Eric Velez is one of the most respected Latino percussionists of his generation. He is of Puerto Rican descent, and was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Eric learned to play congas, bongos, and timbales at the young age of three with the assistance of his brother. His first musical performance was with Grupo Fascinacion at the age of fifteen. At the age of seventeen, Eric played with Eddie Palmieri and in 1993 made his first recording with Marc Anthony for the movie soundtrack “Carlito’s Way.” In 1996, Eric continued to record under RMM Records with producer Isidro Infante. Eric also traveled with the RMM Band, featuring Tito Puente. In 1997, Eric joined Marc Anthony’s band and later that year performed for President Clinton’s 1997 Inaugural Ceremony. A year later, Eric recorded with Celia Cruz. In 1999, Eric joined D.L.G. and also recorded with various artists under record producer Sergio George.
Between 2000 and 2004, Eric performed with Marc Anthony on two tours, several TV shows, including Jay Leno, as well as the HBO Special: Marc Anthony the Concert. In 2005, Eric joined the “Juntos en Concierto Tour” featuring Marc Anthony. Later that year, Eric and his brother, Joe Juicy Jusino recorded a Salsa CD titled, “Juicy and Eric – Huracan.” In 2006, Eric went on another “Juntos en Concierto Tour 2” featuring Marc Anthony. In October, Eric recorded with Marc Anthony for “Marc Anthony in Tenerife.” In 2007, Eric continued to play with Marc Anthony and also began playing percussion with Jennifer Lopez and appeared on American Idol and David Letterman. The following year, Drum! Magazine named Eric “Runner-up for Percussion Rising Star.”
In 2009, Toca Percussion launched the Eric Velez Signature Series Congas and Bongos. In October, Eric returned to the White House and performed with Marc Anthony for the “Fiesta Latina” performance. Eric has received many renowned distinctions, including another award by Drum! Magazine in 2009. He was named “Live Percussionist of the Year,” “Runner-up Percussionist of the Year,” “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year,” and “Runner-up Percussion Product of the Year.” In 2010, Eric’s influence was significantly recognized once again when he was awarded Drum! Magazine’s “Runner-up Live Performer of the Year” and “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year.” In May 2011, Eric performed with Marc Anthony during the season finale of American Idol. Once again, his accomplishments were recognized when Eric received the award for “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year” by Drum! Magazine.
In 2012, Eric performed with Marc Anthony during the finale of Q’Viva: The Chosen. In June, Eric played for President Obama at the “Latinos for Obama Fundraiser” at the Jackie Gleason Theater. That same year, Eric received an award by Drum! Magazine as “Runner-up Latin Percussionist of the Year.” Eric toured this summer with the “GIGANT3S Tour” featuring Marc Anthony. He will be ending the year in Latin America with the “GIGANT2S Tour” featuring Marc Anthony.