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USALA MAGAZINE PRESENTS MOVER AND SHAKER OF THE MONTH – Pablo Batista, Master Percussionist

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Written by USALA Media Date: October 1st, 2019

Master percussionist Pablo Batista has performed, recorded and toured internationally for 30 years with some of the biggest stars in rhythm and blues, jazz, Latin, pop, and gospel.

Pablo Batista, Master percussionist.

Philadelphia, Pa.  On September 27th, 2019, Pa Communications and USALA Media had the distinct honor of recognizing Master percussionist Pablo Batista for National Hispanic Month.  A celebration from September 15 through Oct 15 recognizing the contributions of Hispanics and Latino Americans to this country’s history, heritage, and culture.

A son of Puerto Rican immigrant parents, Pablo Batista grew up in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, where he began studying Latin percussion at the age of 9. Starting with hand drums under the tutelage of master percussionist Miguel Candia, he went on to absorb popular Afro-Caribbean music styles and developed a special interest in salsa.


Mike Garcia and Pablo Batista

His education-oriented upbringing brought him to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a pre-law student in 1981.  There, he recorded a demo of folkloric percussion music, which came to the attention of Grover Washington Jr.  At that time, Grover Washington Jr was serving as producer for R&B star Jean Carne, and he invited Pablo into the studio to work professionally as a percussionist for the first time. The record, “Closer Than Close,” became a huge success.

Pablo has performed, recorded and toured internationally for 30 years with some of the biggest stars in rhythm and blues, jazz, Latin, pop and gospel. Artists with whom he has worked with include Alicia Keys, Patti Labelle, Kirk Franklin, Jill Scott, Gerald Levert, Jeffrey Osborne, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Diane Reeves, Norman Brown, Manny Oquendo and Libre, Eddie Palmieri, and Musiq. 


Mike Garcia, Roger Erro and Pablo Batista.

A drummer of unusually diverse talents, Pablo is highly regarded for his professionalism, tireless work ethic and ability to listen. He can integrate his playing into almost any style at the highest level of musicianship. In 2018, Pablo was the recipient of the distinguished Pew Fellowship Award in Folk Art.