Alex Acuña

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Alex Acuña
Fermatta Master Class Series Alex Acuña.jpg
Background information
Birth name Alejandro Neciosup Acuña
Born (1944-12-12) December 12, 1944 (age 70)
Pativilca, Peru
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, Afro-Cuban jazz
Occupation(s) Drummer, percussionist, teacher
Instruments Percussion
Associated acts Clare Fischer, Perez Prado, Weather Report, Koinonia

Alejandro Neciosup Acuña aka Alex Acuña (born December 12, 1944)[1] is a Peruvian drummer and percussionist, in the Afro-Cuban jazz style.


Born in Pativilca, Peru, Acuña played in local bands from the age of ten, and moved to Lima as a teenager. At the age of eighteen he joined the band of Perez Prado, and in 1967 he moved to Puerto Rico. In 1974 Acuña moved to Las Vegas, working with artists such as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross, and the following year he joined the jazz-fusion group Weather Report, appearing on the albums Black Market and Heavy Weather. Acuña left Weather Report in 1978, and became a session musician in California, recording and playing live with (amongst many others) Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Jim Walker, Chick Corea, Whitney Houston, Plácido Domingo, Phil Keaggy, Sergeant Petter, Sam Phillips, former Weather Report bandmates Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Beck, Roberta Flack, U2, Al Jarreau and Don Moen (singer). He can be found on recordings by musicians as culturally diverse as Javier Malosetti, Lee Ritenour, Peter Gabriel, Johnny Clegg, Roy Orbison, YellowJackets, Lalo Schiffrin, Oscar Feldman,Vanessa Rubin, Salif Keita, Matthew Garrison, Bobby Enriquez, Milton Nascimento, Don Grusin, The Imperials, Phil Keaggy, Jeff Linsky, Mijares, Rudy Regalado, John Patitucci, Sadao Watanabe, Lyle Mays, Diana Ross, David Benoit, Sergio Mendez, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne and Flavio Sala.

In the 1980s Acuña also recorded and toured with the Christian jazz band Koinonia, which featured session musicians Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Hadley Hockensmith, Harlan Rogers, and Bill Maxwell. He played on Willy DeVille's Crow Jane Alley album and in 1987 he teamed up with Elvis Presley's TCB Band for the Roy Orbison TV special "A Black and White Night". He played percussion on Blondie's number one hit "The Tide Is High".

He has also worked as an educator at University of California, Los Angeles and Berklee College of Music.

Selected discography[edit]


Gon Bops Percussion[2]

  • Alex Acuna Special Edition Congas
  • Alex Acuna Signature Timbales
  • Alex Acuna Special Edition Cajon
  • Alex Acuna Signature Cajon
  • Alex Acuna Special Edition Bongos
  • Alex Acuna Bells


  • Best Latin/Brazilian Percussionist, Modern Drummer's Readers Poll.


  1. ^ Collins, Catherine; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). "Acuña, Alex". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 11–12. ISBN 1561592846. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]