Latino music & culture

Nicky Marrero, Fania All-Star Percussionist

"Steeped in nostalgia, exploding into the future." Hispanic Mag.


This is NOT your average grandma's "salsa" group. Zon del Barrio is the intergenerational, creative and co-ed sound of Latin music genres from the mean streets of El Barrio and the Bronx.  If you like salsa, we do it "dura" hardcore style. If you like Boricua roots music, we do it Cortijo style & if you like it like that, Zon del Barrio does it like that with English language boogaloo. Zon del Barrio brings you music from the African Diaspora to the streets of New York. A high energy musical extravaganza that celebrates Latino traditions & culture, ZDB is led by BMI composer, writer & historian Aurora Flores.


Zon del Barrio is a play on the words "son" a musical genre found throughout Cuba, Dom. Republic & Puerto Rico and Barrio "Zone" where people of color work & struggle hard only to party just as hard.


Zon del Barrio debuted in June 2003 at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.  We've opened for the top names in Latin music and have taken our music around the world. We continue to forge alliances while training, educating, developing & promoting young talent.


Classic salsa, plena, bomba, Latin-jazz, boogaloos: lecture/demonstrations, music clinics & workshops and holiday Puertorican "parrandas."


            Considered one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting players of the timbal drum after Tito Puente, the ubiquitous drumming of master percussionist Nicky Marrero resounded throughout the iconic New York ‘70s music boom. Performing front and center for the Fania All-Stars, Nicky was born June 17, 1950, in the boogie down Bronx. As a teen, he jammed in vest-pocket parks with the late jazz legend Jerry Gonzalez. By 15 he played in the bands of Eddie Palmieri and Willie Colon. Influenced by Puente, Oreste Vilató and Manny Oquendo, Marrero’s style became a confluence of these masters who propelled the youngest, if not the tightest, of the rhythm rabble-rouser to perform around the world several times.

            He went on to record and share stages with Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Tipica ’73, Machito,as well as jazz and rock greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Santana, David Amram, Steely Dan, Bill Withers, Airto and Flora Moreira, Wynton Marsalis, Chico O’Farrill, Billy Cobham, Stevie Wonder, Manu Dibango, Average White Band, George Benson, and Xavier Cugat, among so many more.

           A first call musician, Nicky Marrero has earned his place in the pantheon of master Latin percussionists reigning in big bands from a thirty-piece Fania All-Star amalgam to a more intimate trio or quartet. He was a part of two Grammy award-winning Eddie Palmieri recordings and stood proudly among his musical brothers when the Fania All-Stars received The Ascap Latin Heritage Award in 2014.


             With a boyish charm and bubbling personality, Nicky Marrero’s rhythms and love for the music bring a big boost of energy and dynamism into every performance. #salsa #Faniaallstar #Latinjazz


Zon del Barrio, Music from the Streets of Latin N.Y.
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From the PBS Latino Blog:

         As clichéd as it sounds a picture really does paint a thousand words. Recently, I posted this photo to Facebook that generated over a thousand impressions and comments. The subject: Latinos and Jews.  

        Sid Caesar wails his sax oblicious to the shock and surprise of both the patrons and the Machito & his Afro-Cuban orchestra already set up on the stage.

          Click on the photo to read more.

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