Five-time Grammy-nominated percussionist and US Artists Fontanals Fellow, John Santos, is one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world today. John is widely respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians in the field and was a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He has contributed to the international magazines Percussive Notes, Modern Drummer, Modern Percussionist, and Latin Percussionist. The San Francisco Bay Area community in which he still lives and works has presented him with numerous awards and honors for artistic excellence and social dedication. He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music, and has earned much respect and recognition as an educator, composer, and record and event producer. He’s been a prolific performer, composer, teacher, writer, radio programmer, and record/event producer whose career has spanned over 35 years.
John Santos was founder and director of the internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble (1985-2006), who released nine CDs with special guests from Puerto Rico, Cuba, NY, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, mostly on John’s Machete Records label.