I've been playing Percussion for 42 years. After seeing my brother join the local neighborhood band I quit taking piano lessons and started playing bongos so I could go to rehearsals. The piaon was too big to push down the street.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
I can't remember which concert was first. I do remember going to a Doors concert when "The Who" opened up for them!!!!! I must have been about 8 years old. But I also went to see Santana and Tower of Power not too long after that. When the Doors played I remember having to go to the bathroom and there was a man and a woman sitting on the floor smoking a joint. Of course, it kind of freaked me out!!! But seeing Armando Peraza and Chipito Arias play was a highlight at the Santana concert!
What gear do you use?
I use 3 congas djembe and assorted percussion... I don't have a company right now but I'm partial to Meinl Congas right now.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
My biggest influence was a drummer that grew up down the street from me named Marvin "Bugalu" Smith. He's the one that taught me how to swing and about giving everything for the sake of the music.. Of course I had my big brother Patrick who plays guitar and my Uncle Reggie played Jazz Organ.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I have my own band called "Project Koko".... But I played with Whitney Houston for 4 years, The Isley brothers for about 8 years, other artists that I have played with include Jermaine Jackson, Bebe and Cece Winans, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Winard Harper and Randy Weston. I have also recorded with tons of others including Carlos Santana and my adopted brother and teacher Luisito Quintero.....
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
I would have loved to play with John Coltrane.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
90,000 people at Wembley Stadium for Freedom Fest....