On March 10, 2014, the percussion world lost one of the true greats, David “La Mole” Ortiz. Known as the “Quinto Master” — master of the quinto drum in Puerto Rico, David’s influences includes some of the greatest percussionists in the world as his students, including Alex Acuna, Giovanni Hildago, Richie Flores and many more. His reputation in Puerto Rico was legendary, mastering the styles of Tata Guines, Mongo Santamaria and Patao and created his own unique style. He was able to convey his knowledge to other players, helping them to develop their own individual voice and go one to become great percussionists. He was a rare, giving teacher and he will be missed by everyone in the Gon Bops family.
“In Puerto Rico, David was a low profile player because he chose to teach the new generation, and to bring the recognition he knew he did not receive to some truly great young talent. When we met in 2002, he immediately gave me excellent exercises for my left hand because he noticed my surgery, and I have since been developing it to the max. Thanks David…RIP.” — Alex Acuna