Afanador, Jotan

  • Birth name: Jotan Afanador
  • Born: July 14, 1981 Bronx, NY USA
  • Genres: Jazz, latin jazz
  • Occupation: Musician
  • Instruments: Drums
  • Labels: BMG, EMI
  • Associated Acts: Peter Cincotti, Roselyn Sanchez, Zap Mama, Sergio Mendes, Frankie Jay, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Nina Sky, Tito Puente’s Big Band, Victor Manuel, Alexander Pires, Alejandro Montaner, Nelson Ned, Jerry Rivera, Olga Tanon, Yolandita Monge, Ana Barbara, Julio Sabala, Juan Carlos Alvarado, Danilo Montero, Jocelyn Arias, Renee Gonzalez, Sound of Praise.
  • On the Web: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Jotan, who has been playing drums since the age of 2, inherited his musical talent from his parents.  His father was a drummer and his mother was a gospel singer. At fourteen, Jotan had his first paying gig, and shortly thereafter, he began to play regularly at churches, theaters, clubs and studios.

Although he was a self-taught drummer, Jotan studied at Boy’s Harbor Conservatory of Music in Manhattan, New York, during his high school years where he was awarded the Tito Puente Scholarship. It was also around this time that Jotan played in the Broadway show Bring Out the Noise, Bring Out the Funk.

At the age of 21, Jotan participated in the competition for the World’s Fastest Drummer for the Hands in 2002’s Vans Warped Tour in New York. He was set a record by playing 1,123 single strokes in 60 seconds!  Since then, Jotan has been featured in shows like XSTV-Xtreme, VH1 Music First, and As Seen on TV.  Besides Jotan’s unique speed, his musical talent as a drummer has been showcased in a broad and varied list of television programs. He has appeared on The Wayne Brady Show, Tom Arnold’s Best Damn Sports Show, Cold Pizza, and The George López Show where he appeared with the group Aventura.

In addition to English-language television, Jotan’s bilingualism has enabled him to appear on Spanish-language television programs as well. In 2004, he did a drum solo in Univisión’s highest-rated television program, Sábado Gigante, hosted by Don Francisco. He has also appeared on numerous Puerto Rican television talk shows such as Anda pal’ cará and No te duermas, all promoting the island’s prestigious drumming event, Drummer’s Choir Day. It was during the Drummer’s Choir Day event on April 9, 2005, where Jotan once again set a new world record of 1,219 single strokes in 60 seconds before 20,000 viewers.

In addition to his many television appearances, Jotan has had the opportunity to play at well-known venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jacob Javis Center, Shea Stadium, Staple Center, The Blue Note and the MCI Center. He has also played in events such as Calle 8 Latin Festival in Miami, Florida, the JVC Jazz Festival, and for Project Dance, an event featuring New York’s top dancers.  His audience has included the sports world’s most talented athletes and coaches ranging from baseball’s major league, the NFL, and the NHL where he performed at the World Class Athlete and Coaches Conference held in Los Angeles, and when he played for the New York Yankees’ All-Star Catcher, Jorge Posada at The Jorge Posada Foundation. Afanador’s list of prestigious audience members even includes former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Throughout the years, Jotan has brought his creativity and different styles of playing to the stage with renowned and musically diverse artists.  He has joined artists and bands such as Sergio Mendes, Frankie Jay, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Tito Puente’s Big Band, Victor Manuel, and Olga Tañón, among others.

Most recently, Jotan has played with the bachata music group, Aventura.  In 2006, he played with them before one million fans, the group’s largest crowd yet. Aventura has been, without a doubt, the most recently acclaimed Sony Music Latin boy band. They are Latin Grammy winners, Billboard record breakers, the most heard band on Spanish radio stations in the U.S. and Latin America, as well as the group that sold out more concerts than any other artist in 2008. Jotan has toured and recorded on the most recent Aventura album K.O.B Live, Sold Out at Madison Square Garden.

Jotan’s achievements also include performing a solo for Lady Gaga, and recording for superstar Jennifer López.

Jotan is by all means an international artist having toured extensively in Canada, Central and South America, the Netherlands, France, and England.

In 2011, Jotan was featured on the TBS sitcom TV show called Are We There Yet?, produced by rapper actor Ice Cube.

Jotan’s main goals are taking his drum playing all over the world and to inspire and touch the lives of many, both drummers and non-drummers alike.

I first met Jotan when I became involved with the World’s Fastest Drummer Competition where I set a record for fastest hands at Winter NAMM 2004. We spent hours working out together and sharing each other’s drumming methods – my Tension Free Drumming system and his Shakin’ Vibrations. 

Check out Jotan’s videos on his YouTube Channel.

Have fun and stay loose,

–Tiger Bill