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Manuel “Manotas” Ramirez

Multi-Percussionist, Educator at Fundagraez | Venezuela

Manuel “Manotaz’ Ramirez was born on November 22, 1981 in the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela. From an early age he became interested in music, and at 8 years old he’d already appeared on stage with professional musicians, playing percussion in GAITA.

He never had formal musical education until he reached his 4th and 5th year of education where he was found by the best teacher in the city Lic, Renny Morales, who taught him chords and encrypted the discipline with which he should do music. At school, he worked as a quatrist, guitarist and bassist. As time went by Manuel was in student choirs, piper groups and Latin music ensembles.

At the University, he joined a Latin music band as bassist, called Juvenile Salsa, and soon became a percussionist and vocalist. Soon after, he joined another band called Jamboree where he worked with professional piper groups in his city such as Birimbao, Gran Chiquinquira, Maragaita, Feel Gaitero, Saladillo De Rq, Gaitero Train, among others. Manuel also worked at Fundagraez (Foundation for the Academy of Gaita Ricardo Aguirre) for 6 years as an integral instructor teaching bagpipes to children and adults in colleges and universities.

He went through regionally and nationally recognized groups such as AS, where he served as percussionist and vocalist of the band in Latin pop rhythms and then in the CAIBO group, as an Afro-Venezuelan percussionist.

Manuel lived in Miami for 5 years where he had the opportunity to accompany Jen Carlos Canela, Cabás, and Maia as percussionist in their recordings and live performances.

He currently lives in Nashville where he’s had the opportunity to accompany La India De NY, Frankie Ruiz Jr., and regional groups such as Giovanni Rodríguez & 12 Manos – Winners of the NIMA award for best Latin jazz band in Nashville. Manuel is well known in Nashville as a Percussion Professor, Multi-Percussionist, Arranger and Music Producer.

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