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Fidel Morales

About the Artist

Fidel Morales is a Cuban Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Arranger, Author, and Educator.

Morales began his formal music education at the age of 12, having previously studied music reading and theory with the great Cuban clarinetist Amado Valdés. He graduated in 1981 from the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, Cuba.

As a drummer, he has played with musicians such as Danilo Pérez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Giovanni Hidalgo, Nicolás Reynoso, Eddie Gómez, John Faddis, Mark Kramer, Mike Orta, Gary Campbell, Gary Keller, Vic Juris, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Eddie “Guagua” Rivera, Carlos Garnett, Carli Muñoz, Charlie Sepúlveda, Víctor Boa, Mauricio Smith, and the Hologram Quartet, among others. He has also accompanied soloists such as Omara Portuondo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Elena Burke, Malena, Celeste Mendoza, Bárbara Wilson, Roberto Roena, Albita, María Martha Serra Lima, Basilio, Chichí Peralta, and Noriko.

He has toured extensively around the world, having traveled on music engagements through Austria, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.

In 1990, he directed the salsa and timba group Orquesta Layé, creating the music and appearing in public performances with important Cuban choreographers such as Tomás Morales, Alberto Concepción and Andrés Gutiérrez, from the famous nightclubs Tropicana and Parisién. He is considered one of the creators of the timba genre in Cuba.

Fidel is the composer of Cuban dance classics “La Expresiva” and “Mamina”, among others. Artists from Cuba, the United States, and Puerto Rico have recorded his compositions. He contributed as well in the CD “Bajando Gervasio”, by Amadito Valdés, nominated for 2004 GRAMMY Awards. The documentary Seguir a través de los años (To Follow Through the Years), by Daniel Diez, is inspired in his music. His album Salsa Son Timba was released in 2005, and reissued in 2010.

He performed as percussionist with the Panama Symphonic Orchestra for 10 years. On several occasions he recorded with the Cuban Radio Television and the Symphonic Orchestras of Cuba and Panama.

Fidel has worked as Lecturer of Percussion in Panama’s National Conservatory. He has taught Drum Clinics & Workshops in Europe, Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Chile, and United States, for students from the Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Drummers Collective, the University of Miami, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, and the University of Puerto Rico, among many others.

At present, Morales is professor of Jazz Drums for the Jazz and Caribbean Music Department of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. He also offers private lessons in his school of drums and percussion Estudio 20 (http://estudio-20.c0m), and is, as well, an active clinician.

Fidel is director of his own bands: the Fidel Morales Trio, the Fidel Morales Afro-Cuban Jazz Band, and the Fidel Morales Modern Latin Quartet. He also performs with José Ramírez’s Tambores Batá.

Fidel resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with his wife Rosalía and his son Julio.

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