Marcos J. Lopez is one of the most promising multi-genre percussionists that broke through the music scene out of his native Puerto Rico. He’s armed with a reputation for his profound ability to transition seamlessly between diverse styles with great precision, thanks to a history of great and abundant influences from every part of the world. Marcos is leading an inspiring movement among the musicians of this time that has broad implications for the modern percussion performers.
Lopez began to make his path known with the salsa group N’Klabe. Following its inception, he has become unstoppable. He has toured and performed with figures like Cuban superstar Issac Delgado, Puerto Rican all-stars Wisin & Yandel and salsa veterans like Victor Manuelle, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tony Vega, Andy Montañez, Ismael Miranda, La India and Tito Nieves in venues like the Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall. Marcos has also appeared in ABC’s Good Morning America and the Late Night Show with Seth Meyers along pop duo Karmin.
As a Berklee College of Music alumni and after only 4 years as a New Yorker, Marcos Lopez has expanded his frontiers as a percussionist. He has appeared in countless recordings, including his contribution and featuring in major studio projects including Ceremony with Nea jazz master Dave Liebman, which was released in November 2014 and Maldades with Grammy winning artists Humberto Ramirez and Oskar Cartaya, released in 2015. He has become a member of the Max Weinberg Orchestra and has also been on tour with Multi-Grammy award winner Lila Downs, superstar Thalia as well as with the Grammy nominee band Plena Libre.
Thanks to family influences, including his grandfather Sammy Ayala, who was one of the founders of Cortijo y su Combo, Marcos began playing caribbean percussion instruments at age two. At age seven, he got into the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and at age twelve he was accepted in the Escuela Libre de Musica where he trained in classical percussion, graduating in 2006. Within that time, in 2005, he won a full scholarship from Berklee College of Music, from which he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Music Business & Management in 2011.
While at Berklee, Marcos was part of “La Timbistica”, a group of Latin Jazz with worldwide influences that represented the talent of the renowned college. They headlined the Heineken Jazz Fest in Puerto Rico, the Monterey Jazz Fest in California, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington D.C, the Saratoga Jazz Festival in NY,and many more. They were awarded Downbeat Magazine’s 2008 Jazz Group of the Year Award in the collegiate category.
As an educator, he has given percussion clinics and performances at The Montreal Drum Fest, PASIC, Berklee College of Music and in the Percussion Festival in The Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.
Marcos is continually working to reach new levels, musically and artistically. His evolution rests on a solid foundation layered with diligence and a strong work ethic that has been nourished by all his years in the music industry. These qualities manifest themselves in a form of professionalism rarely found in musicians his age and make him a treasure among the percussionists of this era.