Alex Diaz

Born in Bani, Dominican Republic, Alex Diaz began playing music at an early age. At age 10 he enrolled at Jose Reyes Music School in his hometown. Soon he was lead snare drum in his town’s Municipal Band under Professor Amable Botello. A couple of years later he found himself performing with local bands such as Nina El Gago, Yeyen y su Bajo, Los Antillanos del Sabor, among other popular bands of the region. At age 16 he joined the group Los Juveniles del Sabor, whose lead vocalists were Ruby Perez and Aramis Camilo, considered among the best in the country. He continued to perform with local acts such as Julita del Rio and Sonido Latino.

In 1980 a young Alex relocated to New York City to try out the scene. His first gig was with Victor White, Dominican merengue singer famous with Wilfrido Vargas. Then the big break came, a call from Jazz Pianist Hilton Ruiz. This proved to be the catalyst for his making a name for himself among NYC finest percussionists. Soon after that his career took off performing with big names such as Tito Puente, Jose Figaro, Chucho Valdes, Mario Bauza and the Afro Cuban Band, Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nations Orch., Xavier Cugat, Ceila Cruz, Alfredo “ Chocolate” Armenteros, and Cachoao, just to name a few.

Currently in New York, Alex Diaz keeps busy performing with the ensemble Son de la Calle around New York City and international venues. He is considered the pioneer of the merengue-jazz concept, inherited by his mentor the great Mario Rivera” El Comandante,” considered the best Dominican musician ever! His project “ The Bebop Bogaloo Kings” is the First of many attempts in combining Jazz and Contemporary music with Santo Dominigo’s folkloric beat “ merengue.”

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