Teaching Artists

Hector Morales

HECTOR MORALES | Afro-Peruvian Percussion & Latin Jazz

Meet Hector:

During my teen years in Lima, Peru, I became familiar with jazz music and fell in love with it. The great jazz drummers became my idols. Soon it became my dream to come to the Untied States and learn jazz. I wanted to speak two musical languages born out of the same mother tongue, Afro-Peruvian and jazz. In 1999, I arrived in New York with all my clothes stuffed inside my cajón drum. I enrolled at William Paterson University and studied jazz.

My passion for music and for sharing it opened many doors for me, especially in schools, where I wanted to share the story of my people’s music with young people. Since 2003, I have been teaching in NYC schools through wonderful arts organizations like City Lore. My approach to teaching is as a mediator, a bridge between cultures, between sounds: the drum set with its cymbals and marching drums speaking the sound of jazz and the cajón with its cutting highs and deep low wooden tones speaking the sounds of Afro-Peruvian music. What would they say to each other?

Hector’s bio:

As a drummer and percussionist I have combined live national and international performance for the past 13 years through my work as a teaching artist in the Tri-State area. I have authored the The Afro-Peruvian Percussion Ensemble, an instructional book and DVD nominated “Best Educational Book of 2014” by Modern Drummer Magazine. I was granted the “2015 Artist of the Year Award” by Young Audiences and in addition to this work, have led professional development workshops for music educators in conferences such as Face to Face.  I have also performed on international stages including Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Folk Festival.  I currently perform with influential ensembles in NYC’s Afro-Peruvian jazz scene, including Yuri Juarez’s group Afroperuano and The Afro-Peruvian Ensemble.

Learn more about Hector’s art and experience on his website.

More About Hector:

Read what Hector has to say in his students in his letter to students!


Sample Residencies:


What students and teachers say about Hector:



  • Students practicing the Afro-Peruvian technique they have learned

To see Hector’s teaching in action and for a deeper look at our residencies, check out Artists in the Urban Classroom. This short video gives an overview of what we do, how our approach works, and how it impacts learners:

You can also see Hector’s pedagogy in Roots, Routes, & Rhythms, City Lore’s arts education program that engages students in investigating the roots of contemporary music and dance cultures in their boroughs and neighborhoods:


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