Cultural Percussionist

Jerry Gonzales Day

Jerry González (born June 5, 1949) is an American bandleader, trumpeter and percussionist of Puerto Rican descent. Together with his brother, bassist Andy González, he has played an important role in the development of Latin jazz during the late 20th century. During the 1970s, both played alongside Eddie Palmieri and in Manny Oquendo‘s Conjunto Libre, and since 1980 they direct The Fort Apache Band. Since 2000, Jerry González resides in Madrid, where he fronts Los Piratas del Flamenco and El Comando de la Clave.

Jerry González was born in 1949 in Manhattan, on 158 street and 3ª Avenue, and moved to the Bronx at the age of 4. He was raised in a strong musical atmosphere, with the strains of Latin, Afro-Cuban and jazz music always in his ear, establishing his musical appreciation and molding his future work as an artist. His father, Jerry González, Sr., was a master of ceremonies and lead singer for bands during the Palladium era and sang with musicians like Claudio Ferrer. In junior high school he began playing trumpet and congas and jamming with local bands. After deciding this was his calling, González completed his formal studies at New York College of Music and New York University. He started his professional career playing with Lewellyn Mathews in the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In 1970 he started playing congas with Dizzy Gillespie.

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