WHO I AM
I’m a bassist/producer and music technologist based in Brooklyn, New York. I’m also an Ableton Certified Trainer and I’m currently a professor in the Electronic Production and Design department at Berklee College of Music. I’m also on the faculty of The Juilliard School and New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where I have designed the production and performance with Ableton Live courses. One of my proudest accomplishments, however, is the founding of the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory which since 2015 has provided music technology and production education to Latin America. In 2018, the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory partnered with DJLab in San Jose, Costa Rica to create Central America’s first electronic music production certificate program and Ableton Certified Training Center.
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and come from a family of musicians in my mother’s native land of Nicaragua. I trained on classical piano and and jazz bass at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School and was the first-ever student to complete the Level IV Jazz Certificate. I attended Harvard University where graduated Magna Cum Laude in History and also spent two semesters at Berklee College of Music as a Jazz Bass Performance major. Three weeks after graduating in 1997, I moved to New York City to work as a session bass player.
I have performed live countless times since arriving in NYC, first on bass and since 2005 on both bass and electronics. In my early years as a session bassist and keyboardist, I had the pleasure of playing in Broadway pit orchestras and performing with artists like Angelique Kidjo, The B-52’s, Stellastarr*, Toni Braxton and Peter Gabriel. As a bass player, I’ve performed in a huge range of venues throughout the U.S., Europe and South America, from Carnegie Hall to the old CBGB’s. I also played often in NYC’s underground electronic/queercore scene including the legendary Squeezebox and Homocorps parties.
In 2005, I formed a digital art/music collective called Comandante Zero. Our goal was to push the limits of incorporating laptops into live musical performance. From 2005-2015, we had the good fortune to play countless shows in NYC, Europe and South America, ranging from our own curated loft parties to clubs/festivals like Berlin’s Berghain and Colombia’s Festival de La Imagen. It was an exciting time to be in Brooklyn’s indie/electronic scene and we shared the stage with many incredible acts including the Brazilian Girls and The Juan Maclean.
Since 2015, my focus has been mainly on developing and performing with new interfaces for digital live performance. You can read more about the ideas behind my current live set here.
I have been extensively producing, primarily using Ableton Live, since 2005 and have maintained production studios in Brooklyn since that time. My specialty is disco/house, indie electronic, synthwave/retrowave and electronic music sound design. I have produced numerous records and music for film as well. Please go here to listen to some of my work. I have also worked in the studio with artists like: De La Soul’s DJ Maceo, Rachel Z, Omar Hakim, Honey Dijon, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio and DJ Spinna.
In addition to being a professor of electronic music sound design, production and performance, I am a curriculum designer and have created courses in electronic music and sound design for The Juilliard School, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, The Electronic Music Collective and DJLab (San Jose, Costa RIca).
I have also had the pleasure of being an Artist-In-Residence at Berklee College of Music and presenting worldwide at many universities and music festivals including: Harvard University, SXSW, Sonar (Barcelona), Universidad de Santiago (Chile), Argenlive (Buenos Aires), Universidad de Caldas (Manizales, Colombia), Technológico de Monterrey (Mexico City), International Museum and Library of Music (Bologna, Italy) and The Strøm Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark). I have also served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. State Department in Colombia, Chile and Denmark.