Bronx born and New York City raised, Matos assimilated much of the rich culture that thrives here. Fascinated by Afro-Cuban drumming and dancing, he was also inundated by the jazz and rhythm & blues that have always been a part of the New York scene. By the time he was in high school he was performing, singing, dancing, and drumming as often as he could.
He worked with many different artists in New York: from Greenwich Village coffee houses to smoky after hours clubs in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem); from first class cabarets to crowded dives; from dance halls to Carnegie Hall; always absorbing the music that he loved.
Matos began doing record dates, live shows, working in Europe, and touring the United States with pop icons and theater groups, as well as jazz and Latin groups, but always studying with master drummers in neo-African traditions (while he studied music theory, harmony, composition, and arrangement as well).
He composed and arranged music for the theater and Latin jazz and salsa groups. After moving to Los Angeles, he continued in the same vein until he formed his own Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble. He has recorded five CDs for the Ubiquity/Cubop label Changos Dance, Footprints, Sessions, Live at MOCA and Mambo Jazz.
Matos has also received state and city grants for his artistic projects, and taken his group into the school system, illustrating the multi-cultural aspects of Afro Latin music.
Most recently, Matos and his band have been playing the jazz festival and club circuit, sharing bills with renowned artists such as Earl Klugh, Jerry Gonzalez, McCoy Tyner, Kevin Eubanks, Pete Escovedo, Poncho Sanchez, Cassandra Wilson and Kevin Mahogany.
In his formative years he performed and recorded with a wealth of talented artists, including Bette Midler, the Rascals, Mongo Santamaria, Bobby Hutcherson, Luis Bonfa, Jim Croce, Miriam Makeeba, J.J. Jackson, Ben Vereen, Joe Loco, Tito Puente, Ralfi Pagan, Willie Bobo, Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers, Machito and more. In recent years he has produced recordings by Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers, Ray Armando, Dave Pike, Jack Costanzo, John Santos, the Latin Quarters, and Age of Light.
©2003 Community News Group
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