performer and festival organizer. At the age of eighteen, he composed one of his first songs, Mujer de Plata, a tale of the love affair between a young man and the moon. By this time, Beto had added piano to his repertory of instruments, which served him well upon graduation when he accepted the position of second keyboardist for the popular teen pop band, Timbiriche.
After touring Mexico with Timbiriche, Beto enrolled in the prestigious CIEM Music School in Mexico City. After three years, Beto received a scholarship for his drum playing abilities to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he majored in Performance and Songwriting. While at Berklee, Beto won various singer-songwriter competitions, formed his own Jazz ensemble, and contributed to Musico Pro, a newly formed magazine for Spanish-speaking musicians.
In 1996, Beto moved to Manhattan where he worked for KMA Recording Studios and joined the pop/punk band The Cogs. Their recording, Viva! was released on England’s indie label, Damaged Goods. In 1998, Beto accepted an offer to work as Musico Pro’s Assistant Editor, and, soon afterward, as its Editor-in-Chief, in Boulder, Colorado. He conceived his first solo CD release, Sube, in 2001, recruiting world renowned players like Tony Levin, of Peter Gabriel fame. He also managed to get a Master’s in Composition from the University of Denver.
In March 2007, Beto Hale opened a new chapter in his career, moving to Los Angeles, epicenter of the music industry. Since his arrival, Beto has collaborated with some of the industry's top songwriters, including Alejandro Lerner, Ximena Muñoz and Dany Tomas. These collaborations led to a publishing contract with Pacific Latin Copyright.
In 2012, Beto ireleaed Rebirth his third album of original material.Hale co-produced the album with Chris “CJ” Boggs, a Nashville-based engineer and producer with whom the singer-songwriter has worked on his two previous productions, Sube and American Mythology. Marc Mann, of Danny Elfman and George Harrison fame, is the Associate producer and guitarist. All 10 songs feature the irresistible low-end lines of bass player extraordinaire, Tony Levin.
Fajardo Jr. (the stage name given to him by friends and fellow musicians) was born in New York City on January 29, 1972. Raised in a musical family, Fajardo Jr. began playing congas at three, and learned to play timbales the following year. At the age of three, Fajardo Jr. began his musical career with father Jose Fajardo, a flautist and leader of the world-renowned Cuban orchestra "Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas".
Fajardo Jr. made his first TV appearance in 1975 and in 1977, performed with his father in Africaon a tour sponsored by RMM. As a young child his father taught him to play the flute and to read music. By the time he was six, Fajardo Jr. was exposed to top Latin musical promoters and professionals who referred to as "El Nino Prodigio."
In high school, he continued to learn to read music and play the flute. He was appointed second flute chair for his high school concert band. Fajardo Jr. was also drum captain for the school's concert, jazz and marching bands. His first love was and will always remain timbales and percussion. As a musician, he developed his own style by watching and learning from famous artists like Tito Puente, Johnny Almendra and others.
Throughout the years, Fajardo Jr. has had the privilege of performing worldwide with the likes of Johnny Pacheco, Oscar D' Leon, Jose Alberto (El Canario), La Sonora Mantancera, Johnny Ray, Grupo Imagen, Luisito Carrion, Pedro Jesus, Cano Estremerra, Johnny Almendra, Tito Puente, Sheila E., Nino Segarra, Cachao and many more. He has performed in many famous nightclubs throughout New York and Miami including the Copacabana, Latin Quarters, La Maganette, Casa Blanca, Corso, Casino, Casino 14, The Palm Tree, Club Mystique and many more.
Fajardo Jr. has recorded with many top Latin artists including his father, Jose Fajardo, Javier Vasquez (Sonora Mantancera), David Cedeno, Grupo Imagen, Glen Vargas, Felipe Mercado among others. He has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Siempre en Domingo, El Show de Rolando, El Show de El Medio Dia, Access Hollywood, Primera Edicion, and Salsa en La Calle.
Fajardo Jr. is currently the musical director of his father's band, Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas, and helps keep his father's musical style and dream alive.
Conga dynamo, Henry Brun, was nicknamed "Mr. Ritmo" by his fans to describe the authenticity, dynamics, and "cadencia" of the music he plays. Born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Henry started playing congas at seven. After returning to Puerto Rico with his parents, he was playing professionally by the time he was eleven years old. While listening to and being influenced by such sixties Latin music pioneers as Tito Puente, Patato Valdez, Jose Mangual Sr., Mongo Santamaria, and Candido Camero, Henry developed his own unique style and technique on bongos and timbales.
Henry traveled around the world while performing with the U.S. Air Force’s international band, "Tops in Blue," which allowed him to expand his knowledge of global rhythms. It provided him with the opportunity to work with such legends as Maynard Ferguson, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, to name a few.
In 1989, Henry created The Latin Playerz, an ensemble that incorporates a variety of Latin styles mixed with Rhythm and Blues, Swing, and straight ahead Jazz. They've become a touring force,popular in the United States and worldwide.
When not performing with his ensemble, Henry can often be found presenting educational clinics and workshops, or touring with international acts such as Arturo Sandoval, Justo Almario, Charo, Los Lobos, Little Joe y La Familia and many others. Henry’s vivacious performances instill the audience with the desire to join in on the fun during his shows.
A past graduate and now an Associate Professor at The Berklee College of Music, Henrique De Almeida also holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi. He is the leader of his own group, The Brazilian Jazz Project and a clinician, published author, and producer, who has educational materials available through Carl Fischer Publishing.
Henrique performed with the Grammy award nominated Jazz Big Band The Falconaires, (USAFA Band) and is recording and touring nationally and internationally. Henrique has performed several times at Carnegie Hall. He writes articles for Modern Drummer Magazine and has performed at PASIC, and Jazz Festivals around the world, as well as for The President of the United States, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense.
Henriques’ past credits include some of the biggest names in the TV industry, such as HBO and commercial world to include writing original music for TV campaigns with companies such as Victoria’s Secret and Australian David Jones Department stores. He has also toured, recorded and/or worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Nat Adderley, Bill Cosby, Antonio Hart, Christopher Holiday, Donny McCaslin, Chris Speed, Igor Butman, Dave Valentin, Scotty Barnhart, Tiger Okoshy, Larry Coryell, Jeff Berlin, Stanton Moore, Billy Cobham, and many others.
For more information, music, books and DVDs by Henrique De Almeida visit please visit: CarlFischerdrums.com
Ekendra Das is a multi-percussionist and drummer who as a young person had the opportunity to jam with musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie and others at the Blue Cornet, a nightclub in New York that was managed by his father. His uncle, a famous Katherine Dunham dancer, arranged Ekendra’s first professional recording, which was with Harry Belafonte. The spark was lit, and music and drumming became a huge part of Ekendra’s life.
After living overseas, Ekendra began a renewed music career after returning to the US. His first performance and recording gigs were with Fertile Ground, David Bach, Raheem Davaughn, Mary Ann Redmond, Imani, Tim Eyerman, Caje, Mosaic, Bottomland, Amikaelya, Anthony David, The D.C. Mass Choir, Havana Select, Frank Macomb, Brian Culbertson, Marcus Johnson Project, Al Williams, Scott Ambush, Julie Dexter and others including international artists Chucho Valdes, Susana Baca, Marixtrell, Armand Ntep, Rashik Priya, Los Munoquitos, Filipe Villamil and Emekeke.
Ekendra considers a career highlight to be a performance with legendary Celia Cruz. The 2010 release of his first solo recording, Ethnomusicology is also one of his favorite projects. Live performance, studio, clinics, music production, slong with film scores, gives Ekendra plenty of opportunities to use his LP gear.
Talented multi-percussionist George Delgado was born in the Bronx, New York on July 19, 1965. His Puerto Rican father introduced him to congas when he was four and by age six he was playing timbales as well. He added bongos as a teenager.
When George was fourteen his family moved to Puerto Rico, where George began performing with local groups. In 1978 he got his first big break playing timbales with Tito Rojas’ El Conjonto Borincano.
Returning to New York City in 1983, George quickly got busy playing with such artists as Kimy Solis, Tito Allen, Menique, Santiago Ceron, and Tipica 88. A stint with Manny Oquendo's Libre gained him recognition as a conguero. Since then George has gone on to play and record with artists including Celia Cruz, Tito Rojas, Manny Oquendo’s Libre, Steve Turre, Sonora Matancera, Oscar de Leon, Tony Vega, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and The Latin Giants.
In 2005 George released a solo CD called Mi Ritmo Llego (My Rhythm Is Here). “It’s based on my admiration for all the artists I’ve worked with,” says George. “It’s mainly a dancers’ album, in a hard-core salsa style. I did percussive stuff on it, but not to feature myself. One day I’d like to do a Latin jazz CD that showcases my playing a little more. Sometimes I think people have me labeled as just a salsa player. They don’t know the full range of percussive skills that I have.”
George credits that range to his multi-cultural background. “I had the best of all possible worlds,” he says. “I got involved in music when I was very young in New York City. I spent my teenage years in Puerto Rico being immersed in the music there. Then I moved back to New York, where I heard Jamaican reggae, Afro-Cuban music, Latin jazz, pop, and rock. So I captured every essential way of playing the instrument, with influences from both places. Along the way I was inspired by great artists like Jose Mangual Sr., Manny Oquendo, John Rodriguez, Jimmy Delgado, Eddie Montalvo, Nicky Marrero, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Orestes Vilato, and Yeyito Iglesias.
As a conguero, George favors LP’s 28” Salsa Model Congas for the deep, warm sound that they create. “I prefer wood drums for recording,” he says, “because of their more controlled overtones. I also like LP’s Original Fiberglass Congas for live gigs because of their increased projection and durability. Road drums have to take a beating.”
Besides congas, George is also skilled on bongos, timbales, bata drums, and all the traditional hand percussion. George is currently a member of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, a Grammy-nominated group whose success has taken George all over the world. He also performs frequently with Mambo Legends (which evolved from the Tito Puente Orchestra). As an educator, he’s been teaching at East Harlem’s highly regarded Harbor Conservatory since 1992. He also conducts clinics and master classes, as well as teaching privately.
Regarded as one of the most versatile and musical drummers in industry today, Jason Benge was born on January 18, 1979, in Hamilton, Ohio. At age 12, he learned how to read music and play drums and percussion in grade school. At age 14, he got his first drum set and taught himself how to play it. By age 15, he was already playing professionally with various Christian and jazz bands. Jason has recently branched out and started singing.
By early 2000, he was an active member of the Cincinnati music scene, playing and recording with a multitude of diverse artists including legendary drummers and artists in Nashville. Active in various realms of creative and avant-garde music, Jason most notably started a very successful Christian band, The Benge Family. They have landed eight top 40’s, three top 20’s and one top ten singles on Christian radio.
Jason has played with countless jazz, rock, funk, R&B, blues, gospel, fusion and ethnic musicians. On the road Jason plays anywhere from 150 to 200 dates a year and performed at a recent NAMM Convention with Victor Wooten.
When Jason is not touring, he divides his time between studio work, producing, session playing, and leading his own group. Jason is also active in the educational field and has conducted numerous clinics in the Nashville, Georgia, and Cincinnati areas, and he also teaches privately. One of his students is Former UFC Middle Weight Champion, Rich Franklin.
Jason is currently signed with the Rick Hendrix Company, a top promotional company located in Nashville. “Jason is one of the best drummers I have ever heard live, and has the attitude to go with it,” says Rick Hendrix.
Greg Garman decided to make drumming a life long endeavor at the age of twelve. Along the musical journey, he won a local drum competition in his hometown of San Luis Obispo, California.
Years later, his mother who also plays drums (even during pregnancy) encouraged him to enroll into the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. While attending MI, Greg received instruction from world-renowned teachers such as Fred Dinkins, Rob Carson, and Chuck Silverman. Acknowledging his efforts, he was awarded a second place prize for the Stanley Clark Scholarship.
After completing school with an Associates of Arts in contemporary drumming, Greg set out on a series of nationwide tours benefiting the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Currently, Greg is the drummer in Selena Gomez and the Scene. While off tour, he spends his time doing sessions, workshops and private lessons.
Greg has performed at Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, Nokia Theatre and many more arenas and amphitheaters in the US and abroad. The band Selena Gomez and the Scene has won awards including the Teen Choice Award for Choice Music Group 2010 and 11, as well as a Peoples Choice Award for Breakout Artist. Greg has performed on TV shows such as Jay Leno, Ellen, Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve, People’s Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards, George Lopez, Americas Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, Regis and Kelly and many more.
Joe Bergamini maintains a diverse career as a drumming performer and educator. Enjoying various styles of playing, he is most well-known for his progressive rock drumming in the bands Happy the Man and 4Front. Joe is a fixture on the New York scene, and has performed in the Broadway productions of Movin' Out, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, In the Heights, Million Dollar Quartet, and Rock of Ages. He has also appeared on the first national tours of Movin' Out and Jersey Boys. For 11 years, Joe was the drummer in the popular New York City area band Power Windows, and has performed and recorded with many other artists as a sideman.
Recognized internationally as an educator, Joe has given hundreds of drum clinics in schools, retail stores, and conventions over the past 15 years. He has appeared at the Ultimate Drummers Weekend (Melbourne, Australia), the Cape Breton Drum Festival (Nova Scotia, Canada), KOSA (Vermont, USA), and the Sonny Emory Drum Camp (Atlanta, USA). In 2007 he was the featured drum clinician on the first Tama Dayz US tour. He also maintains a busy private teaching schedule at his studio in New Jersey.
Joe is very active in the music publishing world. He is the Senior Drum Editor for Hudson Music, where he oversees all book projects and acts as an associate producer on various DVD productions. In this capacity he has worked closely with some the world's greatest drummers in development of their educational products, including Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Stanton Moore, Gavin Harrison, John Blackwell, Aaron Spears, Keith Carlock and many others.
As an author, Joe has won three Modern Drummer Readers Poll awards for his drum books. He is the author of Pedal Control (with Dom Famularo), Turn It Up & Lay It Down, MD Classic Tracks, It's Your Move (with Dom Famularo), Drum Techniques of Led Zeppelin, Operation: Rockenfield - The Drumming of Queensryche, Drumming Out Of The Shadows - The Drumming of Jason Bittner and Shadows Fall, and Polyrhythmic Potential (with Chris Pennie). He was formerly Percussion Editor for Carl Fischer Publications, has worked on various promotional and R&D projects for Tama drums, and is co-owner (with Dom Famularo) of Wizdom Media (an independent music publisher). Joe is also an occasional writer for Modern Drummer magazine.
Keith Carlock is a professional drummer currently residing in New York City. He has recorded and/or toured with such musical luminaries as John Mayer, Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band, Leni Stern, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths, Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Wayne Krantz, Harry Belafonte, Oz Noy, Clay Aiken, Rascal Flatts, Paula Abdul and Grover Washington, Jr.
Keith was voted number #1 Pop drummer, #1 Fusion drummer, and #1 Best All-Around drummer in Modern Drummer's 2009 Readers Poll. Keith's first ever instructional DVD is called Keith Carlock - The Big Picture: Phrasing, Improvisation, Style, & Technique.
In addition to being one of the founding members of Dream Theater (with whom he was with for 25 years) Mike Portnoy is the drummer in Adrenaline Mob, Transatlantic and Liquid Tension Experiment. He has recorded and/or toured/performed live with Avenged Sevenfold, Neal Morse, OSI, Hail!, Stone Sour, Fates Warning, Overkill, G3 and four tribute bands with Paul Gilbert including Yellow Matter Custard, Hammer of the Gods, Amazing Journey and Cygnus & the Sea Monsters. He is working with John Sykes to form a new band as well as projects with Steve Morse, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey MacPherson.
Born on April 20th, 1967, in Long Beach, Long Island, New York, Mike was primarily self-taught by listening to Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and John Bonham. As he developed a taste for more challenging progressive music, his biggest influences were Neil Peart and Frank Zappa.
He attended the Berklee College of Music on a scholarship in 1985 where he co-founded Dream Theater, which developed a tremendously devoted fan base with record sales of almost 10 million copies worldwide.
Mike's long list of awards include 26 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader's Poll Awards including Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine's record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (2 times), Best Educational Video/DVD for Liquid Drum Theater, and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (7 times) for Dream Theater's Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Scenes From A Memory, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Score and Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare. He also holds the distinction being the 2nd youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (at age 37). Mike is currently the youngest in the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.
Best known for performing worldwide with Colombian rock star, Juanes, percussionist Felipe "Pipe" Alzate began his career as a self-taught musician in his native Medellín, Colombia. As Pipe’s appetite for music grew, he traveled to the countryside in order to learn from reputed masters of Colombian folklore. In 1999, he also was fortunate to be able to study with famed Cuban percussionist, Yaroldy Abreu in Havana, Cuba. Pipe believes that this experience forever changed his approach to music and learning.
In addition to performing with Juanes, Pipe has also worked with groups and artists such as Ekhymosis, Enanitos Verdes, Molotov and Coffeemakers, among many others. Since 2007, Pipe has been actively producing music for emerging Colombian artists, including Medellín’s underground Salsa queen Mildred Herrera (of El Son de Mildred), with whom he created a raw and rootsy mixture of Colombian and Cuban rhythms.
Ami Molinelli is a professional percussionist and educator specializing in Brazilian and Latin percussion, especially the pandeiro. She is the co-leader of the Brazilian choro and jazz ensemble, Grupo Falso Baiano, whose first CD “Viajando: Choro e Jazz” was featured on Pandora in a special live concert and interview at Yoshi’s. Their second CD, “Simplicidade” was released in July of 2011 and features special guest, Jovino Santos Neto on piano and accordion.
Ami received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has studied at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Salvador. She has studied with master percussionists Michael Spiro, John Bergamo, Randy Gloss, and Guello to name a few.
Her extensive performance and recording credits include theater, television (NBC) and live performances with artists such as Luciana Souza, Jovino Santos-Neto, Mike Patton, George Duke, Allessandro Penezzi, Mike Marshall, Hamilton de Holanda, Teka, John Santos, and Michael Spiro.
As an educator, Ami Molinelli actively conducts workshops, clinics and artist-residencies and has been a regular faculty member at California Brazil Camp and Jazz Camp West. She has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a teaching artist, to create and publish percussion and jazz curricula. In addition her trademarked curriculum, “Recycled Rhythm” and percussion clinics have brought her to Universities in Brazil as well as throughout the U.S.
In Jimmy Delgado's 25-year + career in music, he has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, The Bronx Horns, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Lionel Hampton, J J Johnson, Steve Turre, and the Fania All-Stars. Jimmy is currently working on solo material which promises to feature his creative and musical timbale style.
As a kid, Delgado listened to Ray Barretto albums and was influenced by the works of Orestes Vilato ("still one of the greatest timbaleros on earth"). At fourteen he began timbale lessons at the East Harlem Music School; at nineteen he was playing with such renowned artists as Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, and Ray Barretto. In the early 1980s Jimmy received his first gold record -- for his timbale solo on the Kurtis Blow hit song, "These Are the Breaks."
Delgado can be heard playing full percussion on a recent CD release by Tipica Novel, a charanga band ("charanga" is a style of instrumentation that consists of a rhythm section, strings, flute, piano, and bass). Delgado's own concert show band, "Jimmy Delgado and the Master Timbaleros," features Orestes Vilato, Endeel Dueno, Mike Collazo, and Nicky Marrero, with Adalberto Santiago on vocals.
Based in New York City, Delgado has enjoyed a long teaching career at the Drummers' Collective, in New York City public schools, and at his alma mater, the East Harlem Music School. He acquired his first LP instrument in the early 1970s -- a gold Prestige Mambo Cowbell. The legendary durability, combined with solid sound, of LP products is only part of the reason, Delgado says, why he continues to use LP gear.
APRIL 20, 1923 – MAY 31, 2000
Elvis may have been known as "The King of Rock and Roll," but to fans of Latin music icon, Tito Puente will always be "The King of Latin Jazz."
Puente was responsible for making timbales a respectable solo instrument in Latin dance music and Latin jazz. He was also an accomplished player of the vibraphone, alto sax, bass, piano and drums, as well as an arranger and band leader.
As an accomplished dancer himself, Puente always counted dancers as among his most loyal devotees. His Dancemania album has sold over half a million copies since 1957, and five of his over 100 album releases have won Grammy Awards.
Recent milestones for this legend included an appearance in the 1992 film The Mambo Kings, having a star installed on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and the opening of his own restaurant in City Island, in New York. On November 19, 1996 Puente's contribution to American music was honored with a U.S. Postal Service stamp cancellation mark. The following year, Tito received the National Endowment Award from President Clinton. Puente's craving for innovation and perfection helped lead to the design of of LP's Tito Puente Model Timbales.
Though he is no longer physically with us, Tito Puente will live forever in the hearts of music fans the world over.
Karl Van Den Bossche's career had a dubious start. At age 15, when his English mates were joining bands, he figured he had better learn an instrument fast if he wanted to be part of the scene. "I chose percussion because I thought it would be easy. I had no idea how much work it would be!" But the years of effort are paying off for the London-based percussionist/drummer, who toured last year with England's pioneers of acid-jazz, The Brand New Heavies. He is currently on the road with folk-soul singer Des'ree, and has performed with Robert Palmer, Maxwell, and Lighthouse Family as well. Van Den Bossche has also recorded with pop vocalist Ana Torroja (Puntos Cardinales), Basia (Basia on Broadway) and Sade (Best of Sade).
Early on, Van Den Bossche listened avidly to the jazz-funk sounds of England's Morrisey Mullen. He was later influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, Paulinho Da Costa, Weather Report, Sting and "the entire musical population of Latin America!" He began on bongos, and today plays congas, drums and assorted percussion. The first LP instrument Van Den Bossche acquired was an Afuche/Cabasa, his now-large collection includes a wide variety of LP instruments.
Karl is one of the leading percussionists in Europe, who has played and recorded with such artists as Pasadenas, Basia, Lighthouse Family, Robert Palmer, Incognito, Brand New Heavies, John Martin, Des’ree,Mark De Clive Lowe, Simply Red, Joss Stone, Sade, Ms Dynamite, Blur, Natasha Bedingfield, Steve Winwood, Gorillaz, Mark Ronson, Jon Lucien,Frank Mccomb, Nigel Kennedy,Sade and more.
Known for his work in both Cuban and Brazilian music, Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, educator, recording artist and producer.
Michael is an eight-time Grammy nominee and has produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre such as: “BataKetu,” “Bata-Mbira,” “The Latin Tinge,” and “Grupo Ilu-Aña.” His performing and recording credits include an array of international artists from David Byrne to Charlie Watts, including Latin music icons such as Eddie Palmieri as well as jazz luminaries Ella Fitzgerald and McCoy Tyner.
In 2011 Michael was appointed Associate Professor of Percussion at Indiana University, where he teaches Latin-American music in both the percussion and jazz departments. He has published several critically acclaimed instructional books and DVDs on percussion, and three years ago launched two groundbreaking educational websites, which offer complete instruction on Cuban and Brazilian percussion over the Internet: CongaMasterClass.com and SambaMasterClass.com.
Michael continues to be in demand as a guest artist at universities worldwide, and is a frequent presenter at Percussive Arts Society conventions. This includes directing in 2011 the Indiana University World Percussion Ensemble’s performance, which won that year’s World Ensemble.
In addition to his collegiate responsibilities, Michael remains an active performer and recording artist. He co-directs Conjunto Karabali with Santana percussionist and fellow LP artist Karl Perrazzo, and also is the co-leader of one of the only remaining charanga groups in the United States Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion.
Spiro holds the conga drum chair in the internationally acclaimed and two-time Grammy nominated Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet. He is also the leader of the Midwest’s newest and most dynamic Latin Jazz group Ritmos Unidos. In 2014 Patois Records released the band’s self-titled CD, which was produced by Michael, and has received widespread critical acclaim.
Michael has proudly endorsed LP instruments for over 20 years, and in 2011 he collaborated with LP to create the Hi-Hat Shekere (LP485).
LP Prestige 13” & 14” Timbales, Stainless Steel
LP Bata Drum Small, Oconcolo
LP Bata Drum Medium, Omele
LP Bata Drum Large, Iya
LP Ice Bell, 7”
LP Ice Bell, 9”
LP Whole-Tone Bar Chimes - Double Row, 72 Bars
LP Pro Shekere
LP Standard AfucheÂ¨/Cabasa, Wood
LP Soft Shake
LP Professional Maracas
LP Ching Chok