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Photograph: Carlos Tarrac
Kiko Jimenez was influenced by Afro-Caribbean Jazz at an early age. Originally mentored by Nei Maldonado, a Guiro legend in Puerto Rico. He formally studied Jazz at age 12. Kiko followed his path by becoming virtuoso on the guiro, bongos, congas, maracas, timbales and castanets. Studied La Clave and congas privately with percussionist Emilio Camacho from Cuba. Kiko honed his abilities in Jazz Ensembles at Humphrey's by the Bay, Croces, The Juke Joint, Casa de los Sueños-Mexico, and BB King House of Blues.
Kiko also had the privilege to be sponsored by drummer Skip Howlett known for his work with Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, as well as Cuban Bassist Ignacio Arango. For 3 years Kiko held a Sunday nightspot at Juke Joint in San Diego. Mr Jimenez obtained his Engineering degree in 1978 at the University of Puerto Rico.
“Since I was 7 years of age I devoted myself to Afro-Caribe music, my percussion carries my Afro-Spanish roots. Born raised and educated in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Santo Domingo and Brazil) those influences are very evident in my performance. My soul brings our music.”