Roberto Santamaria

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Roberto Santamaria (born June 7, 1963 in Havana , Cuba ) is a Cuban jazz musician and percussionist.


Roberto Santamaria is the nephew of the percussionist Mongo Santamaría , who is considered to be the co-founder of Afro Cuban jazz . Roberto Santamaria has been the head of the international Latin jazz band Roberto Santamaria and His Latin Jazz Stars since 2013 .

Live and act

Santamaria came into contact with percussionists early on. He learned how to play percussion and effect instruments from the musicians Changito, Oscar Valdez ( Irakere ) and above all from his uncle, Mongo Santamaría . This Afro-Cuban influence, which is characterized by a special technique when playing the conga, characterizes his performances.

Santamaria trained as an economist and immediately afterwards began to work as a musician. In Havana he played in clubs and bands. In 2001 he traveled to Dubai with the group "Caribean" for two years . In 2003 he returned to Cuba and founded his own band “Roberto Santamaria” there. A tribute concert for Mongo Santamaria in the jazz cafe of Havana was the breakthrough to a career with his own band. Appearances at the Jazz and Percussion Festival in the Cuban capital followed. In 2010 his band played the opening concert for the “Disco Festival of Havana”.

Since 2008 Santamaria has performed abroad, u. a. at the Jazz and Classic Days in Tübingen , at the Africa Festival in Bayreuth, at the Percussion Festival in Austria and in the first jazz club in Shanghai .

He also started working as a lecturer for drummers from Europe, Canada and Asia in the early 2000s. To this day Santamaria teaches beginners as well as professional musicians and introduces them to Afro-Cuban rhythms: Rumba , Guaguanco , Columbia, Vambu, Abakua, Bembe, Palo monte, Son montuno , Guaracha , Mambo , Cha Cha Cha , Songo , Mozambike, Timba , Changui . He teaches in Germany and Cuba. The language of instruction is English, German or Spanish.

Santamaria's latest project is the Latin jazz band Roberto Santamaria and His Latin Jazz Stars , whose leader Santamaria brings together international greats of Latin jazz: Joe Gallardo ( Grammy winner with the band of Mongo Santamaria), Hector Martignon (several times Grammy-nominated), Mike Mossmann and Leandro Saint-Hill. In the rhythm section, the Colombian talents Rodrigo Viallalon and Juan Camilo Villa (winner of Jugend musiziert ) play.

Today Roberto Santamaria lives mainly in Tübingen and travels regularly to his Cuban homeland.


  • Roberto Santamaria and His Latin Jazz Stars Fiesta Al Jazz (2013)
  • 6ix Toys feat. Roberto Santamaria Latin Pop (2011)

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