Ricky Gonzalez with SpyroGyra members Jay Beckenstein (sax), Dave Samuels (vibes/marimba), Julio Fernandez (guitars), Marc Quiñones (percussion), Oskar Cartaya (bass), Tony Cintron (drums). NY, 1999. Horn section: Barry Danielian (tpt), Scott Kreitzer (sx...
A driving force behind many of the hits by Latin artists for well over two decades, artist-producer Ricky Gonzalez defines the word “versatile”. The young veteran moves fluidly between genres, always exploring new ways to bring together the worlds of traditional and contemporary music. In recent years, he enjoyed a new kind of fulfillment when he produced Tito Nieves’ blockbuster hit “I Like It Like That”. It wasn’t so much that the single from the album of the same name went ‘gold’ on the Latino charts. More importantly, major mainstream corporations like Burger King, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC network) and, most recently, Verizon adopted the stylish beat and catchy lyrics to use in their national promotional campaigns.
A first-call pianist and multi-instrumentalist on the NY session scene, Ricky can be heard on hundreds of recordings. Currently, as the touring keyboardist/vocalist with Jennifer Lopez, Ricky crosses seamlessly between dance, pop and Latin genres. He can also be seen on tour with Latin superstar Marc Anthony, covering keyboard and vocal duties – a position he’s held for over 15 years. With other artists, he has been a feature at the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, as well as all major venues in the U.S. He has performed in the White House for former President Bill Clinton, as well as the Inaugural Ball and several presentations for President Barrack Obama. A short list of other artists he has performed or recorded with: Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Gilberto Santa Rosa, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Juan Luis Guerra, Spyro Gyra, Vanessa Williams, Dave Valentin, Willie Colon, the Fania All-Stars, Mongo Santamaria, hip-hop artist Fat Joe, Spanish rock group Mecano and many, many more. In 2010, he was hired as an orchestrator/arranger for Diana Ross’ international tour.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Ricky Gonzalez has been a musician all his life – playing drums by age three and consequently teaching himself piano at age thirteen. The young prodigy began touring with Latin-jazz legend Ray Barretto’s band as pianist at age sixteen. Almost immediately, his arrangements and playing style became a key ingredient in the band’s updated sound.
He studied classical composition at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School and went on to graduate from the City College of New York. There, he studied with jazz legend Ron Carter and with Pulitzer Prize-winning classical composer David De