The musician, arranger and composer who has yet to find the time to record and write music for some of the most influential bands in existence.
One might think that working for Tito Puente’s famous band can keep a percussionist busy enough.
But musician, arranger and composer Jose Madera had found time to record and write music for some of the most influential bands in the world.
Before joining Tito Puente over 35 years ago, Madera played for four years with the famous Machito Orchestra and recorded with many R&B artists (including James Brown, Diana Ross, David Sanborn and Aztec Two – Step).
Jose musical director of Mambo Legends Orchestra
As an arranger for Fania Records, he participated in several commercial hits, and over the years has composed music for Fania All-Stars, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colón and Celia Cruz.
Despite having recorded some 75 albums in 20 years, as well as numerous radio jingles and movie soundtracks, Madera still had time for his other career: for 15 years he worked as a teacher and director at a privately funded performing arts high school in New York City.
Jose has written many arrangements for countless commercial Latino artists and has also recorded or worked with many of them.
Some of them include: Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Chico O’Farill, the Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Celia Cruz, Tito Rodriguez, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colon, Joe Farrell, Machito, Graciela, Mario Bauzá, Willie Rosario, Earl Klughand, Eddie Palmieri, to name a few. Jose also worked and recorded with many pop, R&B and jazz artists.
Some of them include Diana Ross, James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Paquito D’Rivera, George Benson and Lionel Hampton, among others.
Jose has participated in over 250 recordings. He has worked on several television show soundtracks, including The Simpsons, and several film soundtracks, including The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, where he was the musical arranger and conductor for the Tito Puente film segment.
Jose also taught the art of playing Latin percussion instruments at BOYS HARBOR in New York City for 28 years.
Jose has done and continues to do musical clinics around the country at various schools.
He was the musical director of the Latin Giants of Jazz from 2001 to 2009.
Jose continues his musical direction with Mambo Legends Orchestra, a band composed of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, which is dedicated to the execution of new and creative Latin and Latin Jazz concepts, as well as some of the music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente.
Jose has personally recreated and re-arranged much of the music that the bands performed during the heyday of the mambo at the Palladium Ballroom in New York City, which many critics consider to be the “Greatest and Most Innovative Era” in the history of Latin music.
Madera’s father, Jose “Pin” Madera, a saxophonist, was one of the original members of the Machito Afrocubans.
The young Jose was influenced by Machito’s drummer (“the best Latin Big Band drummer I’ve ever heard”). He was later influenced by José Mangual and Tito Puente himself.