Thursday, October 20, 2016, 4:00pm


Holden Chapel

Presented by: Learning From Performers
Admission: Admission free (tickets/RSVPs not required); seating first-come, first-served, subject to venue capacity.

According to Wynton Marsalis, “Ignacio Berroa plays with intelligence, taste, fire, and soul. His playing combines the finest aspects of Afro-Cuban and American styles of drumming.” The Cuban-born drummer will discuss his career and creative process, and perform with his trio mates, bassist Greg Ryan and pianist Alain Mallet.

IGNACIO BERROA has been recognized as one of the greatest drummers of our times. He was included in the 2011 Mp3 compilation entitled “Jazz Drumming Legends” which features some of the most renowned drummers in jazz history. Born in Havana, Cuba, he began his musical education at age 11 at the National School of Arts and subsequently at Havana’s National Conservatory, beginning his professional career in 1970. By 1975 Berroa had become Cuba’s most sought after drummer. 

In 1980 he left his country during the Mariel boatlift and settled in New York City where he met the great Cuban musician Mario Bauza. He was introduced to Dizzy Gillespie, who invited Ignacio to join his quartet the following year. Gillespie perhaps best defined Berroa as “the only Latin drummer in the world in the history of American music who intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro Cuban music as well as jazz.” Berroa also took part in all of the important bands Gillespie assembled during that decade, including the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Anniversary Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars Big Band and the Grammy Award winning United Nation Orchestra.

As an author and a renowned educator, Berroa made his mark with the instructional video Mastering the Art of Afro–Cuban Drumming as well as the books Groovin’ in Clave and A New Way of Groovin’. He also conducts clinics and master classes around the world. 

As a leader, Berroa’s album “Codes” was released in 2007 on Blue Note Records and nominated for a Grammy, winning a Danish Music Award as Best International Jazz Album. His second album as a leader, “Heritage & Passion,” was released in 2014 on the 5Passion label. Berroa has recorded and played with acclaimed musicians McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Michael Brecker, Milt Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente, Mario Bauzá, Lalo Schifrin, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Michel Camilo, Chico Bouarque, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Lenny Andrade, Lincoln Center Orchestra, WDR Big Band and BBC Big Band, to name only a few.