Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Daniel Peña’s career as a percussionist began at the age of 8 years old, when he first learned how to play the cowbell. Coming from a rich musical legacy also helped shape Daniel’s passion for music. His father, an accordionist, and Daniel’s grandfather, a “tamborero” (tumbadora drum player) playing “perico ripiao” style merengue, were great influences in Daniel’s life. Daniel’s fire for music ignited into full blaze after attending Fania All Star salsa legends Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz’ stellar performance in his native country, realizing that his passion for music was larger than what he intended it to be.
Although Daniel used the Fania sound as his guide for percussionist training, he moved to New York City at the age of 16 and had the opportunity to joined an evangelical church band while taking classes with Roberto Arias and Carlos De Leon, learning to play congas and timbales. Later on, the noted Santos Rigo Irizarry trained Daniel utilizing the Fania sound, creating an indelible mark in Daniel’s musical training.
“The great body of work that the ‘Fania Sound’ provides is like a university of music. It’s a school of our great Latin American heritage and it is an honor to bring that love and respect I have for Fania in everything I do.”
Moving to Miami in 1999, Daniel played with Ana Mendez and the Rumbon del Caribe band, making many of his dreams as a musician come true. He played in the Tite Curet Alonso tribute concert alongside Fania greats Larry Harlow, Adalberto Santiago, Tito Allen, Justo Betancourt among others. Daniel has traveled the world and recorded as one of Miami’s top percussionists and has performed with erry Rivera, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Ismael Miranda, Ray de la Paz, Charlie Cruz, Cano Estremera, Cuco Valoy, Anthony Cruz, among others.
“Out of all the Fania greats, my biggest influence has to be the great Johnny Pacheco, for his musical legacy is what makes me want to become a better percussionist out of respect for the great musicians that are a part of the past, the present and future of Latin Music”.
Mr. Respect, as Daniel is affectionately called by his peers in the music industry, launched his own musical production entitled “Eleven” in 2014. “Eleven” implements his fugacious energy and musical magnetism in each song. In 2017 his second album “Sancocho” released. His most recent single Hijo del Cañaveral collaboration with Ismael Miranda & José Alberto “El Canario” was released on September 25, 2020 and released on May 28, 2021, his latest album “Traigo Melao” (Remastered Limited Edition).
Daniel Peña’s conga will play at the beat of his audience’s heart with his new production for a long time to come. A musical intellectual not only in percussion but also in musical production are qualities that are noted in each album and musical note he plays and produces. Daniel is a member of the “Latin Recording Academy” and of the “The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers”. He is an American Grammy winner and is part of the Remo family featuring his custom congas courtesy of Remo. He is also endorsed by Vic Firth, Soultone Cymbals, and Jorg Gray.
Daniel Peña is a proud member of the Latin Recording Academy and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.