Richie Gajate-Garcia is a drummer, percussionist, clinician and educator. He has traveled the world and recorded with many renown artists. His nickname is "El Pulpo" (which means the octopus in Spanish) a nickname given to him for his unique independence and ability to play multiple percussion instruments simultaneously.
Richie was voted to be one of the top Latin percussionists by his peers in the Modern Drummer Reader's Poll and one of the top Rock percussionists in DRUM! Magazine by its readers.
Gajate, who is Puerto Rican grew up on the island with friends of his father which included Tito Puente and Armando Peraza and an appreciation for salsa and a love for Latin percussion. Gajate obtained his bachelor's degree in Music Education from the Conservatory of Music in Chicago, as well as his teaching credentials.
Gajate is a sought after percussionist who has accompanied artists such as Phil Collins, Sting, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Diana Ross, Hiroshima, Patti Labelle, Amy Grant, Brooks and Dunn, Luis Miguel, John Denver, Art Garfunkel and many, many more.
He has recorded on soundtracks to films such as " The Italian Job", "Maid in Manhattan" with Jennifer Lopez, "I-Spy" with Eddie Murphy and the classic "The Mummy Returns" with the London Symphony. He is the percussionist of choice for the Disney studios and has played on many of the Disney Animated films such as; Kronk's New Groove, Emperor's New Groove, Brother Bear, Robots. Richie has toured the world as a top clinician for Latin Percussion Inc. and Sabian Cymbals Ltd. He has two instructional videos produced by LP and distributed by Warner Bros. entitled "Close-Up on Congas" and "Close-Up on Bongos and Timbales" from the Adventures in Rhythm series.
He is an author and has three instructional books on the market published by Warner Bros. Publications entitled "Play Timbales Now", "Play Congas Now" and "Play Bongos and Hand Percussion Now". Richie was also a contributing author to "DRUM!" Magazine.