Recognized as one of the great drummers of our time, Cuban-born Ignacio Berroa has influenced some of the worlds most respected musicians, including Dennis Chambers, Peter Erskine and many others. Wynton Marsalis says of Ignacio: “Ignacio plays with intelligence, taste, fire and soul”. Upon leaving his home country in 1980, Berroa joined Dizzy Gillespie’s quartet and took part in many of Gillespie’s bands during that decade, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra. Able to balance both the Afro-Cuban and Jazz genres seamlessly, Ignacio has also performed with Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Jaco Pastorius, Michel Camilo, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and many more. A renowned author, educator, session artist and performer, we’re honored to have Mr. Berroa join our artist family!
In keeping with our strong focus on the percussive arts, we welcomed some stellar artists to our family in 2016. Our new artists span years of experience and varied genres and share Gon Bops’ dedication to creativity and ingenuity.
We’re so excited about Jamey Haddad coming our artist family. Considered one of the greatest percussionists in the world, Jamey’s reputation both as a performer and educator is second to none. His two current gigs with the iconic Paul Simon and Sting showcases his deep knowledge of world music and exceptional musicality. We also welcomed this past year a true drummer’s drummers – Tom Brechtlein! Tom’s amazing technical skills combined with his fantastic feel, has brought him to collaborate with legends including Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Al Di Meola, Rock icon Kenny Loggins and Blues Rock guitar master Robben Ford.
Gon Bops further welcomed some very respected Latin players this past year. Hailing from Havana, Brenda Navarrete is one of the rising stars of Cuba. Her resume includes collaborations with Cuba’s most respected artists and her solo projects include highly acclaimed television and radio broadcasts. One of the great percussionists from Brazil, Nailton Dos Santos, also known as Meia Noite came aboard, joining his brother Gibi Dos Santos in the GB family. Meia’s credits include Aretha Franklin, Sergio Mendes, Ricky Martin and many others.
From Venezuela, Gon Bops welcomed two new artists. Jackeline Rago is a multi-instrumentalist, specializing in Venezuelan folkloric music and is also a respected educator in Oakland California. She’s also an expert classical mandolin player. Drummer for the highly acclaimed Venezuelan band “Caibo”, Juseph Ballestero brings a dynamic style to his music and also performs with the Latin Grammy nominated “Tecupae Group”.
From Europe and beyond, Gon Bops welcomed two Latin artists now residing abroad. From The Netherlands, Adriaan Joaquin Correa dominates the Dutch Latin music scene with his “Latin Society Orchestra-La Vibora”. Originally from Venezuela now residing in Switzerland, percussionist Edwin Sanz tours with the hugely popular Mexican guitar duo, “Rodrigo & Gabriela” and recently released his solo project, “San Agustin & Overflow”. Born in Sapporo, Japan, Takafumi Nikaido traveled at a young age to Cuba to study percussion and dance with the legendary Los Munequitos de Matanzas. Recently graduating from the Berklee School of Music, we’re happy to support this rising, extremely talented conguero.
Coined a creative bonanza by Modern Drummer magazine, Tom Teasley joined the Gon Bops roster with an eclectic approach to contemporary percussion. Always pushing musical boundaries, Tom’s ability to merge instruments from various countries inspires many young players to think outside the box. Born in Harlem, New York, Leslie “Chuggy” Carter is a noted American percussionist influenced by a wide range of styles including Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, to Soul, Jazz, Gospel and Funk. Known for his work with Patti LaBelle and Donny Hathaway, Chuggy has traveled the globe always expanding his knowledge.
Chicago percussionist JoVia Armstrong comes to Gon Bops as the winner of the 2014 Black Female Percussionist of the Year from the Black Women in Jazz Awards. JoVia’s vibrant style and soulful feel has brought her collaborations with many artists including El DeBarge, Rahsaan Patterson, The Impressions, Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble and many more.
We also welcomed four acclaimed percussion educators in 2016. Roland Muzquiz is a member of the San Antonio Youth Symphony and the Principal percussionist for the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Wind Ensemble. Roland’s career has influenced countless students and has performed with artists such as Frank Sinatra Jr., Toni Tenille and Joel Grey. At the Oregon Center for the Arts in Ashland Oregon, music professor Terry Longshore is a well-respected performer and educator, appearing numerous times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. His genre-crossing performances combine the artistry of the concert stage, the spontaneity of Jazz and the energy of a Rock club. Puerto Rican born Sam Lopez is a faculty member in Latin Music Studies at Texas State University and has performed with Larry Harlow, Luisito Carrion, Georgie Padilla and many others. Lastly, Iowa School of Music professor Dan Moore possesses a distinctive brand of improvisational music and leads Iowa Percussion, a student-centric program that encompasses contemporary chamber music, concert percussion, electronic music, steel band, traditional Chinese drumming and improvisation.
We welcome all these great artists and look forward to another amazing Gon Bops year in 2017!!
Few artists can truly be called a master, but this artist absolutely fits that description. Jamey Haddad’s musical voice transcends style and genre and has worked with some of music’s most iconic artists. Voted #1 World Percussionist in Drum Magazine, voted one of the top world percussionists in Modern Drummer, Jamey has appeared with everyone from Paul Simon (a member of his band for over 12 years), Joe Lovano, Paul Winter, Nancy Wilson to Yo-Yo Ma and many more. Paul McCartney’s Abe Laboriel Jr. names Jamey as his most important influence. He’s an associate professor at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, the New England Conservatory the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music. It is with great pride that we welcome him to the Gon Bops artist family!!
2015 was an amazing year for Gon Bops. In keeping with our dedication to both traditional and contemporary percussion, we welcomed some truly amazing, established players this year, along with incredibly talented up & coming musicians. We’re proud of all of these amazing artists and excitedly look forward to many years together! Here’s a little bit about them, in no particular order…
Pablo Padin is arguably one of the most influential percussionists in Puerto Rico today and has performed and recorded with the greats of Latin music. He’s the winner of 6 Latin Grammys and 2 American Grammy awards.
2015 was also the year that we welcomed some fantastic, virtuoso Cuban percussionists. Gerald Piloto Baretto is one of the most respected & influential drummers in Cuba today. His band, Klimax features Jazzy accents and integrated Timba styles, making them unique.
Considered one of the world’s great Congueros, Eliel Lazo now resides in Copenhagen Denmark and performs with such greats as Michel Camilo, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
Another Latin Grammy-winner, Calixto Oviedo brings a very successful 38 year career to our roster. Known as one of the world’s authorities of the Cuban Timba music style, Calixto has played for everyone from Arturo Sandoval to Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
Miami Sound Machine’s percussionist Eduardo Rodriguez hails from Cuba and now resides in Florida, where he splits his busy schedule between the Sound Machine and mega Latin-Pop superstar, Chayanne.
GB also welcomed two young and highly anticipated Cuban-born drummers, Daniel Rodriguez & Elio Piedra. Both incredibly talented and ones we suggest watching closely.
Now in Los Angeles, Chilean born Christian Moraga joins our family, bringing a stunning ambidextrous approach to the traditional drum/percussion setup and his recent video post on Facebook received over 83,000 views!
Also in LA, Johnny Belisle plays with the Tarzana Band and states one of his career highlights as playing alongside Gon Bops’ late, great David “La Mole” Ortiz.
From New York, Camilo Molina remains busy performing with Eddie Pamieri’s orchestra…a young player on the rise. Also from New York, considered one of the world’s great Bongoceros, Jose Mangual Jr. comes to us with a long credit history including Herb Albert, Ruben Blades, Dizzy Gillespie and David Byrne.
Jotan Afanador – drummer for the immensely popular Bachata style artist, Romeo Santos, joins Gon Bops with a vast array of talent and versatility.
Last but certainly not least, one of the studio’s great drummers, Jamie Oldaker now plays Gon Bops, bringing an amazing history of classic recordings to his credit. Including Eric Clapton’s “Layla”, “I Shot The Sheriff” and Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page” to name just a few, Jamie’s playing has been loved by millions for decades.
We look forward to another amazing year in 2016 – stay tuned!
Gon Bops has announced the addition of drummer and percussionist Jotan Afanador to its growing family of artists. Currently performing with Bachata mega-star Romeo Santos, New York based Afanador performs regularly in front of huge crowds worldwide, including 4 sold-out nights at New York’s Madison Square Gardens.
In addition to his work with Santos, Jotan has performed with Sergio Mendes, Tito Puente’s Big Band, Aventura, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, amongst others. He was previously featured on the TBS sitcom “Are We There Yet”, produced by rapper/actor Ice Cube.
GB proudly welcomes this multi-talented drummer and percussionist to our artist family!
Ideal for urban musicians who commute by bike, public transportation or small vehicle, the Commuter also fits easily into overhead luggage compartments for frequent flyers. Diagonally placed internal guitar strings provide authentic Flamenco tones, while deep resonant chamber offers loud, tight bass.
“We believe the Commuter fills a need among busy musicians,” comments Gon Bops Marketing Manager Luis Cardoso. “A great-sounding collapsible cajon at this quality level and price point simply did not exist before the Commuter.”
COMMUTER CAJON (#CJCOM)
- Quick, easy collapse and assembly
- Full-size Cajon looks and sounds great
- Backpack gig bag included for easy transport
- Fits smartly into overhead luggage compartments on aircraft
Considered by Gon Bops’ Signature artist Alex Acuna to be the most important and talented percussionist in Puerto Rico today, Pablo Padin’s career has awarded him six Latin Grammy awards, as well as two American Grammys. He’s recorded and/or performed with Millie Quezada, Elvis Crespo, Grupo Mania, Johnny Rivera, Gilberto SantaRosa, Willie Colon, Tito Nieves and many more. Pablo’s currently working on his third CD with Jose Lugo’s “Guasabara Combo”, including some of his own compositions. We welcome this veteran, talented artist!
Gon Bops welcomes Percussion Master Eliel Lazo to it’s artist family!! Originally from Havana, Cuba now living in Denmark, Eliel’s mastery of the percussive art form began early at age 19, when he won the prestigious PERCUBA International Percussion Prize. In his career, he’s worked with such legends as Herbie Hancock, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdes, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and many more. Admired for his flawless, fluid technique matched with impeccable musicality and command of Cuban music, Lazo attracts fans everywhere and is considered by many of the world’s best players, to be their favorite Conguero. His current solo release, “Eliel Lazo & The Cuban Funk Machine”, features sax legend Bob Mintzer, along with a host of great players from Cuba, Denmark and Sweden and is dedicated to Cuban percussion master, Jose Luis Quintanta, i.e. “Changuito”. Gon Bops is extremely proud to welcome this amazing artist!!
The first ever Latin album salute to the King of Pop, from producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar. To Be Released April 14 On Universal Music Classics in Partnership With Universal Music Latin Entertainment and featuring over 100 musicians, including Latin superstars Tito Nieves, Jon Secada & Obie Bermúdez, among many notable others!
Fueled by his relentless commitment, quiet determination and passionate faith in the loving message behind much of Michael Jackson’s music, producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar has thoughtfully created Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson. The result is Jackson’s timeless pop and R&B tunes, such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “I Want You Back” married with glorious salsa and tropical rhythms, resulting in innovative, vibrant arrangements that snap to life with exhilarating energy. Unity will be released April 14 on Universal Music Classics in collaboration with Universal Music Latin Entertainment.
The groundbreaking album embodies Jackson’s spirit of harmony and bringing diverse cultures together through music. “The one thing that stood out in Michael’s music was love. The reality was unity,” Succar says. He continues, “I also wanted the title to stand for something: a real marriage between Latin roots and American pop culture, and to help keep Michael’s legacy alive.”
The birth of Unity came when Succar arranged a salsa-infused version of “Thriller” for a Halloween party in Miami. The reaction was so immediate and overwhelmingly positive that he recorded a version in his bedroom with his band, posted it online and gave away copies. DJs started playing the track and Succar began getting requests from around the world for a full album of Latin-flavored Jackson songs. “That sparked it,” Succar says. “I was such a fan. I felt like I had to do something.”
Part of keeping Jackson’s legacy alive meant incorporating elements of the original production in each of his fresh renditions for Unity. “Even the horn lines, I would transcribe them from Quincy Jones’ productions and then apply them to the arrangement in a different way,” Succar says. “The essence of every song was respected. I gave it my best to create this very thin line between what Michael did with his production and what I brought to the project.”
With Succar taking producer and arranger credits, Unity also features two tracks – “Earth Song” and “Smooth Criminal” — mixed by Michael Jackson’s legendary engineer Bruce Swedien with Nick Valentin. Grammy winner Carlos Alvarez engineered the rest of the album achieving a sonically crisp sound.
“American funk, soul, jazz—all those styles that were influencing Michael— were inspired from African music,” Succar says. “Same with Afro-Peruvian music, Cuban music. These songs were meant to be. Their original flavor lends itself to these Latin rhythms.”
— Bomap Music Srl (@BomapMusic) January 25, 2015