Mike Gonzalez – Congas

Instructor Mike Gonzalez

Mike Gonzalez – Congas & Percussion

What instruments do you play?
Drums, congas, bongos, timbales, shaker, chekere, guiro, maracas, cowbell(yes, you always need more), clave and have always been a singer.

Who are your musical influences?
Prince, James Brown, Giovanni Hidalgo, Chacao, Robi Rosa, Changito, Bobby Sanabria, Tito Puente & the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.

What was your favorite gig?
We were opening up for latin rock’s Enanitos Verdes at teh Palladium ni NYC. We took to the stage dressed up in the tackiest purple and gray suits you could imagine we had bought in a basement thrift shop. Everbody looked at us like we were crazy. We played to a packed house and had a blast. I think I wore that suit to my wedding 😉

What is your favorite percussion instrument to play and why?
Congas. Aside from being lots of fun to play, it’s a big part of my puerto rican heritage. It’s also a very raw instrument due to the fact that it’s hardly ever amplified and you need to come across with a wide range of dynamics. you really need to cut through the band, whether playing in a rock setting or a latin ensemble.

Is there an instrument that you still want to learn?
Piano or blues guitar. I play a little guitar but need to take it to the next level.

What is the key, in your opinion to learning a new instrument effectively?
You have to be patient, be a good listener and above all, be dedicated to your instrument.

~Mike Gonzalez