Percussionist

Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN

Latin jazz percussionist Pablo Batista has developed a reputation as one of most versatile and hardworking players in Latin jazz and modern jazz, and in R&B and funk circles. Born to immigrant Puerto Rican parents in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Batista honed his skills playing in school bands. But his main love was playing Afro-Cuban and Latin music, which he started at the age of nine with his mentor and master percussionist Miguel Candia, also a teacher of the renowned drummer Giovanni Hidalgo.

Temple University

We mourn the loss of Philadelphia percussion legend, Alan Abel, who was a guru to generations of percussionists. He died on April 25, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. You can hear his warmth, creativity, and sense of humor in this 2012 WRTI feature, as well as the feelings of admiration and affection from his colleagues who now carry on.