Percussionist and drummer Joe Gonzalez is by far one of the most sought after studio musicians around today. He began playing percussion at eight years old.
Born in Puerto Rico, Joe Gonzalez arrived in New York City at the age of 10. He began playing the Trombone at the Third Street Settlement Music School in New York City. Later, he pursued his musical talents at the Boys & Girls Harbor Conservatory of Performing Arts, in Spanish Harlem, NYC.
Here Joe Gonzalez studied and became an accomplished percussionist under the prominent musical directors, Luis Bauzó, Frankie Malabé, and Ramón Rodriguez. Today he captures all of Cuba's rhythms, especially Charanga music. Joe Gonzalez is one of the original congueros of our Sublime from the 70's.
His very first recording was in 1973 with Orquesta Yambu. By 1977 he had already turned out stellar performances with such greats as Charlie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Durango West, Tom Harrell, Michael Mossman, Jay Perez, Rudy Calzado, Chico O'Farrill, Paquito D'Rivera, Mario Bauza, Daniel Ponce, Hilton Ruiz, Celia Cruz, Graciela, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Daniel Ponce, and Max Roach.
During the eighties Joe Gonzalez appeared on The Cosby Show and was part of Ray Santos' all-star lineup for the movie score, The Mambo Kings. By the mid-nineties he had toured Europe and the United States extensively with the Mario Bauza Orchestra, with which he recorded four albums.
Since then, Joe Gonzalez has been featured both on record and in live performances with the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and the conjunto style bands of Armando Sanchez, Chico Alvarez, and Papo Pepin.
Joe Gonzalez also worked with the K-Jazz All Stars, the Mambo All-Star Orchesta and The Conga Kings.