I come from a musical family of strong cultural foundations. My mother was a music teacher specializing in classical piano and accordion in Cuba. After our family migrated to the United States, she continued her love for music teaching students from our home in Miami. My dad was a guitar player and sang with my mom as a duet in Cuba before I was born. My mother's two sisters also majored in music. As a child I grew up listening to melodies of the piano in the background as many young students came to learn music from my mom, as well as my older sister who was also studying the piano everyday. My path was percussion, which lead me to follow a different musical journey. I always accompanied my dad as he played his guitar with an old African drum that was in our house for as long as I can remember. I followed along playing to records but it was when I was about 7 years old that I first heard the sound of the congas coming from a Rumba on Miami Beach. I wondered away from my parents and followed the rhythm that lead me to some older Cuban and Puerto Rican guys singing and playing Guaguanco along with a crowd of people dancing. It was at that moment when I felt that many beautiful things were ahead of me with those powerful drums!
I developed my passion for music as I learned how to play congas, bongos, timbales, cow bell and clave by ear. My story began tapping beats on the dinner table and school desks, dancing to old time Cuban music with my family, disco dancing with my sister and friends, then beginning to break dance with my older cousin who later became a ballroom dance instructor. I began to train with other b.boys which affiliated me with different dance crews. We practiced, battled, danced at parties, and performed in school talent shows. The body movements to the beat was a natural way for me to study and understand rhythms in my teenage years. The drums became a spiritual path of praise and worship to my Creator and also a way to escape the daily material world with an inward connection into my deep self. I played the heart beat in nature at Rastafarian congregations of Nyabinghi and did my first shows at Black History events in Universities. I pursued to play with other elder percussionists, musicians of different instruments, singers, poets, and dancers of different styles. I learned a lot by playing at many band rehearsals, practicing for hours in musical jam sessions and recording studios even at one point becoming part of a Christian Church band.
After feeling confident in my ability I couldn't wait to be hired for a performance so I became a street player making the sidewalk my stage on corners of South Beach Miami Washington Ave weekends from midnight till about 4:00 am. I played long consistent rhythms moving many passing crowds as they danced. I really enjoyed making new contacts, meeting many interesting people, and learning very important fundamental music lessons. I became addicted to making quick tip money and realizing the power of my talking beats. On weekends after bringing home stacks of dollar bills, my mother gave me the bilingual stage name Rumba King.
I began to be seen and recognized making my first fans who where the tourists of Miami Beach, the homeless, the party goers, and the every night life people of all nationalities and generations. I finally was hired into my first steady gig in 1999 at the hottest dance spot of South Beach, Club Level now known as Club Mansion. In this place I blended my live percussion sound with the mixes of the top Hip Hop DJs. In the year 2000 ,the Discovery Channel discovered my Rumba, documenting me as the night life street player in the series After Midnight. It was a moment where I grew into performing at many house parties, lounges, special events, theater shows, and at the same time being part of a local band with the young teenage singer Dianna who had a manager that also managed the son of the Mambo King and Timbal Master, Tito Puente Jr. I often got featured on the news, interviewed for TV shows, magazines, news paper articles, and had a picture of me playing published in the book Cuban Time. Finally in 2003 I went on my first tour to Puerto Rico playing with the band of Tito Puente Jr. I was always opened to playing with different artists. In 2007, I went on my second tour to Honduras playing with a Miami local Latin funk group. Playing with a band and performing consistent hadn't been steady so I branched out to play with Djs accompanying their mixes with my live percussion in a versatile style. With my Congas and Timbales I have been hired to play in many parties and clubs for the past years. I am presently working in the entertainment industry for private parties and special events providing different shows with dancers for a variety of themes that include Latin Carnival Hora Loca with Brazilian Samba style dancers, Middle Eastern Rhythms with Gypsies and Belly Dancers, Hawaiian
I have still been on this musical journey, steady on the path of my drums experiencing unique moments and living the legends of many great stories.. to be continued....Rumba King 2015.