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#35 Karl Perazzo- Percussionist for Santana, Cal Tjader, Avance & More!

#35 Karl Perazzo- Percussionist for Santana, Cal Tjader, Avance & More!

- Update 8/30/2017, the episode that was originally uploaded was incomplete and got cut off. It was 52min long. The upload should be 1hr & 49min so refresh as necessary -

This episode starts with Music News and the first thing mentioned is the CD Baby DIY Musician Conference that was in Nashville. Damon got to play with Ari Herstand, writer of the blog Ari's Take and writer of the book How to Make it in the New Music Business.  Ari is a guest on Episode #14 with Fausto Cuevas. 

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Game of Thrones is bringing a rock musical to broadway. Apps that millenials cannot go are these with Amazon topping the list. 

Celebs like Beyoncé send money and aid to help out Houston from Hurricane Harvey and the Flooding. If you would like to help out you can skim through this article so you know which organizations are legit to keep you from getting scammed. 

The featured track is "La Maya" by the band Avance led by the special guest for this episode, Karl Perazzo. The album is called 'Seguimos' and you can get that track and more of the music here, here and here

Karl has recorded on tons of albums and toured with several artists and you can see some of those credits here, as well as the fact that he has played with Cal Tjader, Malo, Ray Obiedo, Prince and Andy Narell by the time he was 12. His life-long dream was realized in 1991 when he joined Santana to play timbales. Perazzo has also performed and recorded with Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie, Phish, The United Nations Orchestra and John Lee Hooker. He also has several side projects which he leads, including the popular Salsa band, Avance. In addition to performing and recording, Perazzo teaches percussion. Along with former Santana conguero Raul Rekow, Perazzo starred in LP's popular instructional video From Afro-Cuban to Rock, which breaks down the complex musical rhythms of Cuban percussion (as well as this video too).

Because of their unique chemistry and infectious teaching style, Perazzo and Rekow are a sure-fire hit with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Karl has teamed up with LP to create the LP Karl Perazzo Signature Series Timbales. 

Karl's first instrument were the bongos, which you can see in this video below...

Karl credits Armando Peraza with being a mentor, friend and inspiration with more than just music. Here is a video towards the end of Armando's time in the Santana Band and the beginning of Karl's tenure.  He also credits Romero Rochan with helping him get one of the first big breaks in his playing career playing salsa. He also was in a Cumbia band. There are different versions of Cumbia from different countries, but this is some of the Mexican based style of Cumbia

He mentions some of the difficulties of being Mexican and playing the music of Cuba and Puerto Rico. He drops the style called Huapango from Mexico which is commonly played at Quinceañeras.

If you're interested in checking out the type of car Karl splurged on when he started getting bigger gigs, you can check out the Mercury Cougar here

Karl hails from the Mission District of San Fransico and some of the artists that made that sound iconic were Cal Tjader and George Shearing for Jazz and Latin Jazz, but also the Latin Rock scene with Santana, Malo, War, Bandido, & Azteca. 


Karl talks about the ins and outs of the business of music several times in the episode. The aforementioned book by Ari Herstand "How to Make it in the New Music Business" helps spell that out and help independent musicians navigate and survive this business of music. 

Karl talks about how Mongo Santamaria taught him to practice on wood to make his sound more clear and crisp. He takes it a step further and talks about his martial arts training and how the Shaolin Monks can break stones

Some of the latin percussion players that inspired Karl are Willie Colon, Benny Valarde, Pete Escovedo, Peter Michael Escovedo, Juan Escovedo, Sheila E (and the rest of the Escovedo Family), John Santos, Harold Muniz, John Calloway, Mike Caraballo, & Jose "Chepito" Areas in addition so some of the aforementioned players. 

Karl was playing drums for Sheila E opening for Prince's Purple Rain tour when he got another break in his career. 

In addition to listening to Santana as a kid, Karl credits his family with making him listen to other artists too, like Al Di Meola.

If anyone else has trouble with flying, here are some suggestions from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America on how to deal with that. 

Some of the many drummers that Karl has played with in Santana are Gaylord Birch, Rodney Holmes, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Dennis Chambers, Billy Johnson, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Pepe Jiminez, & Cindy Blackman-Santana.

Some of the great percussionists were/are: Michael Carrabello, James Mingo Lewis, Pete Escovedo, Coke escovedo, Francisco Aguabella, Victor Pantoja,  Ndugu Chandler, Wilfredo de Los Reyes, Armando perazza, Jose "Chepito" Areas, Orestes Vilato, Raul Rekow & Paoli Mejias.

Karl uses Latin PercussionRemo Drumheads, Vater Sticks, Sabian Cymbals & Gibraltar Hardware exclusively. 

You can follow Karl on Facebook, Instagram and on tour with Santana

Special appearance by Marcos Lopez who you can listen to back in Episode #7.

#36 Eduardo Leandro- Percussionist with Duo Contexto, Conductor & Faculty at Stony Brook University

#36 Eduardo Leandro- Percussionist with Duo Contexto, Conductor & Faculty at Stony Brook University

#34 Daniel Sadownick- Percussionist for Screaming Headless Torsos, Taylor Swift, Nicholas Payton and More!

#34 Daniel Sadownick- Percussionist for Screaming Headless Torsos, Taylor Swift, Nicholas Payton and More!