Jotan Afanador was born on July 14, 1981, in Bronx, New York. At the age of two he was already playing drums! Jotan inherited his musical talent from his parents. His father was a drummer and his mother was a gospel singer. At fourteen, Jotan had his first paying gig, and shortly thereafter, he began to play regularly at churches, theaters, clubs and studios. Although he was a self-taught drummer, Jotan studied at Boy’s Harbor Conservatory of Music in Manhattan, New York, during his high school years. It was at this here where he was awarded the prominent Tito Puente Scholarship. It was also around this time that Jotan played in the Broadway show Bring Out the Noise, Bring Out the Funk.
At the age of 21, Jotan participated in the competition for the World’s Fastest Drummer for the Hands in 2002’s Vans Warped Tour in New York. He was able to set a record, playing an amazing 1,123 single strokes in 60 seconds! Jotan’s record has been featured in shows like XSTV-Xtreme, VH1 Music First, and As Seen on TV. Besides Jotan’s unique speed, his musical talent as a drummer has been showcased in a broad and varied list of television programs. He has appeared in The Wayne Brady Show, Tom Arnold’s Best Damn Sports Show, Cold Pizza, and The George López Show where he appeared with the group Aventura.
In addition to English-language television, Jotan’s bilingualism has enabled him to be part of Spanish-language television programs. In 2004, he did a drum solo in Univisión’s highest-rated television program, named Sábado Gigante, with its host, Don Francisco. In addition, he has appeared on numerous Puerto Rican television talk shows such as Anda pal’ cará and No te duermas, all promoting the island’s prestigious drumming event, Drummer’s Choir Day. It was precisely during the Drummer’s Choir Day event on April 9, 2005, where Jotan once again set a new world record of 1,219 single strokes in 60 seconds before 20,000 viewers.
In addition to his many television appearances, Jotan has had the opportunity to play at well-known venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jacob Javis Center, Shea Stadium, Staple Center, The Blue Note and the MCI Center. He has also played in events such as Calle 8 Latin Festival in Miami, Florida, the JVC Jazz Festival, and for Project Dance, an event featuring New York’s top dancers. His audience has included the sports world’s most talented athletes and coaches ranging from baseball’s major league, the NFL, and the NHL when he performed at the World Class Athlete and Coaches Conference held in Los Angeles, and when he played for the New York Yankees’ All-Star Catcher, Jorge Posada at The Jorge Posada Foundation. Afanador’s list of prestigious audience members even includes former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Throughout the years, Jotan has brought his creativity and different styles of playing to the stage with renowned and musically diverse artists. He has joined artists and bands such as Sergio Mendes, Frankie Jay, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Tito Puente’ s Big Band, Victor Manuel, and Olga Tañón, among others. Most recently, Jotan has played with the bachata music group, Aventura. In 2006, he played with them before one million fans, the group’s largest crowd yet. Aventura has been, without a doubt, the most recently acclaimed Sony Music Latin boy band. They are Latin Grammy winners, Billboard record breakers, the most heard band on Spanish radio stations in the U.S. and Latin America, as well as the group that sold out more concerts than any other artist in 2008. Jotan has toured and recorded on the most recent Aventura albums called K.O.B Live, Sold Out at Madison Square Garden.
Jotan’s achievements also include performing a solo for Lady Gaga, and recording for superstar Jennifer López. Jotan Afanador is by all means an international artist, not only because of the diversity of his musical background and expertise. He has toured extensively in Canada, Central and South America, the Netherlands, France, and England. Currently, Jotan has been featured on the TBS sitcom TV show called Are We There Yet?, produced by rapper actor Ice Cube, airing October 2011. Jotan’s main goals are taking his drum playing all over the world and to inspire and touch the lives of many, both drummers and non-drummers alike. Jotan Afanador is currently endorsed by Vic Firth, Sabian, Canopus, Beato, Drumometer, Evans, KickPort.