Carlos Caro, RJAM
  1. Faculty

Carlos Caro

Roots, Jazz, and American Music | Jazz Percussion

Courses Taught

  • Applied Latin Percussion
  • Master Class


  • Cuban Percussion Degree, ENIA (School of Arts Instructors, Havana)


  • The Simon Rowe Latin Jazz Project
  • Eddie Palmieri
  • Rebeca Mauleon
  • VL Trio
  • Bobi Cespedes

Awards and Distinctions

  • Latin Grammy, 2014 and 2015
  • EGREM Award, 1992

What is your hometown?

Modesto, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Irakere: Bacalao con Pan / Chano Pozo and Arsenio Rodriguez

What are you passionate about outside of music?

I am an avid reader of Latin American literature and I enjoy traveling and watching my son play baseball.

Who were your major teachers?

Nelson Torres and Tomas "Panga" Ramos.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“To be a good musician, listen to the roots of the music, and absorb the essence of the foundation.”

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Can you slow that down, please?”

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Working at a non-profit organization helping to promote the arts.

What is your daily practice routine?

I like to listen to many pieces of music, without playing first. Then I begin a slow warm-up process, study patterns, and finish with free improvisation.

What are your most important collaborations?

Eddie Palmieri, Sheila E., and Carlos Santana.

What are your academic publications?

"Muy Caliente! Afro-Cuban Play-Along CD and Book" by Rebeca Mauleon.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Vission Latina: Kitikimba Pa'ti, 2004, VL Sounds LLC
Vission Latina: Sonando Como Un Cañon, 2010, VL Sounds LLC
VL Trio: Tradicionando, 2012, VL Sounds LLC
VL Trio: New Season, 2014, Round Whirled Records

What is your unrealized project?

My goal is to record a piano/percussion album with my daughter.