Born: November 15, 1976 Primary Instrument: Congas
Edwin Nepy Maldonado: Percussionist, Arranger, Producer and Vocalist.Edwin Nepy Maldonado was born and raised in Trenton, NJ, Nov. 15, 1976. He was the first child born to Eddie & Mille Maldonado. As a child, he always had an interest for music. Banging on pots and pans, whether the music was on or off, his father knew his son would become a musician. At the age of 8, Nepy, as everyone know him, made his debut playing the bongo with a band his father played rhythm guitar with, Estrellas Del Caribe. By the time he was about 11 or 12, he joined the family band led by his father Eddie and musically directed by his uncle Nelson Maldonado, Conjunto Familia, as a percussionist playing congas, timbales & bongo alongside his uncle Albert Maldonado. Later on the band was switched around and new musicians, who were either cousins or close friends, joined the band. He then shared percussion duties with now known Christian salsa singer, Puchi Colon. In his teens, still with Conjunto Familia, he left the percussion and learned how to play piano. But what he picked up on the keys was how to play the horn parts to songs. He became the piano-synthesizer player as they brought in new percussionist and other new members to the band. They then changed their name to El Nuevo Conjunto Familia. In junior high school, he met with new friends who were musicians through Puchi Colon. They made a band for a talent & fashion show at their junior high school. They called themselves, The Latin Boyz, musically directed and led by 9th grader Tony Ruiz. They played the hit song of Willie Colon, El Gran Varon, and won first place. Nepy played timbales for The Latin Boyz and was indeed the youngest in the crowd, the only 7th grader in the show. A year later he was called upon to play timbales for Tony Ruiz's new band, Orquesta Sabor Latino, a band of all teenagers from high school including Puchi Colon on bass. About a year later in high school he joined a band at the same time his father did called, Conjunto Sabor. He became the timbale and conga player for the group. He played percussion with the band for 2 years then became the synthesizer-piano player for the group. With a few new members to the group, they changed their name to Luis Diaz y su Nuevo Sonido. The band went through alot of changes during the years together. They added a brass section to the group, and they were then called, “Orq Nuevo Sonido”. After the band broke up, Nepy stopped playing live and learned the studio. He started recording percussion for clients in his uncle Eric studio called, Paris Recording Studio. He recorded percussion, piano and bass. He then started to arrange and produce latin music in the studio for artists both in the circular and christian world. In the summer of 2000 he decided to make a band with his father. They then put together Grupo Milenio, managed by his father Eddie Maldonado and musically directed by Nepy. With Milenio he plays piano, synthesizers, percussion, vocalist, bass (certain songs), arranger & producer. He got Milenio in the studio to record their first project, Mi America, for the 9/11 tragedies in which he arranged and produced the song and the bonus track, “Que Pasara?” He now has the band in the studio recording their first full production under his supervision. He is currently playing with Grupo Milenio and Latin Jazz group Huejaz as a percussionist. Nepy has either arranged, produced, recorded percussion, bass and/or piano for Rolando Sanchez y su Salsa Hawaii, Edwin Martinez, Elvin Santiago, Rebecca Rivera, Orquesta Juventud Con Swing, Jose Munoz, Javier Negron (Johnny Ray’s ex-singer), just to name a few. From 2000 and on, he has played and sub-ed for Frankie Negron, Willie Moreno (Los Hermanos Moreno), Orq. Juventud Con Swing, Victor Vega & his Orchestra, Orq. Latin Jazz, Huejaz, Rico Son & Grupo Milenio, just to name a few. Nepy has had the honor to play or record with top musicians like Robert Vilera (Percussionist), Curtis Rodriguez (Percussionist, Marc Anthony’s Band), Junior Valdez (Percussionist, Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra), Wille Moreno (Percussionist), Jessica Rodriguez (Percussionist, Johnny Almendra, Oscar D’Leon), Wille Torres (Percussionist & Vocalist, Spanish Harlem Orchestra & Willie Moreno), Marco Bermudez (Percussionist, Spanish Harlem Orchestra & Willie Moreno), Max Rodriguez (Bassist, Spanish Harlem Orchestra), Dan Reagan (Trombonist, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Willie Moreno), Charlie Garcia (Trombonist, Wille Colon, Lebron Bros.), Ray Colon (Percussionist), Orlando Vega (Percussionist), Erik “Keki” Piza (Percussionist), among others.