A Collective is only as good as it’s members, and today, we would like to celebrate one of the incredible mentors on our staff: Latin Grammy Winning Afro-Cuban Percussionist Samuel Torres!
Joining our Collective family this year, Samuel is an incredible musician and will be teaching the storied and varied styles of hand percussion. Samuel is excited to be joining us behind the congas, and is currently teaching our in-person workshop class, “Explorations in Latin Jazz” alongside pianist Bob Quaranta, bassist Irio O’Farill, and drummer Juan Mayorga. He will also be available for other group classes and lessons soon, so stay tuned for more information!
Samuel is a 2x Latin Grammy winning artist Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. Samuel was already scoring prominent gigs in the city by age 12. Samuel learned the nuances and styles of pop, jazz, and salsa in what we at The Collective have always believed to be the best way possible: By firsthand experience playing with the pros. He then became a classically trained percussionist as well, he earned a degree in Music Composition from Bogotá’s esteemed Universidad Javeriana. Before departing for the U.S. in 1999, Samuel was extremely well established in his city, backing up major Colombian performing artists and Music Directing/Arranging for popular telenovelas and films.
Upon arriving in the US, Samuel was almost immediately tapped by the legendary Arturo Sandoval to join his band. (Arturo has also performed alongside our “Explorations in Latin Jazz” pianist and Collective Mentor Bob Quaranta. You can read more about Bob in his Mentor Spotlight Here!)
He spent his initial years touring the country and playing alongside a long list of latin jazz legends including Ray Baretto, Tito Puente, Lila Downs, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Paquito D’Rivera, Chick Corea. He’s also played with countless other greats outside of the jazz world such as his country’s own Shakira, and orchestras such as Berlin Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Boston Pops, Bogotá Philharmonic, and the Medellín Philharmonic!
Samuel has also created his own critically acclaimed projects since then. Skin Tones, his debut recording in 2006 was an album that quickly solidified his reputation as one of the most unique percussionists in latin jazz. JazzTimes magazine described it as “at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive.” Creating more projects under the multiple New World Jazz Grants he’s been awarded, his most recent 2017 project Alegría pays homage to the people of his native Colombia, as well as other Latin American nations. He’s been nominated for multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Latin Grammy Awards since!
Now, Samuel is bringing his celebrated style and countless years of experience to The Collective! To learn more about Samuel and his incredible percussion work, You’re able to join him for an exciting opportunity as he teaches with The Collective in our “Explorations in Latin Jazz” 6-Week course! Be sure to keep updated on all of the exciting things Samuel and The Collective are planning by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter !