Teaching Artists

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

Drummer and percussionist Hector Morales has combined live national and international performance for the past 13 years with his work as a teaching artist in the Tri-State area. He is the author of the The Afro-Peruvian Percussion Ensemble, an instructional book and DVD nominated “Best Educational Book of 2014” by Modern Drummer Magazine. As an educator, Hector was granted the “2015 Artist of the Year Award” by Young Audiences. His credits also include leading professional development workshops for music educators in conferences such as Face to Face and performing on international stages including Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Folk Festival, Hector currently performs with influential ensembles in NYC’s Afro-Peruvian jazz scene, including Yuri Juarez’s group Afroperuano and The Afro-Peruvian Ensemble.

In the Classroom

Hector teaches the art forms of:

Hector’s past residencies in NYC schools include:

Here’s what a few students have said about Hector:


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:

More about Hector

Want to hear the sounds of Hector’s cajón drum? Want to catch him at his next concert? Check out Hector’s personal website here.

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