Percussionist, educator, author and mentor Richie Gajate-Garcia has received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois in recognition of his contributions in the areas of the Arts and music education.. A long-time endorser of Latin Percussion, Dr. Gajate Garcia is one of the world’s most in-demand percussionists and educators. He is also the author of four instructional music books, a faculty instructor at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and the inventor of the popular Gajate Bracket and creative collaborator on LP’s Richie Gajate-Garcia Signature Series Congas, Bongos and Djembe. Founded in 1865, Lincoln University awards honorary degrees in recognition of individuals whose accomplishments and character embody Abraham Lincoln’s spirit of simplicity, sincerity and high achievement and are such that they would have been personally admired by President Lincoln.
“The entire LP Family is proud to share in this honor with Dr. Richie Gajate-Garcia,” said DW Founder and Chief Product Officer for Latin Percussion, Don Lombardi. “Richie’s long-time devotion to sharing his knowledge and experience with aspiring percussionists through his teaching, workshops and books is unsurpassed. His innovation in creating the Gajate Bracket, which has become the industry standard and a prized tool of drummers and percussionists, has left an indelible mark on our industry.”
Gajate-Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago which is where he launched his professional career working with Frankie Valli. His hybrid playing style of simultaneously playing drumset and percussion, earned Gajate-Garcia the affectionate nickname, of “El Pulpo” (The Octopus) in tribute to his independence and mastery of technique. Gajate-Garcia has performed with Phil Collins, Frankie Valli, Don Henley, Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, the Boston Pops and Ritchie Sambora to name a few. He has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Sting, John Denver, The London Symphony. He has worked on Oscar award-winning film scores and Grammy award winning and nominated projects. Mr. Gajate-Garcia’s career has taken him around the world, performing at such venues as Madison Square Garden, the Royal Albert Hall In London, The Hollywood Bowl and the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival stage in Japan.
He is also the proud father of musicians Roland, Tristan, Devin, and Lisette Gajate-Garcia. Richie, Tristan and Roland have performed together internationally. Roland is the house percussionist on Dancing with the Stars and has been a guest speaker at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the largest gathering of drummers and percussionists in the world. Richie and all 3 sons have all been guest performers on NBC’s The Voice.