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Daniel Ponce

A star percussionist and one of the finest to come from Cuba since the heyday of Chano Pozo, Candido Cameron and Armanda Peraza, Daniel Ponce has displayed rhythmic mastery of both traditional Cuban sounds and contemporary African-American rhythms. Ponce's grandather was a famous bata drum player and gave his grandson his earliest training. Ponce played cowbell with Los Brillantes in Havana at 11. He switched to congas as a teen, and played with Comparso Federacion Estuniantil Universitario. He came to America in 1980, and soon moved to New York. Andy and Jerry Gonzales invited Ponce to sit in at the Village Gate, where he met saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera. He later played on a pair of D'Rivera albums, and did sessions for Eddie Palmieri. But producer/bassist Bill Laswell really aided Ponce. He landed him a session with Herbie Hancock that led to the critically and commercially successful release Future Shock in the mid-80s. Ponce did several sessions for OAO and Celluoid, and issued his first session as a leader, New York Now, in 1984. He's also led a pair of New York groups, New York Now and Jazzbata. Unfortunately, Ponce's session is no longer available on CD.
© Ron Wynn and Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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