Drummer, Percussionist & Architect born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Aldana is a multi-genre accompanist and educator based in Berkeley, California.
Aldana started experimenting with Latin music at a young age. Though he began as a self-taught musician, around age 15 he started focusing on Afro-Cuban grooves under Samuel Romero, a Latin Jazz drummer and educator who later became his mentor and close friend.
As a young musician, Aldana exposed himself to many styles, joining as many groups as possible, from Cumbia and Salsa to Rock, Funk and even Metal groups. Aldana emerged with a variety of tools and languages that later became part of how he approaches, expresses and understands music.
In 2011 Aldana received a degree in architecture with a specialty in combining music and sculpture concepts.
In the summer of 2012, he went on a bicycle tour with American Folk band “Los Ginger Ninjas”, performing throughout Mexico and the US and carrying their gear on bikes. Seeking musical development, networking and a “new life,” Aldana decided to move to California.
In 2013 Aldana was introduced into the Flamenco world by Maestro Guitarist Jason McGuire “El Rubio”, who became his teacher and mentor. After an intense year of focused work and development of this style decided to take The Jason McGuire Trio as a full time project; this project gave him a full spectrum of musical colors and possibilities, combining Flamenco, Jazz and Latin grooves with a big improvisational element. This became a very important project in his career as he was able to apply most of his creative and artistic background: drumming, graphic design and sound engineering. The result was a full-length self-titled album that changed his perspective on playing and listening to music.
Aldana has been 1st call percussionist of several Flamenco dance companies such as Caminos Flamencos led by Emmy Award winning Yaelisa, Theater Flamenco, La Tania Flamenco, Agua Clara Flamenco, The San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company and others.
Since then Aldana has travelled around Spain to study with the greatest percussionists in the Flamenco field such as Paquito Gonzalez and Israel Suarez “Piraña”.
Aldana has shared stage with renowned artists such as Legendary Rumbero John Santos, former Pedrito Martinez pianist Edgar Pantoja, Flamenco guitarists and Grammy Award winner Antonio Rey and Jose Luis de La Paz, Bay Area Bassist Jeff Chambers, Flamenco Pianist Alex Conde, Flamenco singers Mara Rey, Jose Mendez, Jesus Montoya, Manuel Moreno Carrasco, Flamenco Dancers Alfonso Losa, Andres Peña, Ivan Vargas, Juan Ogalla, Fanny Ara and may others.
In 2018 and 2019 Aldana collaborated and accompanied the Oakland Symphony led by Conductor Omid Zoufonoun. The first time performing a series composed and arranged by Flamenco pianist Alex Conde, and the second time with the Avalon Flamenco Suite composed by renowned Flamenco guitarist Jose Luis de la Paz.
Thanks to his career trajectory Aldana was granted a scholarship at the California Jazz Conservatory where he currently seeks a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies.
Aldana is now working on building an independent home studio and writing/composing some material of his own.
Marlon Aldana 2021