Mauricio Herrera is one of the leading percussionists on New York’s Afro-Cuban jazz scene. He’s collaborated with some of the best jazz musicians of our time, including Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, David Sanchez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Christian Scott, and Yosvany Terry. But his connections to the sacred roots of Afro-Cuban music run deep, and he masterfully fuses traditional forms and techniques with an adventurous, wide-open approach.
Growing up in the eastern province of Holguin, Cuba, Maruicio was exposed to the deep traditions of sacred and ritual music. His family is very musical, and at age 7 he started on violin, but by 14 began studying percussion, where he found his niche. After graduation from the Jose Maria Ochoa Conservatory in Holguin, he began playing in various local popular and folkloric groups and was on faculty at Escuela Vocacional de Arte. In 1994 he moved to La Habana to broaden his horizons, where he played, toured, and recorded with artists such as Hector Valentin, Angel Bonne, La Barriada, Paulito FG, Manolito Simonet, ManoliÃÅn el Medico de la salsa, Pachito Alonso. In 2001 he relocated to Mexico where he played with several projects including Otra Idea Orquestra, Amaury Gutierrez, David Torrens, and many others.
In 2005, Mauricio moved to New York where he currently resides. He has played, recorded, and toured with an astonishing range of jazz and Afro-Cuban and Caribbean artists, from the in-the-pocket arrangements of flutist Mark Weinstein to the outside, ritual-influenced work of pianist David Virelles. His credits read like a who’s-who of jazz, including David Sanchez, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott – 90 Miles Project, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ignacio Berroa, Yerba Buena, Lila Downs, Manuel Valera and the New Cuban Express, Alfredo de la Fe, Bryan Lynch, Luis Perdomo, The Rodriguez Brothers, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Hector Martignon, Batyr Shukenov, La India, Spanish Harlem Orquestra, Steve Coleman, Jackie Terrasson, John Benitez, Mark Weinstein, Lew Soloff, Aruan Ortiz, Candido Camero, Yerba Buena, Osmany Paredes, Yosvany Terry, Pedro Martinez y Grupo Ibboru, Cimarron project, Francisco Mela, and many others.