Ignacio Berroa (born July 8, 1953 in Havana, Cuba) is a jazz drummer.



gnacio Berroa has been recognized as one of the greatest drummers of our times. He was honored by inclusion in the 2011 Mp3 compilation entitled “Jazz Drumming Legends” which features some of the most renowned drummers in Jazz history.


Ignacio Berroa was born in Havana Cuba on July 8 1953.

He began his musical education at age 11 at the National School of Arts and subsequently at Havana’s National Conservatory, beginning his professional career in 1970. By 1975 Ignacio had become Cuba’s most sought after drummer.


In 1980 he left his country during the Mariel boatlift and settled in New York City where he met the great Cuban musician Mario Bauza who introduced him to Dizzy Gillespie.


In August 1981 Gillespie invited Ignacio to join his quartet.


 Ignacio Berroa also took part of all the important bands Gillespie assembled during that decade such as: The Dizzy Gillespie 70th Anniversary Big Band, The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars Big Band and the Grammy Award winner, United Nation Orchestra. This relation lasted until Dizzy’s death. 


Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie best defined Ignacio as: “… the only Latin drummer in the world in the history of American music that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro Cuban music as well as Jazz…”


As an author and a renowned educator he made his mark with the instructional video: Mastering the Art of Afro–Cuban Drumming as well as the books: Groovin’ in Clave and A New Way of Groovin’. He also conducts clinics and master classes around the world


Ignacio has recorded and played with musicians of the stature of:  McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry,  Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Michael Brecker,  Milt Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente, Mario Bauzá, Lalo Schifrin, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Danilo Perez, Michel Camilo, Eliane Elias, Chico Bouarque, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Lenny Andrade, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, WDR Big Band and BBC Big Band to name a few. 


This review is from: Codes (Audio CD)

First off, this album is well recorded…you can almost hear the oxygen in the studio! Musically it offers drummer extaordinaire Berroa (hey, Dizzy Gillespie didn’t pick any slouches for sidemen!) a variety of settings and tempos for him and his sidemen (including well-seasoned tenorman David Sanchez and piano terror Gonzalo Rubalcaba)to take full advantage of while weaving magical musical tapestries. The original tunes, including one by Mr. Berroa himself, are strong melodically and grow on the listener with each repeated listening. Rhythmically (this is the DRUMMERS album!) they run the gamut from wistful and airy ballads, complex and twisting odd meter excursions, to driving Afro Cuban romps that will make you want to get up and shake something. And last but not least, Berroa and company give new and wonderful treatment to a couple of jazz classics, Gillespies “Woody N’ You”, and Wayne Shorter’s “Pinnochio”.
Hopefully the reader will get the opportunity to hear Ignacio Berroa and his group live somewhere, sometime soon (I recentlly heard them at Jazz Alley in Seattle, and they KILLED!). For those who may have to wait awhile for the chance however, CODES is a wonderful way to pass the time!


Jazz Drumming Legends

BBC Jazz Legends Dizzy Gillespie 70th Anniversary Big Band

Dizzy Gillespie and The United Nations Orchestra

La Leyenda de la Hora - McCoy Tyner

Batacumbele Con Un Poco de Songo - Batacumbele`

Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Inner Voyage

Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Supernova

Paseo - Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Nocturne - Charlie Haden

Land of The Sun - Charlie Haden

The Journey - Danilo Perez

Golden Latin Jazz All Stars in Session - Tito Puente

An Answer to Your Silence - Luciana Souza

Con El Permiso De Bola

Dizzy’s World - The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Stars