Official biography published on social media (December 12, 2016).
Born in CamagÃ¼ey, Cuba in 1944, multi-percussionist Orestes VilatÃ³ is one of the most influential figures in the world of Latin percussion. His unique style on the Cuban timbales is one of the most emulated in the genre, and his artistry has graced the stage and recording studios with a WhoÂ’s Who of musical legends, from Aretha Franklin to Carlos Santana.
As a young boy in Cuba, Orestes was encouraged by his father to pursue his passion for music, turning his first instrument Â— a guitar Â— upside-down and playing it like a drum. After receiving his first bongos, a young Orestes immersed himself in studying the music of his homeland, inspired by the many greats he heard on the radio as well as in person.
After a stint with the acclaimed Ray Barretto and TÃpica Â´73 orchestras, Orestes formed his own group - Los Kimbos - alongside legendary singer Adalberto Santiago, recording four albums as a leader while remaining one of the most in-demand percussionists on the circuit. His many recordings with diverse artists and musical genres reflect his ever-reaching craft and musicianship, and his unique style soon became well known throughout the globe.
In addition, Orestes continues to share his musical talent as a clinician for several prestigious music institutions such as Stanford capUniversity, UCLA, The Berklee College of Music and the University of Anchorage. He has also recorded on the soundtracks for several highly acclaimed films, including The Mambo Kings, Our Latin Thing and Dance With Me.
Considered one of the most influential timbales players north of Cuba, Orestes VilatÃ³ maintains one foot in the rich tradition of his homeland, and the other in the vast exploration of musical fusion in North America and beyond.
Orestes Vilato is one of the world's top timbaleros, with over 300 recordings. He was born in Cuba, but he grew up in New York City, New York.
Vitalo has been playing since 1959, his first gig was in Union City, New Jersey in that same year. Vilato has been working with Cachao, John Santos and Machete Ensemble (featured band member), Rebeca Mauleon and Round Trip (feature member) and performaned with artists such as Celia Cruz, Cal Tjader and the Machete Ensemble.
Orestes Vilato did solo work in Puerto Rico, Miami, New York, Caribbean Islands, etc.m was involved with the AIM Program: Adventures In Music, a program for elementary schools and has been teaching at the Holland Conservatory.
His most memorable musical experience is playing in Russia with Santana: "The biggest outpouring of affection towards the band form the crowd I ‘ve ever heard or felt.