Eric Velez (US)
#Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez
Paiste Artist Since Oct 2007
17" Alpha Sensitive China
17" Alpha Thin Crash
10" Alpha Thin Splash
17" Signature Fast Crash
Eric Velez is one of the most influential Latino percussionists of this generation. He is of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Eric learned to play the congas, bongos, and timbales at the young age of three with the assistance of his brother, Jose Jusino. His first musical performance was with Grupo Fascinacion at the age of fifteen. Over the next two years, he performed with several world-renowned Salsa artists, such as: Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Ismael Miranda, Ray Sepulveda, Johnny Rivera, and Jose Alberto. At the age of seventeen, Eric also played with Eddie Palmieri and La India.
In 1993, Eric made his first recording with Marc Anthony for the movie soundtrack “Carlito’s Way.” For the next three years he played with Willie Colon. In 1996, Eric continued to record, this time under RMM Records where he joined an all-star band including Isidro Infante y La Elite, Oscar DeLeon, Jose Alberto, and Nuyorican Soul with Eddie Palmieri just to name a few. Eric traveled the world with the all-star band which featured Tito Puente (famous bandleader, percussionist, composer, and arranger) and Celia Cruz (Cuban singer who reigned for decades as the “Queen of Salsa Music”).
In 1997, Eric joined Marc Anthony’s band as a full-time conga player and a year later he performed with Marc Anthony for President Bill Clinton at the White House. That same year Eric recorded with Celia Cruz on the CD called “Mi Vida Cantar.” The following year, Eric joined the group D.L.G. while still playing with Marc Anthony. He traveled the world with D.L.G and also guest-appeared on the soap opera “The Guiding Light.” In 1999 Eric recorded with artists like Luis Damon, Charlie Cruz, and Charlie Cardona under record producer Sergio George.
Between 2000 and 2004, Eric has performed with Marc Anthony on 2 tours. He has performed on several TV shows, including the HBO Special Marc Anthony the Concert. Eric has appeared on the Grammys, Latin Grammys, Mad TV, Jay Leno Show, Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, VH1 Divas, The Today Show, Latin Billboards Awards, Los Premios Nuestro Awards, and The World Music Awards. Throughout this time, Eric also continued to play and travel with La India, Jimmy Bosch and Marc Anthony.
In 2005, Eric joined the “Juntos Tour” featuring Marc Anthony, Chayanne and Alejandro Fernandez. Later that year, Eric and his brother recorded a Salsa CD titled “Juicy and Eric – Huracan.” Eric played with the Jimmy Bosch Band in 2006 and participated in musical performances entitled “Salsa Vivaldi” along with the Chicago Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Denver Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony. Later that year Eric went on another “Juntos Tour” featuring Marc Anthony, Marco Antonio Solois, and Laura Pausini. In October, Eric recorded with Marc Anthony for a European TV special titled “Marc Anthony in Tenerife” with guest stars Jennifer Lopez, Rosario, and Antonio Carmona.
The following year, Eric continued playing with Marc Anthony, La India , Jimmy Bosch, and Conjunto Clasico. Eric also began playing percussion with Jennifer Lopez and appeared on the Ellen Show, American Idol, Good Morning America, and David Letterman. He also appeared with Jennifer Lopez on a promotional website entitled Walmart Soundcheck.
In 2008, Drum Magazine named Eric “Runner-up for Percussion Rising Star.” That same year he performed at the Montreal Drum Festival. Eric also held a clinic for the Pasic Drum Festival, including a week-long workshop and drum performances. That same year, he performed with Jennifer Lopez for the Seven Wonders of the World Ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2009 Eric performed with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez for the Obama Inauguration Ceremony. In October, Eric returned to the White House and performed with Marc Anthony for the “Fiesta Latina” performance.
Eric has received many renowned distinctions, including another award by Drum Magazine in 2009. He was named “Live Percussionist of the Year,” “Runner-up Percussionist of the Year,” “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year,” and “Runner-up Percussion Product of the Year.” That same year, he performed with Marc Anthony on the George Lopez Show.
In 2010, Eric’s influence was significantly recognized when he was awarded Drum Magazine’s “Runner-up Live Performer of the Year” and “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year.” He currently endorses for Toca Percussion, Remo Drum Heads, Paiste Cymbals, and Vic Firth Sticks while still playing full-time with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.