Celio Gonzalez, Jr. is someone who has overcome what to others might have been the physical limitation of not having fully formed hands, to be an outstanding all around percussionist. From bata-drum devotionals to spicy-hot salsa, Celio plays a diverse range of musical styles. He began performing at a young age, sharing stages across Latin America with his father, Cuban singer Celio Gonzalez, Sr. (whose performance credits have included working with Tito Puente and Johnny Pacheco). I had met Celio's father around 1969 when he performed at a small club called El Torero on Broadway in New York with the Cuban pianist, Julio Gutierrez.
Celio, Jr. has gone to perform with legendary Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez, as well as with Celia Cruz, Francesco Cespedes, Sonora Matancera, Ricardo Arjona & Aleks Syntek. Based in Mexico, Celio appears frequently on that country's salsa TV channel, and can also be seen in live concert videos with mambo man Cachao.