David Santiago was born in Queens NY but spent his entire teenage years in Puerto Rico where he started learning about the folkloric music of the island. He later returned to NY and became interested in the piano and took lessons at the now gone East Harlem Music School. Without any real playing experience, he landed a spot with the Joe Cuba Sextet performing their trademark Boogaloo music after their original pianist had passed away and learned the tricks of the trade through trial and error. He had originally turned down the offer out of fear in spite of their assurances. Although far from being an accomplished keyboardist, he kept growing with the group under Joe’s insistence up until his death in 2009. Sangha Tierra now presents a new challenge for David as the group performs a variety of styles not previously familiar with, performance wise. Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Latin, Fusion, R&B, Funk and other world music is the letter of the day for the group and once again steadily growing with so much beautiful music around him.
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