Richie Gajate Garcia, a Puerto Rican born in New York City, was raised on the island of Puerto Rico from the age of seven. Richie grew up with musical influences of his percussionist step father Doel Garcia and family friends like Tito Puente, Monchito Munoz and Armando Peraza.

Richie started his formal education at Springfield College and then went on to the Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he received his bachelor’s degree in music education. Since then, Richie has taught at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and the Los Angeles Music Academy known as LAMA in Pasadena, California. He is one of the top clinicians worldwide and has become an ambassador to the world teaching and demonstrating the art of drums and percussion with over 700 clinics to his credit. Richie has performed, recorded and toured the world as a drummer/percussionist for several major artists including Phil Collins, Sting, Diana Ross, Hiroshima, John Denver, Tito Puente and the Boston Pops. His experiences transcend musical genres from classical to pop, jazz, salsa, country and hip hop.

Richie has authored instructional books which include play along cds. He pioneered instructional drum/percussion videos long before dvds existed and currently has instructional dvds on the market. Countless musicians have credit Richie with their musical successes including his son, Roland Gajate Garcia who was nominated percussionist of the year by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine.

Richie himself has held that title and many more distinctions in the music community including performances on grammy winning and nominated projects. He has been an advocate for music in public schools and spoke on an educational panel for Bill Clinton during his presidency. Richie has invented the gajate bracket distributed by Latin Percussion Inc. which has impacted the genre of multi percussion and taken indepence to a new level. Richie’s nickname is “el pulpo” which means “the octopus”.

Richie lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife of 30 years Mary. His two adult sons are thriving in the music industry playing regularly on tv and touring with legends. Richie is a trendsetter who continues to passionately perform while he educate and mentors worldwide.

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