DANIEL DÍAZ is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and creator of the “Tripandero,” an accessory he created with his father and uncle, which makes it possible for him to play three tambourines (panderetas) at once. Daniel explains: “When I play Plena solo, I also play congas, but I didn’t like the sound, and I had to be accompanied. To play three tambourines at once, I asked my father and uncle for help. We created an accessory and put two tambourines on the right and left sides. I am right-handed, so I had to work hard on keeping the rhythm with both hands. After a lot of practice, I was ready. Shortly after, I performed in Old San Juan on a tiny stage, which, to my surprise, became a party with thousands of people. Someone filmed it and posted the video on Facebook, which went viral. After seeing the results, I spent my entire savings to produce a high-quality video for YouTube, which also went viral. René Pérez, “Residente,” saw the video and invited me to his studio. We recorded Hijos del Canaveral, which led to tours and a performance at the Latin Grammys. Everything exploded from there. The Tripandero is my baby. Its objective is to promote the use of the Puerto Rican tambourines in all genres. It is my contribution to music and the world and continues to be the key to what I am today.”
Daniel was born in the municipality of Naranjito, close to the metro area. His father was passionate about music but worked to put food on the table. But, at home, he had a “music corner.” Every day, after work, he listened and drummed to salsa recordings. At eleven, Daniel expressed an interest in learning percussion. His father immediately enrolled him in classes with excellent Puerto Rican percussionists, and he joined the school band. After playing in different bands, festivals, and parties, Daniel studied at a music school in Cupey. There, he met friends, colleagues, and teachers and made important connections which led to a tour in Mexico.
Daniel mainly performs in Puerto Rico and has yet to make a record under his name. Still, you can find various videos featuring Daniel and his Tripandero on YouTube, which has become a vehicle for emerging Puerto Rican artists such as Norbert, producer and host of Sesiones Desde La Loma, which I highly recommend.
Here is another example of Daniel Díaz and Jafet Murguia’s percussion prowess and why Diaz and Murguia are names to watch.