PRdream mourns the passing of Steve Berrios, February 24, 1945 – July 26, 2013

A Latin Jazz great, master of Jazz and Salsa. Born and raised in NYC of Puerto Rican parents. From the NY Times: “Mr. Berrios was a fixture of the New York Latin jazz scene for 40 years, playing in groups led by Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente and Grover Washington Jr.” Berrios is a founding member of the Fort Apache Band, the cutting-edge Latin jazz fusion ensemble led by Jerry Gonzalez.

Mr. Berrios grew up in Upper Manhattan with neighbors like Mr. Puente, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, all icons of Latin music and friends of his father, Steven Berrios, who was a professional drummer in dance bands.

In Berrios’ own words: “Most people look at the drummer as an ignorant timekeeper that doesn’t know anything about music or forms,” he said in the 2007 interview. “But a drummer has to be as intelligent as the horn players. He has to know the vernacular, the history of the music.” A horn player can take a break. A drummer never leaves. “We’re like royalty.”

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