Born and raised in San Juan, P.R., Rolando Morales-Matos began his musical studies at the prestigious performing-arts high school Escuela Libre de Música. He received his B.F.A. in music from Carnegie Mellon University, his M.A. from Duquesne University, and a Certificate of Professional Studies from Temple University.
He is a percussionist and assistant conductor with Disney's Lion King and performs and records regularly in New York City with various Latin jazz groups and chamber orchestras. He has recorded soundtracks for the films Failure to Launch and The Pink Panther and appears playing onscreen in the Disney movie Enchanted. Mr. Morales-Matos is a member of Ron Carter Foursight Jazz Quartet and is an extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
His career has taken him all over the world, from Spain to New Zealand, where he has held principal timpani and percussion positions with state orchestras.
He is the recipient of the 2006 Drum Magazine world beat percussionist-of-the-year award.
Mr. Morales-Matos, who also teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2001.