José Cortijo is one of the most successful percussionists in Europe, both as an author, soloist, band member and teacher.
José Cortijo was born in Barcelona, Spain. At the age of 15 he took private lessons with the Cuban percussionist Pedrito Diaz.
Performances, studio and TV-recordings with different groups, followed. José Cortijo has worked for artists like Jon Lord, Al Jarreau, NDR Big Band, Gary Burton, and many more.
His extensive function as a tutor and an author lead him to the Staatliche Hochschule for Music and performing Arts in 1994, where he became the first percussion professor in 2003.
José Cortijo has worked with Chris Thompson, Al Jarreau, Jon Lord, Abdullah Ibrahim, The Surpremes, Michael Gibbs, More Morena, Siggi Schwarz, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Farfarello, Chris Beier, Pete York, Gary Burton, Overtone-Orchestra, Ack van Rooyen, Alan Skidmore, Hans Hartmanns "Stickstoff", John Etheridge, Mark Gillespie, Michael Arlt & US Organ Trio, Thomas Fink, Conexión Latina, Christoph Spendel Electric-Band, Caché, Joe Gallardo, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Indiginy, Frank Nimsgern Band, Frank Haunschild, Hot Cargo, Evert Fraterman, Busch-Werk & Nippy Noya, Drumpact, NDR-Big-Band, HR-Big-Band, Rias-Tanz-Orchester, Thilo Wolf Big-Band, among others. He also performed with musicals Evita, Das Dschungelbuch, Linie 1, Das Phantom der Oper, Cinderella, Dreigroschenoper, and Schule mit Clowns.