“Álamo’s concentration and musicality cast a spell over the young audience….. and he was a charming presence in talking about the works he was presenting. A lovely and memorable evening.”
— Tom Moore (CVNC)
Dr. Juan Álamo is an internationally known performer, composer, and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees with Jazz as related field from the University of North Texas.
Originally from Cidra, Puerto Rico, Dr. Álamo has presented solo recitals at universities and percussion and jazz festivals throughout the United States, Central and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. He has been featured as a soloist and with Jazz ensembles in television and radio shows in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. Currently Juan is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Percussion Ensemble at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
As a Marimba soloist and percussionist, Álamo has presented recitals in different areas of United States, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Dr. Alamo has been featured in TV and Radio shows in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and United States. Also he has performed and shared the stage with renowned artist such as Keiko Abe, William Cahn, Ney Rosauro, Orlando Cotto, Steve Shick, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, John Wooton, Dave Samuels, Tom Toyama, Dan Moore, Michael Spiro, Ted Piltzecker and famous conductors such as Sergiu Comissiona and Krzyszt Penderecki.
His first solo marimba recording, Remembrance, was released in 2007. It features standard repertory as well as two of his compositions for marimba. In 2014, Dr. Álamo released his second CD, entitled Marimjazzia, featuring original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards such as “Afro Blues” and “Waltz for Debby.” Marimjazzia was selected to represent Parma Records at the 58th Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Latin Jazz Album,” and “Best Instrumental Solo.” His 2016 recording, Pursuing Freedom, was selected to represent Albany Records at the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Solo Classical Album.” His 2019 Latin Jazz album reached and remain for four weeks on the list of the top 50 jazz tunes in the US, and it has been praised by critics and musicians for his unique blend of classical marimba, Latin rhythms and jazz. In September of 2021, Dr. Álamo released his fourth solo marimba album Ensoãcion with Summit records featuring his originals compositions and arrangements of Bach’s Cello suites number one and five and Beethoven’s Bagatelles op. 119. In the summer of 2024, Álamo will be releasing his sixth studio album featuring his original compositions for marimba and big band.
Also as a composer, Dr. Álamo has several pieces published by major publishing companies such as; Musicion Publications, Row-Loff Productions, C. Alan Publications, and Mallet Work Inc. He has also collaborated with Arthur Lipner in the creation of the jazz vibes book Milt Jackson – Transcribed Solos of the Master. Dr. Álamo has also published two marimba methods, Music for Four Mallets: A Collection of Original Etudes for Beginners and Intermediate Marimba Players and Marimbissimo: A Musical Guide to Chord Voicing and Improvisation for Intermediate and Advance Marimba Players. Álamo is a performing clinician for Yamaha, Meinl Percussion, Innovative Percussion and Sabian.