At the age of fifteen, he went on the road with Elmo Garcia's Big Band. After paying his dues with Garcia, he went on to work with the Mambo King himself, Tito Puente, with whom he would play at the legendary Palladium in New York City. After his stint with Puente, he continued his studies in percussion instruments and guitar compositions, delving into elements of harmony, theory and counterpoint. In between studies, he often free-lanced, which consequently gave him the opportunity to travel the globe.
This included Europe, Japan, South America, and the Caribbean Islands. He became exposed to the different facets of music in various cultures. This enabled him to develop a new rhythmic concept that was both distinctive and unique. His expertise was put to use in playing with and/or arranging the works of such notables as João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, George Benson, Machito, Charlie & Eddie Palmieri, La Playa Sextet, Barry White, Nina Simone, Santana, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Oliver Nelson, Lionel Hampton, Donny Hathaway, Sarah Vaughn, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, Cal Tjader, Gilberto Sextet, and many other notables.
He has also participated in the creation of such classic scores as The French Connection, Bionic Woman, and Kung Fu, as well as working with Gato Barbieri on The Last Tango in Paris. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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