In-depth conversation with the world’s most talented drummers and percussionists from the Gon Bops artist family. Hosted by Rich Mangicaro, Gon Bops’ Percussions Loft gives a behind-the-scenes look into our artist’s path to success, their favorite GB instruments and much more.
Jack Johnson drummer/percussionist Adam Topol shares his eclectic influences, with beginnings in Classic Rock to Jazz studies at Berklee and his eventual love for Cuban folkloric music. Studies with masters like Alan Dawson to Changuito gave him the depth and range which he expresses in his compositions. We discuss his love for various Gon Bops instruments and hear selections from his various albums including Blue Painted Walls in Faraway Places, Ritmo Y Canto, Regardless of the Dark and his latest – Cuando.
A true living legend, Alex Acuna’s credits span over 40 years and a staggering 30 pages on Allmusic.com. Playing on literally thousands of recordings, in 1975 he became a part of what’s considered to be Weather Report’s greatest line-up. Alex is a repeated winner of Modern Drummer’s Reader’s and Critic’s polls and is Gon Bops’ Flagship Signature artist, having multiple successful instruments with us. Our in-depth, lively conversation spans his amazing life from his youth in Peru to his amazing, world-renowned career. We also feature selections from his solo recordings, including (in order of appearance) “El Surco” – from Los Hijos del Sol, “Alegre Canto” – from The Staff, “Recreo” – from Los Hijos del Sol and “Psalms” & “Pensando En Ti” – from Alex Acuna & The Unknowns.
Tony Braunagel is best known as a session drummer and percussionist on over 200 albums including those of Otis Rush, Eric Burdon, Johnny Nash and Buddy Guy, as well appearing on the Grammy-winning albums of Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal. He’s performed live with dozens of icons including Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal and The Blues Brothers, just to name a few. As a well-respected producer, Tony’s created award-winning recordings and has been nominated for the BMA in the ‘Best Instrumentalist” category-Drums, twelve times, winning it in 2018.
Cuban percussionist Eliel Lazo is admired world-wide as one of the finest congueros. Known for his flawless, fluid technique and great sound, Lazo has played with many music icons, including Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdes, Herbie Hancock, Bob Mintzer and many more. In this episode, we discuss his Cuban roots and his approach to achieving his great sound and playing style and his role in inspiring Gon Bops’ Mariano Series. We also feature some of his original compositions from his album “Eliel Lazo and the Cuban Funk Machine”. Contact us for order-of-play titles.
Lenny Castro is one of the most influential percussionists in music and has performed on many hits that have become soundtracks of our lives. Artists like The Rolling Stones, Elton John, U2, Adele, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Justin Timberlake are just a few who have relied on Lenny’s masterful talent. His work with Toto, including performing on the iconic song “Africa”, has influenced generations. Lenny recently released his debut solo album entitled Hands Of Silk And Stone. In our in-depth conversation with him, we span the decades including his 1st meeting with Jeff Porcaro to the formation of Toto and hear selections from his fantastic debut record. Contact us for the titles, in the order they were played.
Jamey Haddad is known as one of the most prestigious drummer/percussionists in the world today. His innovative, musical voice transcends styles and trends and has brought him to work with some of music’s most influential artists, including Paul Simon, Sting, Yo-Yo Ma, Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock and many more. He joined the Gon Bops family in 2016, playing a wide selection of our instruments including our Mariano Series Congas and Bongos, our pandeiros and our Luisito Quintero timbales. Our conversation covers his amazing performing and teaching career, his work with Paul Simon and we also features tracks from his bands Under One Sun (a band he shares with Luisito Quintero) and Bokante (also featuring members of Snarky Puppy). Contact us for the order of the titles played on this podcast.