Tony Batista is widely considered to be one of a handful of virtuoso jazz bassists in Puerto Rico. He has played countless times with jazz legends from the Caribbean to New York, throughout Europe and South America.
His professional career began at age 16 in 1986 with Christian groups in Puerto Rico that included Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz. After graduating from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in 1988, he began performing in concerts and on television in Puerto Rico with well-known salsa and merengue bands on the island. It was his passion for jazz however, influenced by legendary jazz bassists Jaco Pastorius and Paul Chambers, that allowed Tony to quickly be discovered by well-known Latin Jazz performers in Puerto Rico and New York. In 1995, he began performing regularly with famous Latin Jazz performers including Eddie Palmieri, Jerry Gonzalez, Danilo Perez, Papo Vazquez and Chico O’Farril, to name just a few.
In a career spanning 35 years, he has performed in many concerts and jazz festivals throughout the Americas and Europe. He has also recorded Latin Jazz albums with artists such as Papo Vazquez, William Cepeda and Furito Rios. It was an honor to have Tony, who performed with several of the Latin Jazz artists who's songs we pay tribute to on this recording.