Jimmie Morales

Jimmie Morales

, Gilberto Santa Rosa

The RBI and Toca family are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, Jimmie Morales. Words cannot adequately express such a profound loss. He was more than just an incredible musician and maestro conguero, he was an inspiring human being. Few attain such a high level of mastery, influence and success and fewer still do so with the heart, humility and grace of Jimmie Morales. His departure is a hard hit both to us and to countless others. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.

Jimmie Morales was born in Connecticut in 1957, and then his family moved to Puerto Rico in 1967. Surrounded by salsa he took up congas with a vengeance, gleaning his style from the famed congueros, including Candido, Mongo Santamaria, Patato Valdez and Johnny Rodriguez. But Ray Barretto was Jimmie's beacon. "His style was so identifiable whether he was playing Latin or jazz. Style is something you have to work at."

Within a few months, Jimmie was playing with local bands, sharing his talent with the renowned singer Tito Allen, who would later on record with Barretto and Tipica 73 in New York.

In 1978 he hooked up with Willie Rosario and toured extensively, booked alongside Latin greats including the band Batacumbele, featuring a young Giovanni Hidalgo on congas. In 1986, Jimmie left Rosario and began a long tenure with famed salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa. All the while he was working the studios and continues adding titles to that huge discography of 300-recordings (and then some).

You may hear Jimmie Morales as a sideman with the artists previously mentioned as well as with Willie Col√≥n, Ismael Miranda, Tito Nieves, Juan Luis Guerra, Grupo Niche and Jerry Rivera, to name a few. Toca is proud that Jimmie Morales, a prolific conguero who crosses genres with ease, has joined the artist team. Mr. Slap has found his new home!