Born in San Francisco, Santos grew up in a family of Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean musicians, surrounded by a rich cultural network and a thriving arts scene. After honing his skills as a percussionist, Santos soon began sharing the stage with the likes of Eddie Palmieri and Dizzy Gillespie. From 1976 to 1980, Santos directed the Orquestra Tipica Cienfuegos, and later directed the Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble. Today, he leads his own quartet that performs a mix of original music and the Afro-Latin songbook.
His most recent endeavor, the Afro-Latin Roots Project, involves three renowned masters of the music. Cuban percussion icon Orestes Vilató has performed alongside Ray Baretto and Cachao over the course of his illustrious career. Acclaimed vocalist Bobi Céspedes specializes in Afro-Caribbean music and culture, and delivers university lectures on Cuban folklore. Jose Roberto Hernandez brings his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist to the project. Their performance promises to be an exciting and interactive experience for Afro-Latin music enthusiasts and first-time listeners alike.