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Courses Taught

Latin Jazz Ensemble

African Roots Jazz


MA, Composition, Mills College

BA, Music, Mills College


Rebeca Mauleón Quintet

Rebeca Mauleón & AfroKuban Fusion

Awards and Distinctions

Meet The Composer New Residencies Award

SFJAZZ Beacon Award

Sundance Composers Fellow

Mauleón demonstrates the passion and creative energy that maintain the Bay Area as a hotbed of Latin Jazz."

— Jazz Observer


What is your hometown?

San Francisco, CA

What is your favorite recording?

The Best of Irakere.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Flamenco, Cuban history and culture, education, and social justice.

Who were your major teachers?

Chucho Valdés, Pauline Oliveros, and David Bernstein.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“There are no wrong notes, only wrong rhythms.”

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

“What can I do to improve my sense of time?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When Tito Puente complimented my chordal comping.

What was a turning point in your career?

Being commissioned by Tito Puente to compose for his Latin Jazz ensemble.

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


What is your daily practice routine?

I am extremely undisciplined; I practice when I am inspired.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Thelonious Monk, Ernesto Lecuona, Lennon/McCartney.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

1958, Havana, Cuba.

What are your most important collaborations?

Tito Puente (commissioned composition & commissioned arrangements)

Mickey Hart ("Spirit Into Sound")

Chucho Valdés (current book project).

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Matt Wong, Mariah Parker, and Yazmin Bowers.

What are your academic publications?

The Latin Real Book

101 Montunos

The Salsa Guidebook

What recordings can we hear you on?

Rebeca Mauleón, Descarga en California, Universal/Pimienta, 2006

Mickey Hart, Spirit Into Sound, Grateful Dead Records, 2000

Tito Puente, Royal 'T', Concord Picante, 1993

Carlos Santana, Milagro, Polydor, 1992

Tito Puente, Goza Mi Timbal, Concord Picante, 1990 (Grammy Award Winner)

What is your unrealized project?

Scoring a feature film.