I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in the town of Rio Grande.
When I was around 7 years old the first instrument that interested me were the bongoes. I took them with me to every family gathering.
At 10 years old I saw my town’s marching band in a festival and fell in love with the trumpets. I could not believe how loud and present the sound was. I wanted it. My mom took me to marching band trials and I started playing the trumpet at age 11. The band was conducted by the late Ramón Collado, who wrote the music to my Island’s National Anthem, La Borinqueña.
About a year later I started studying in a music school called Escuela Libre de Música in the nearby town of Carolina with Emilio Reales and Julio “Yuyo” Martinez. There, I got the connections to play my first gig, with a youth salsa band called Los Mini Salseros. We even recorded two songs and of course, I loved the experience of being in the studio.
In 1980, when the family had to move to San Juan, I started studying at the Escuela Libre de Música in Hato Rey. My trumpet teacher there was Miguel Peña. Very soon, I was blessed and lucky to perform next to amazing trumpet players like Juancito Torres, Elías Lopés, Wilson Brignoni, Manolin Allers, Eddy Feijoó, Angel “Angie” Machado, Hector “Tito Trompeta” Rodriguez, Vicente “Cusi” Castillo and others that helped me learn what it took to become a professional trumpet player.
After finishing High School, I went to the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Program, then under the direction of Whit Sidener. There, I studied trumpet with the late Gilbert Johnson and got to be the Lead trumpet player of the Concert Jazz Band (CJB). Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to play and record with many artists, and I’m thankful to all of them for allowing me to do my job, which is to play the trumpet the best way I can, any day in any situation and make sure they all sound better because of having me in the band.
Here I have to mention two very important trumpet players and teachers that literally saved my career in two different moments. One of them is Quique Quiñonez and the other is Bobby Shew. Thanks to Quique and Bobby, there’s a lot of trumpet players sounding a lot better, myself included.
I’ve been on Tour with:
And many others like Franco de Vita, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Juan Luis Guerra, Grupomania and Elvis Crespo.
Hope you enjoy it.