"Changuito has done more to influence the Latin percussion world and the role of the timbales and drum set in the world than nearly any other artist in the last century.”
—Evan C. Gutierrez, All Music Guide
José Luis Quintana, or “Changuito” as he is best known throughout the world, is one of the most innovative drummers of our times. A living legend of Cuban culture, he is the artist considered most responsible for the polyrhythmic foundation of contemporary Cuban music. A 3-time Grammy Award winner, his musical genius continues to make him a major influence among today's musicians and a much sought-after performer, teacher and composer.
Changuito's extraordinary innovations on congas, timbales, and drumset have influenced countless drummers and other musicians around the world. His students include Giovanni Hidalgo, Dennis Chambers, Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow from Santana, Bay-Area legends Jesus Díaz, David Garibaldi, Dave Weckl, the Oscar-winning actor Andy Garcia and Greg Bissonnette. Other students include Miguel Valdes and Pepe Espinosa of the AfroCuban All-Stars, David Ortega, Patricio Díaz (Changuito’s first timbale student who studied with “el Maestro” for six years), and Miguel Angel “Miguelón” Rodriguez (his first drumset student).
Changuito has won 2 Grammy and 1 Latin Grammy Awards and 1 Latin Grammy Award Nomination:
1996: Latin Grammy nomination for Ritmo Y Candela—Rhythm At The Crossroads Patato, Changuito & Orestes also featuring Patato Valdes, Orestes Vilató, Joe Santiago, Rebeca Mauleón and Enrique Fernandez
1997: Grammy Award winner for “Habana” album performed with Roy Hargrove’s Crisol Band
2001: Latin Grammy Award winner for “La Rumba Soy Yo” with various Cuban artists
2004: Grammy Award winner for “Lágrimas Negras” with Bebo Valdés and Diego El Cigala