I’ve been playing congas since my early teens in Puerto Rico. One afternoon at my grandmother’s Gabriela uncle-William showed me some rudiments and the basic tumbao pattern, the lifeblood of Salsa and Latin Jazz. That was my initiation in conga playing.
There is no lack of African base music in the Island, so I learned a great deal from watching some of the best percussionist in the Salsa bands. In 1983 I came to SUNY New Paltz to finish my degree in Fine arts and that took priority, completing my BFA and MFA. In the mid 90’s I was re- introduced to conga playing by my teacher and dear friend Nadir Velez, a master of Folkloric Afro-Caribbean percussion. I have played with different local bands including Passero, The Latin Jazz Express , and Nu Bossa. Over two years ago, together with Rick Altman on Vibes and John Drechsler on upright bass, I founded my own band Pablo Shine Latin Jazz Band (formerly Sabor). We play Latin Jazz Standards as well as originals. We play live locally here in the Hudson Valley and are available for private events.
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