Fidel Morales

Bandleader & Educator

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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.


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Afro-Cuban Techniques, The Book (2) / Técnicas Afrocubanas,
Fidel Morales
Solo de Timbal (2) Fidel Morales
Solo de Timbal (1) Fidel Morales