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D.M.A., Associate Professor
Department of Music

Juan Álamo is an Associate Professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Music and a William Wilson Brown, Jr. Distinguished Term Associate Professor in Latin American Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees with Jazz as a related field from the University of North Texas. Originally from Cidra, Puerto Rico, Dr. Álamo has presented master classes and/or recitals at the Percussive Arts Society Convention as well as at universities, percussion and jazz festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. He has also been featured as a soloist with the Cali Philharmonic orchestra as well as with jazz ensembles and big bands in television and radio shows in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States.

Dr. Álamo has released five marimba recordings: Remembrance (2007), Marimjazzia (2014), Pursuing Freedom (2016), Ruta Panoramica (2019) and Ensoñación/Reverie (2021). Ruta Panoramica  reached and remained for four weeks on the list of the top 50 jazz tunes in the United States, and it has been praised by critics and musicians for his unique blend of classical marimba, Latin rhythms, and jazz. Additionally, Álamo has also recorded and/or shared the stage with renowned artists such as Keiko Abe, Steve Shick, Tito Puente, Dave Samuels, Michael Spiro, Branford Marsalis, Snarky Puppy, Krzyszt Penderecki, and Sergiu Comissiona.

As a composer, Álamo has written various unaccompanied marimba pieces, duets, and percussion ensemble pieces published by Innovative Percussion, Row-Loff Publications, C. Alan Publication, Musicon Publications and Mallet Work Inc. Additionally, Dr. Álamo is also the co-author of the jazz vibes book “Milt Jackson: Transcribed Solos of the Master.” He is also the author of “Four Mallet Music for the Modern Marimba Player,” a technique and pedagogical method for marimba that includes a collection of original etudes for beginners and intermediate-level marimba players.

Dr. Alamo is a performing artist and clinician for Yamaha and Meinl Percussion. He is also a member of the PAS (Percussive Arts Society) Keyboard Committee. More information about Dr. Álamo’s artistic career, compositions, recordings, and performance schedule can be found on his personal web site at,