Ramses Araya


Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Jazz Hand Drum Competition finalists: Pedro Martinez, Camilo Gaetan, Samuel Torres, Ramses Araya, Cristian Rivera

Ramses Araya’s educational experience began at the Conservatorio de Castella where he studied classical and latin
percussion. After graduation in 1988, he continued his classical percussion studies in the Youth Program of the National
Symphony Orchestra. Soon after this, in 1989, he received a full scholarship to attend one of the most prestigious arts
schools in Latinamerica; the Instituto Superior de las Artes in Havana Cuba. In Cuba, Ramses took full advantage not
only of the formal education that he was being taught, but also of the rich musical invironment that this country is
known for.In 1991 Ramses returned to Costa Rica to not only establish himself as one of the most in demand recording
session percussionist, but to also become part of a few of the leading dance bands in the scene. In the year 2000 Araya
formed “Timbaleo” his first project as a leader. With this Salsa band Ramses recorded one CD, “En Vivo En Costa Rica”
with Salsa legend Ruben Blades as a guest star, and, a live recording that has captured a lot of attention from the critics.
Around the same year he formed his first project as a leader Araya became part of Latin Great Ruben Blades’ touring and
recording band Editus Ensamble. With Blades he toured extensively in Latin America, Europe and the United States for 7
years and recorded two DVD’s ,“Encuentros” and “live in Cali”, as well as two CD’s; “Tiempos” and “Mundo”, both
Grammy award winning albums ("Tiempos", best latin pop album 2000, and "Mundo", Grammy and Latin Grammy
award winning , best world music album and best tropical contemporary album). Ramses Araya has participated
in many internationally renown competitions and Festivals such as “The Thelonius Monk Competition” in its
“Hand Percussion” edition in 2000, as well as “Todos los Tambores del Mundo” in Caracas Venezuela were he
taught several Master classes. Some of the Festivals he has had the priviledge to perform include the JVC Jazz
Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles
California, Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, and La Villete Jazz
Festival in France.Ramses Araya has also performed and recorded with world-class musicians
and artists such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Ignacio Berroa, Luis Conte, Diego Urcola, Avishai Cohen,
Dave Valentin, Victor Mendoza, Nestor Torres, Luis Muñoz, Jimmy Bosh, Ossi Melendez, Marc
Quiñones, Bobby Allende, Papo Luca, Irakere, Ralphy Irizarry,Strunz and Farah, Grupo Niche, Lalo
Rodriguez, Mikey Taveras, Cano Estremera, Juan Gabriel,Jhoan Sebastian, Fanny Lu, Alvaro Torres,
Lito Solanas, Daniela Mercury, Oloddum, Alejandro Lerner, Maria Rivas,Alquimia, Eric Rigler, Boca
Libre, Nelson Gonzalez, Papo Luca, Bobby Valentin y Roberto Roena, Gustavo Ramirez, Ramon
Stagnaro, Richard Cepeda, El Greco, Eddie Resto, Otmaro Ruiz, Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños del
Son, Opa Opa, The Echo Park Project, among others. As a Flamenco percussionist, which is
recognized as a true specialty, he has worked with world recognized Flamenco dancers like Teo Morca,
Angel Atienza,Juan Polvillo and Celina Zambon,Jorge Luis Perez, as well as Flamenco musicians such
as the legendary guitarist Victor Monge Serranito, Kai Narezo and the Flamenco Singer Jesus Montoya.


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