Born in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico Percussionist Benny Maldonado started his musical journey, as a young child playing on pots and pans like any normal child would, but he had a keen sense of hearing that drove him to mimic percussion sounds as well as instruments and vocals. This was because of his parent’s backgrounds, having musicians in the family where music was played constantly.
Benny’s parents then moved to Chicago looking for better opportunities and a place to raise Benny and his brothers. Once in Chicago, new music was heard on the radio and in the streets that captured Benny’s attention and that’s where everything changed for him. The different styles of music Benny grew up listening to and mimicking, he finally found out what they all were, but his main love for percussion and drums is what drove him to have the career he has now.
Benny has formed part of many bands in Chicago and did a few recordings for local artists, Benny also backed up artists in the Salsa genre such as Cano Estremera, Paquito Guzman, Nino Segarra, Eddie Santiago, George Lamond and many others.
In his early years Benny was a DJ and converted to being a full time musician where he was able to feel creative on drums and percussion. Now residing in Florida, Benny has been on many recordings, in classes, and other performances. One of the recordings Benny took part in was with Latin Grammy nominee “Jose Valentino Ruiz”. Benny recorded on his Album, “I Make You Want To Move”, which was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album Of The Year 2015. This nomination boosted Benny to Latin Grammy nominated percussionist and arranger for his work on the album alongside Giovanni Hidalgo and other great musicians.
Benny has also been a part of the recording sessions at Paris Studios where the songs and albums are heard and played worldwide and also with the family ministry, By The Spirit Only, where Benny recorded all of the percussion and also engineered the recording.
As a percussionist always on call, Benny plays Congas, Timbales, Bongos, Minor percussion, Tambora, Guira, Drums and a wide variety of music genres from American Jazz, Funk, R&B, Disco, Rock, Blues to Latin Music such as Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Afro cuban and Puerto Rican Folklore music. Currently he is working on his own music, freelancing, and is in videos with the Orchestra Fuego. He will be auditioning with them for America’s Got Talent in early 2016.
Benny Maldonado Latin-Grammy nominated Percussionist/Arranger
Jose Valentino and The Latin Jazz Ensemble Latin Grammy nominated album “I Make You Want To Move” for Best Latin Jazz Album of The Year 2015.