Born in New York City, son of the famed musical arranger Jose "Pin" Madera for the Machito Orchestra, Jose Madera spent 31 years with the Tito Puente Orchestra. While there, he served as a percussionist and later went on to become a musical arranger and the musical director of the orchestra.
Jose has written many arrangements for countless commercial Latin artists and has recorded or worked with many of them as well. Some of them include: Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Chico O'farill, The Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban jazz orchestra, Celia Cruz, Tito Rodriguez, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colon, Joe Farrell, Machito, Graciela, Mario Bauza, Willie Rosario, Earl Klughand Eddie Palmieri, just to name a few. Jose has also worked and recorded with many pop, R&B and jazz artists. Some of them include Diana Ross, James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Paquito D'Rivera, George Benson and Lionel Hampton among others.
Jose has performed on over 250 recordings. He has worked on several television show soundtracks including "The Simpsons" and several motion picture soundtracks including"The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," where he was the musical arranger and conductor for the Tito Puente segment of the film. Jose also taught the art of playing Latin percussion instruments at Boys Harbor in New York City for 28 years.
Madera has done and continues to do musical clinics around the country at various schools. He was the musical director of the Latin Giants of Jazz from 2001 to 2009. Jose continues his musical direction with the Mambo Legends Orchestra, a band comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, which is dedicated to performing new creative Latin and Latin jazz concepts, as well as some of the music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente.
Jose has personally re-created and re-arranged much of the music that the bands performed during the heyday of the Mambo at the Palladium Ballroom in New York City, which is considered by many critics to be the "Greatest and Most innovative Era" in the history of Latin music.