Kevin Ricard - TCM60 Padauk
Wood Percussionist Kevin Ricard joins "The Tonight Show Band" under the musical direction of Rickey Minor.
A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Ricard has performed and recorded with music legends such as Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Lionel Richie, Marc Anthony, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Steve Winwood, Kenny Loggins, Enrique Iglesias and Celia Cruz. He has also performed on a number of feature-film scores, including "The Hangover," "A Bug's Life," "The Pink Panther" and "The Great Debaters."
Ricard's extensive list of television credits include "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars," NBC's "America's Got Talent," "The Grammy Awards" and "VH-1 Divas."
In addition, Ricard co-leads Sambaguru, an original world Brazilian band. The group is currently promoting their new album "Tribo."
Ricard resides in Los Angeles.
Richie Gajate Garcia - Universal TCM Flame Maple Wood
Richie Gajate-Garcia has conducted more than 450 clinics and remains one of the most in demand educators and clinicians. His superb technique is demonstrated on his DVDs, Adventures in Rhythm Volumes 1 and 2, produced by Latin Percussion.
Garcia has recorded and/or performed with Christopher Cross, Sting and Phil Collins, as well as worked on film scores for Jennifer Lopez' new film "Maid in Manhattan" and Eddie Murphy's latest "I-Spy," as well as "The Mummy Returns". He has toured with Diana Ross, Don Henley, Patti LaBelle, and Hiroshima. "I constantly look for new sounds," he says, "and I'm not completely partial to any one instrument, which I feel adds color and appeal to my playing".
Richie knows that percussion was a natural career choice for him. "I'm Puerto Rican, and percussion instruments are found all throughout our culture." Richie made the decision to play music full time while attending college at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Richie's main influences were his father (a percussionist with The Xavier Cugat Orchestra), Armando Peraza, Monchito Munoz (timbalero with Tito Rodriguez), Changuito, Candido Camero and Giovanni Hidalgo.
Homero Chaves - Universal TCM Purple Heart Wood
Percussionist, Drummer, Educator Homero Chavez was born in El Paso, Texas. He began his music career in Cd. Juárez México as a trumpet player in the city’s premier marching band.
Over the years he has traveled internationally, played with numerous artists and recorded CDs in different music genres. He has done various TV and Radio productions and in the new media, several Internet spots. Venturing into producing, his latest effort “El Canto De La Gente” with the legendary Viola Trigo is due out soon.
Fernando Diez - Universal TCM English Oak Wood
Currently living in Los Angeles, Fernando Diez has been playing percussion for over twenty years and has never been limited to one style of drumming.
Chalo Eduardo - TCM60 Ash Wood
Chalo Eduardo's experience as a bandleader, recording artist and entertainer and his contributions to a variety of musical styles have led to associations with world class musical artists such as Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Mickey Hart, Bruce Hornsby, Gato Barbieri and many others.
Chalo has recorded two albums under his own leadership, I Miss Rio, and his recent album, Samba Nova, both on Carnaval Records. He has also contributed to several projects for artists including Kevin Letteu, Mark Murphy, Mickey Hart Supralingue, as well as soundtracks for Sega video games and radio and TV commercials.
Other highlights in Chalo's extraordinary career include performing for, as well as choreographing drummers and dancers for, the 1999 and 2000 Grammy Awards, and creating a signature line of Brazilian percussion instruments manufactured by Remo.
Pete Korpela - TCM60 Lace Wood
Pete Korpela is a percussionist born and raised in Finland. He has studied orchestral and hand percussion extensively at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and in 1997-1998 at the Los Angeles Music Academy. Privately Mr. Korpela has studied studio and orchestral percussion with Don Williams, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro and Michael Fisher. His ethnic percussion teachers include Lenny Castro, Luis Conte, Kevin Ricard, Michito Sanchez, Glen Velez, Jerry Steinholtz and John Bergamo.
Mr. Korpela toured for over three years throughout the United States with 1st National Tour of the Tony award winning Walt Disney’s The Lion King both as a marimbist and featured on-stage percussionist. While traveling he organized and performed clinics for Pearl Percussion at many prestigious universities, art and cultural events and at the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) convention in Louisville, K.Y. In addition he was showcased at many Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS benefits, an industry fundraising initiative to assist those living with HIV/AIDS.
Pete Korpela is an accomplished musician in orchestral, latin, jazz, world, rock, and pop music. He has performed live and/or recorded with Alphonso Johnson, Jimmy Haslip, Sam Most, Dave Carpenter, Greg Poree, Octavio Bailly, Bernie Dresel, Ken Wild, Gary Herbig, Randy Brecker, Perla Batalla, Peter Kater, Lenny Castro, Virgil Donati, John Ferraro, Don Randi and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Korpela has appeared internationally in Canada, Japan, China, Europe, Scandinavia and the Philippines.
Currently Pete Korpela lives with his wife and two goofy dogs in Los Angeles. Besides working with world-renowned musicians he leads his own Brazilian jazz group. In November 2008 Pearl will debut instruments designed by Mr. Korpela for worldwide distribution.
Will Philips - TCM60 Zebra Wood
Born and raised in Texas and having recently relocated to Los Angeles, Will Phillips is rapidly gaining a reputation as an in-demand percussionist. Captivated by Brazilian music, he’s spent time living in Brazil and studying with Brazilian masters. Will has also recorded a number of TV jingles during his time in Brazil. Inspired by this deep experience, Will now enjoys the continual journey of adapting Brazilian percussion to all styles of music.
In 2011, Will was presented with a Latin Grammy Certificate of Nomination for his performance on Claudia Brant’s album "Manuscrito". He has appeared on TV mega-hits like The Voice, American Idol, MTV Brazil and was the house percussionist for the 2010 American Music Awards Red Carpet Gala. He has recorded and performed with some of today's finest artists, such as Will-i-am, Ellis Hall, Persian superstar Googoosh, Academy and Grammy Award-winner Jamie Foxx, NBC’s The Office/original member of The Grass Roots Creed Bratton, and many more.
Ramon Yslas -TCM60 Ash Wood
Concerts, sessions, festivals and television: Ramon Yslas is one of modern music’s most accomplished percussionists. From his world tours with platinum artists including Christina Aguilera, Colbie Caillat, Patti Labelle and the Backstreet Boys, network appearances with Stevie Nicks, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana on The Grammy Awards, The Emmys, George Lopez:Lopez Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Oprah, American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman and VH-1 Storytellers, Yslas is distinguished by his intuitive musicality and consummate professionalism.
Michael Duffy - TCM60 Wange Wood
Michael soon moved to Austin, TX to pursue more opportunities for studio work. Diving head first into the blossoming Austin live music scene, Michael put together a Latin hip hop/fusion supergroup called La Tribu. The group included key players of Austin’s music scene. In 2001, La Tribu released “Ataca!” to criticial acclaim. Within their first year of existence, La Tribu received many accolades, including the Best World Music Award at the Austin Music Awards.
When not touring, Michael stayed busy in the studio. He played on Sony recording artist Vallejo’s debut “Into the New” and became a house musician for the famed Tequila Mockingbird Studio. Michael participated in numerous jingles for national/international companies such as Chili’s, Corona, Budweiser and several local Texas companies.
Michael’s reputation for fierce musical discipline and undeniable natural talent preceded him. He quickly became Austin’s go-to percussionist. Singers visiting from out-of-state, from places such as New York and Puerto Rico, often called on Michael to sit in on local performances.
In 2002, Michael moved to Los Angeles, CA. There he joined the Tony Award winning show “Blast”. Within a year of moving to LA, he began working with RMM artist Yari More. The following year, he was asked to join Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca in their tour across the U.S.. Following that tour, Michael joined four-time Grammy Award winning Mexican pop artist Joan Sebastian. In 2004, Michael toured with two-time Grammy Award winning Latin alternative band Ozomatli across the U.S. and Europe. Shortly after, Michael recorded with the Sofa Kings, the Miami-based producer for the Kumbia Kings.
Jimmy Branly was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in a rich musical environment of Cuban flavors. He began his studies at the Conservatory of Music in Havana Adolfo Guzman and ENA (National School of Art). At the young age of 9, his father introduced him to rock music including the band, Deep Purple. It was Deep Purple’s 1972 album "Made in Japan" that captivated Jimmy and drew him into the world of music. Being introduced to this style of music was of special import since Rock was not a significant genre in Cuba. Jimmy was also exposed to other rock groups like Rush, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles building upon Jimmy’s desire to transcribe these artists. He expanded his interests when he began listening to jazz greats like John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett to name a few.
Jimmy’s professional career began at the young age of 15 where he met Hernan Lopez-Nussa from the Afro-Cuban jazz septet “Afrocuba” who could hear that Jimmy was someone he wanted to play with. Jimmy started playing with the original band “Cuarto Espacio” that combined the styles of fusion, rock, and Cuban music. Jimmy actually didn’t start playing Cuban music in Cuba until 1996 with Issac Delgado. From there, Jimmy moved to NG La Banda. Jimmy continued to evolve in his approach to playing the drums when he worked with Gonzalo Rubalcaba who taught him to play with the more sensitive range of the instrument. Jimmy decided to move to California after being exposed to the rich range of social and musical opportunities that the United States has to offer.
In 2001, Gilmar came to New York City while playing with Angelique Kidjo. Since then, he has played and recorded with Enrique Iglesias, Harry Belafonte, Me’ Shell N’ Degeocello, and Richard Bona. Gilmar has participated in music festivals around the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Free Jazz Festival, Perc Pan, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and Rock in Rio. He has also made numerous appearances on various television broadcasts including The World Music Awards, the Top of the Pops, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and the Concert for America.
Although she has a passion for Flamenco, Kassandra travels the world constantly exploring every culture's rhythmic roots.
Kassandra has performed with Kanye West, Young The Giant, Carlos Vives, Persian singer Hamed Nikpay, Jason Kanakis, Adam del Monte, Unidos de Quilombo, Rayanna Zargoza, and various jazz, latin, and folk groups in the LA/Chicago areas. She has also recorded with many artists including Grammy winning flautist, Wouter Kellerman, Vahagni, and many more.
Classically-trained, then turned fringe-rock rebel, Kassandra plays in groups ranging from musical theater pits to dive-bar experimental music shows. Kassandra has degrees from DePaul University and California Institute of the Arts.
Kassandra is available for gigs, recording sessions, private or classroom teaching (Master's degree certified in Percussion), percussion and specialty workshops, and guest lectures.
Kassandra is endorsed by Amplified Timber TCM mic'ing system and Sol percussion flamenco cajon.
Some of his additional recorded performances include The Sprout House Band, Neil Halstead, Zee Avi, Piers Faccini, Zach Gil, and Chris Velan.
As a bandleader, Topol recorded and co-produced Ritmo Y Canto - Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms, and Culver City Dub Collective - Dub reggae with Jazz and electronic influences- on Everloving records.
Culver City Dub Collective has just completed its’ third album titled “8.” He has also just released an Afro-Caribbean/Cumbia EP “The Living Room” with Danny Frankel and David Ralicke.
He studied Tabla for 11 years with Tabla Guru, Pandit Divyang Vakil and has applied his knowledge of North Indian Tabla Rhythms onto Drum Set and Cajon. In recent years, Vincent has focused on Cajon and has developed a unique style using Tabla technique. He also plays a full cajon Drum set and is a Schlagwerk Percussion Endorser.
Vincent’s latest release is a full length instrumental album called, “The Transcendent State”. The music features Hang and Halo drums, tabla, cajon, and synths. He also runs a private music school in New Jersey where he teaches mostly Drum set and Tabla. Through the years he has taught hundreds of students. He is endorsed with Regal Tip, Schlagwerk, and Torres Cajon Mic System. For more information visit www.vincentpiercepercussion.com