LEGENDARY GRAMMY-WINNING CONGUERO
For more than three decades, conguero Poncho Sanchez has stirred up a fiery stew of straight ahead jazz, gritty soul music, and infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources. Throughout his career Sanchez has held aloft the torch lit by such innovators as Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente and Cal Tjader, embraced by each of those icons and entrusted to carry forward the traditions of Latin Jazz.
Sanchez's influences are numerous, and his catalog is rich with his homages to several of his mentors -- Santamaria, Puente and Tjader among them. But alongside those Latin pioneers, among the more prominent figures that inform his music is the iconic saxophonist John Coltrane. On his latest album Trane's Delight, Sanchez pays tribute to the late jazz legend with Latin-tinged reimaginings of Coltrane classics as well as new pieces composed in honor of the tenor titan.
Trane's Delight continues Sanchez's remarkable 37-year relationship with Concord, a rich legacy that has now yielded 27 albums.
Poncho stepped up to Moperc in 2019 and never looked back !
PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR AND PERFORMER
More than 50 thousand subscribe to his weekly A Percussion Life YouTube channel. His videos have been viewed more than 5 million times and since 2016, he has elevated the skills of percussionists globally. Eric Perez is an influencer whose endless reserve of percussion patterns is laced with a hefty dose of the history and of the creators behind those patterns and MOPERC is over-the-moon-excited to have Eric as an endorsed artist!
Listen to Eric play. His speed, technique, articulation and musicality, all inspired by the greatest percussionists, are a pleasure to hear. But just watch him teach and witness his skill to masterfully dissect even the most complicated combinations, presenting them in a logical, easy-to-understand manner.
Percussionists know at an early age how we need to express, and for Eric, it was the cowbell given to him by his Salvadoran parents at 7 years old that sent him down the path.
Eric has stepped up to the MOPERC family, and we couldn’t be happier!
LEGENDARY PERCUSSIONIST FROM SOUTH BRONX
Referred to as “the best bongocero in the universe” by Eddie Palmieri, Anthony Carrillo is truly a force to be reckoned with and to observe his delicate, lightning quick speed is to witness a living superhuman.
But just consider his influences: His childhood friendship with Giovanni Hidalgo remains strong today. Anthony learned his excellent technique from David “La Mole” Ortiz. And he intensely studied the fundamental patterns of Santeria under Orlando Alfonso Rios “Puntilla.” Wiith a pedigree like that, it’s no wonder that Anthony Carrillo has developed mad skills, making him one of the most in-demand players in the business.
His discography of more than 140 recordings to his name, including the Grammy award winning Hijos del Cañaveral by with Puerto Rican artist, Residente, Anthony has also participated in Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum project with Giovanni, Zakir Hussain, and Sikiru Adepoju. And his recordings with his own bands, AA team, YÁBAWA and the metal band, PUYA, have all received critical acclaim.
With open arms, MOPERC welcomes Anthony Carrillo into our family of ambassador artists. We’re glad you stepped up, Anthony!
COMPOSER, PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR AND PERFORMER
Percussionist. Vocalist. Composer. Producer. Teacher. Lazaro Martinez. He does it all and at such a high level it’s scary, and he’s not even out of his 30’s. Sure, growing up in Cuba, he had the benefit of learning from great teachers like Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito, but a teacher can do little more than to show the path, it is the student who must walk, or in Lazaro’s case, run it.
At 15, Lazaro won consecutive awards for his first appearances at the prestigious and highly competitive Havana Drums : Fiesta del Tambor international competition. Then, at 22, he recorded and produced his first album (Ko-Lash) and later, he became the percussionist and vocalist for Cuban group Los Jovenes Clásicos del Son.
It is a joy, and somewhat (OK, a lot) humbling to hear the fusion of timbale with the American kit that Lazaro creates, and if you can, don’t miss an opportunity to catch one of his Houston or Montreal performances.
Mr. Martinez stepped up to MOPERC 15 years ago, and he’s been family since. New videos are coming!
ROSENDO LEON AROCHA "CHENDY"
PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR, PERFORMER AND MUSICAL ARRANGER
One bio describes him as a “A jaw-droppingly brilliant percussionist,” but listen to his work and you’ll see how short that description falls. He’s quick. He’s tasty. His patterns inspire awe. But for him, his skills as a musician are second to him being a good person.
Chendy grew up in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, and like many percussionists, his mother’s heartbeat while in the womb was his first musical experience. He describes his parents as “incredible human beings and his most important musical influence,” as they provided him unlimited access to dance and to listening and playing opportunities.
Currently based in Toronto, Canada, he continues to collaborate and play with local artists such as Amanda Martinez, Hilario Duran, Sultans of String, Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook, Dominic Mancuso, Elmer Ferrer, etc…
The mutual endorsement that MOPERC and Chendy have is perfect: each represents the other to a high degree through their quality and their integrity.
JUAN DE MARCOS GONZALEZ
LEGENDARY BAND LEADER AND PRODUCER
Twenty years is a lifetime in popular music. Yet the impact of Buena Vista Social Club, The Afro-Cuban All Stars´ A Toda Cuba Le Gusta and Introducing Ruben González, three albums recorded by a small independent label with a modest budget in Havana in two weeks in March and April of 1996, can still be felt.
Juan de Marcos Gonzalez led Afro-Cuban All Stars from the beginning and directed the Buena Vista Social Club in the only concerts of the original line up at the top theatres ‘Le Carre’ in Amsterdam, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional.
Considered by many specialists as the head of the Cuban musical revival , Juan de Marcos has been using Moperc congas, bongos and timbales in many tours in the last 15 years and continues to use them in his current productions under his label ‘’DM AHORA ! RECORDS’’.
AMADITO DEDEU GARCIA
Currently based in Toronto,Canada, Amadito is a rumbero from Habana, Cuba. He was a member of the famous grupo Clave y Guaguanco.
TV HOST, DRUMMER AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Mélissa Lavergne has performed in several shows and events in addition to accompanying many artists for the last 15 years (Sur invitation seulement, Lara Fabian, Ariane Moffatt, Les Trois Accords, Kevin Parent, Papagroove, Angélique Kidjo, etc…) One can see her perform every week on the the TV show Belle & Bum as she is the percussionist and co-host of the show.
Apples don’t drop far from their trees and neither do the children of great musicians. By the time he was just three years old, Adrian Areas had already played on stage with Santana and was a regular drummer for a regional children’s TV show. Three years old. And why not? His dad, Jose Chepito Areas, a founding member and composer for the Santana Band, had already been teaching Adrian for two years!
To hear Adrian play now is pure joy. His unique style on conga, timbale and bongo seems to fit well in a wide variety of music, giving it that special sauce that makes listeners stop and take notice. The list of top musicians he’s played or recorded with is long, so here’s just a few: Tito Puente,Carlos Patato Valdes, Santana, Journey, Doobie Bros., Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Arturo Sandoval, Michael Franti, and the list goes on, and on.
We’re proud to have Adrian as an endorsed artist, and we’d like to think that MOPERC drums add just a little bit of spice to Adrian’s special sauce. Catch Adrian live with his Adrian Areas Latin Jazz Ensemble when they perform in the San Francisco Bay area.
As a child in Colòn Panama, Giancarlo had become so intrigued by rhythm that by the time he moved to New York City his percussive skills were already well beyond those of his peers. To reach the pinnacle in any area, however, continual work is not optional and Giancarlo’s love for the drum has guided him down the path toward mastery of a broad range of musical expressions.
Giancarlo's list of accomplishment is long, but the abbreviated version has him on approximately 30 recordings including three Grammy nominated works by Bobby Sanabria and Poncho Sanchez. He’s played Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center, recorded TV commercials and documentaries and he tours as a member Poncho Sanchez’ Latin Jazz Band. Most importantly, though, Giancarlo is an incredible human being.
Currently based in Southern California, Giancarlo is now graduated with a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies and Performance from California State University-Fullerton, while maintaining a busy schedule with Poncho Sanchez, teaching and freelance recording.
Who among us didn’t take our first steps onto the percussion path by banging on our mom’s pots and pans? Didn’t think so. And so began the six year-old Javier Cabanillas’ meteoric journey, playing cookware on a small ranch in Sonora, Mexico to eighties anthem rock tunes, imagining wildly enthusiastic audiences of thousands.
For many, the temptations of sports, dating and countless other distractions derail every notion of musical notoriety. But for Javier, the passion for rhythm was intense and he soon traded cooking vessels for congas, likely to his mother’s delight.
In 2011, Javier packed his congas into his car, headed to San Francisco and began to immerse himself in the rich Latin scene there. Shortly thereafter, he was called up to play a steady gig with the Pacific Mambo Orchestra where his work helped the group win a GRAMMY in 2014. Yes, he’s THAT good.
Javier currently has assembled eight virtuoso players into his Cabanijazz Project where his composition and arrangement work for the 2018 Infrasonic album has received international acclaim. Javier is a valued member of the MOPERC family and we look forward to many years of friendship and collaboration.