New endorsement for Puerto Rican percussion professor
Artist biography Paoli Mejias
Performing for more than 20 years, Paoli Mejías has already distinguished himself as a young master percussionist and is ranked among the best in both salsa and Latin jazz. Paoli is now at the vanguard of Latin jazz as leader of his own Quintet, and his debut solo CD "Mi Tambor" received a Grammy Award nomination in 2005.
Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico on March 7, 1970, Paoli was twelve years old when he began to play conga, inspired by the music of "Patato" Valdés, Batacumbele and Irakere. Paoli describes himself as "percusionista de formación callejera", the formation of his musical talent occurred in the streets watching and absorbing the styles of his mentors, and eventually playing along side them. The talented José Ramírez, one of the best Batá players in Puerto Rico, is among Paoli's teachers with whom he studied Afro-Cuban percussion. Paoli has developed a unique style combining technique, melodic rhythmic patterns and his physical strength.
Paoli's professional career began in his teens, playing with Rafu Warner followed by freelancing with José Nogueras, Glenn Monroig and Charlie Sepúlveda. Paoli's resumé includes top jazz and salsa artists: Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Seis del Solar, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentín, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, Chick Corea, Kip Hanrahan, Paquito D'Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Marc Anthony, Luis Enrique, La India and many others. Paoli's discography includes more than 20 commercial recordings, among them Grammy nominated "Acuarela de Tambores" by Alex Acuña, and Grammy Award winner "Masterpiece" by Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente. Paoli gained international recognition touring around the world as percussionist for the legendary Eddie Palmieri for more than a decade performing in the largest jazz festivals.
As Band Leader
In 2004 Paoli launched his solo career with phenomenal success; his self-produced CD "Mi Tambor" was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM in 2005.
Consistently, each and every review acclaims his ability to fill a venue with his charisma and energetic Afro-Caribbean rhythms bringing the public to their feet. Complimented by the best jazz musicians, Paoli’s Quintet is creating a new style of Latin Jazz that goes above and beyond the genre in the traditional sense, incorporating unexpected elements of Asian, Greek, Flamenco, and African influences. The result is intriguing and exhilarating; the public becomes enveloped in the tight ensemble’s passion for music that is a delight to hear, and remarkable to witness in a live setting.
In February of 2006 Paoli began recording his second CD at Bennett Studios with the best jazz musicians on the jazz scene: Luis Perdomo on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums, Jaleel Shaw and Miguel Zenon on sax. Paoli’s second CD is scheduled to be released under his own independent label in the coming months and it promises to exceed the success of his first.
An experienced clinician, Paoli has given master classes at the University of Washington, the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, Cal State University, and “El Batey” the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Chicago, The World Percussion Festival in Seattle, and the Montreal Percussion Festival.
Paoli endorses Latin Percussion (congas & percussion), Sabian (cymbals), and Remo (drum heads).