José M. Aponte

Principal Lecturer of Drumset and Latin Percussion

Director of the Latin Jazz Lab Band

Director of Afro-Cuban ensemble

Director of Brazilian ensemble


Percussion, Instrumental Studies, Jazz Studies

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Bain Hall
Office #: 

Drumset artist, percussionist and educator José Aponte has performed throughout his career with artists such as Batacumbele, Carlos Guedes, Poncho Sánchez, Gino Vanelli, Brian Bromberg, Lyle Mays, Andy Narell, David Rudder, Fred Hamilton, Dan Haerle, Tracy Thorton, Lian Teague, Airto Moreira, Manuel Valera, Michael Spiro, Nestor Torres and Kurt Elling. As an artist and clinician, José has performed nationally and internationally at Bumbershoot Fest in Seattle, WA; Crescent Jazz Festival in Utah; San Juan Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico; Festival de Jazz in Lima, Perú; Costa Rica International Jazz Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica, Festival Internacional de percusión Tamborimba in Cali, Colombia, Jazz Melbourne Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and the Taipei International Percussion Summer Camp in Taiwan China.

A native from Carolina, Puerto Rico, José is a graduate musician with a bachelor’s degree in percussion from his homeland Conservatório de Música de Puerto Rico, an artist diploma from The Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California and a master of music degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas.

He currently holds a full-time faculty position for the percussion and jazz studies programs at the University of North Texas College of Music where he is an instructor of drum set and Latin percussion as well as the director of the UNT Latin Jazz Lab Band, the UNT Afro-Cuban ensemble and the UNT Brazilian ensemble. José also is an active member of the Dallas/Fort Worth musical scene as a freelance performer and studio musician with groups such as, Justin Cash Jazz Fusion trio; Hip Van Winkles; Carabali Salsa Band; El Nuevo Mi Son Cuban Big Band; Daniel Pardo Latin Jazz Group; David Pierce Big Band; Tito Charneco’s “Diaspora” Jazz group as well as  his own groups: José Aponte and Caribe Club Latin Jazz Quintet; Batuque Brazilian jazz trio and Brasuka Brazilian Jazz group.

José is an artist/clinician for Yamaha drums, Meinl Percussion, Evans Drums Heads, ProMark Sticks and Sabian Cymbals.