Joaquín Pozo

Jazz band inside church smiling for a photo, with one man holding a trumpet

“Fiery, lyrical, and impossibly virtuosic”– such has been called master Cuban percussionist, Joaquín Pozo’s style. Christened “El Pulpo” (The Octopus) because it is said his two-handed style rivals the eight hands of four drummers, Pozo comes from a lineage of Cuban musicians influential in the development of Afro-Latin jazz sound. The Havana-native, recent Harlem-transplant holds the distinction for his singular style, a uniquely melodic approach to the congas. Over the past 35 years, Pozo has honed his traditional and popular chops mastering folkloric forms like rumba and modern forms like jazz. As a bandleader and sideman, his music has led him across four continents and his discography spans a dozen recordings. As a highly revered composer and educator, Pozo’s musical mastery and versatility puts him in a league of his own. After hearing his instantly recognizable reverberations one understands why Joaquin Pozo’s sound has been imitated yet never duplicated.

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