I am grateful to have studied with amazing, world-class percussionists in the U.S., Cuba and Africa. It’s impossible to list everyone, but I do want to acknowledge a few who have shaped my playing the most.
Rafael Monteagudo — The first to take me under his tutelage and become truly invested in my playing was the Cuban drummer Rafael Monteagudo. He began teaching me in 2001, and was a constant presence until 2003. Rafael was instrumental in starting me on my path, and I consider him my foremost mentor.
Orlando Cotto — My other influential teacher in the U.S. is the incredible Puerto Rican percussionist Orlando Cotto, with whom I studied from 2011-2013. He’s an excellent teacher, took me seriously, and always treated me with respect.
Emilito del Monte Mata — Emilito is a jazz and folkloric player who lives in Havana and has played and toured with (among others): Cubanismo; Robert Fonseca; Alexis Bosch; and Alex Cuba.