Fidel Morales is a Cuban drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, author, and educator.
As a drummer, he has played with musicians such as Danilo Pérez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Giovanni Hidalgo, Nicolás Reynoso, Eddie Gómez, John Faddis, Mark Kramer, Mike Orta, Gary Campbell, Gary Keller, Vic Juris, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Eddie “Guagua” Rivera, Carlos Garnett, Carli Muñoz, Charlie Sepúlveda, Víctor Boa, Mauricio Smith, and the Hologram Quartet, among others. He has also accompanied soloists such as Omara Portuondo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Elena Burke, Malena, Celeste Mendoza, Bárbara Wilson, Roberto Roena, Albita, María Martha Serra Lima, Basilio, Chichí Peralta, and Noriko.
Fidel has toured extensively around the world, having traveled on music engagements through Austria, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.
In 1990, he directed the salsa and timba group Orquesta Layé, creating the music and appearing in public performances with important Cuban choreographers such as Tomás Morales, Alberto Concepción and Andrés Gutiérrez, from the famous nightclubs Tropicana and Parisién. He is considered one of the creators of the timba genre in Cuba.
Fidel is the composer of Cuban dance classics “La Expresiva” and “Mamina”, among others. Artists from Cuba, the United States, and Puerto Rico have recorded his compositions. He contributed as well in the CD “Bajando Gervasio”, by Amadito Valdés, nominated for 2004 GRAMMY Awards. The documentary Seguir a través de los años (To Follow Through the Years), by Daniel Diez, is inspired in his music. His album Salsa Son Timba was released in 2005, and reissued in 2010.
Fidel has worked as Lecturer of Percussion in Panama’s National Conservatory. He has taught Drum Clinics & Workshops in Europe, Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Chile, and United States, for students from the Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Drummers Collective, the University of Miami, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, and the University of Puerto Rico, among many others.
At present, Morales is Head of Jazz Drums of the Jazz and Caribbean Music Department at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and former director of the Jazz Department. He also offers private lessons in his school of drums and percussion Estudio 20 (http://estudio-20.c0m), and is, as well, an active clinician.
Fidel is director of his own band: the Fidel Morales Afro-Cuban Jazz Group.
Fidel is endorsed by Vic Firth, Latin Percussion (LP), Gretsch, Gibraltar, and Paiste.
Fidel Morales’s tracks