Annette A. Aguilar is a San Francisco Nicaraguan jazz and rock drummer, percussionist, bandleader, producer, and educator based in New York City. Back in the day, she was part of the blooming of West Coast Rock scene as The Grateful Dead percussionist. She played with many legends including members of Santana, and Sheila E. Today she is an uptown girl.
Aguilar founded the Women in Latin Jazz Festival and is a U.S. State Department Latin Jazz Ambassador.
StringBeans is Aguilar’s ten-piece ensemble. It has been playing Latin and Brazilian jazz for 30 years in 2022. The band is named for its use of string instruments.
Basically Aguilar is an artist at the top of her game, who uses her girl power to elevate the next generation of women artists in jazz. Come to think of it, women are the guardians of culture, and Aguilar is a jazz angel.
Annette A. Aguilar in New York City
Latin Jazz Album Release
Annette Aguilar & String Beans celebrate the release of their new Latin jazz album, “In the North” a tribute to Upper Manhattan; at the United Palace in Washington Heights, Manhattan; on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 7pm (6:30pm doors). FREE tickets. unitedpalace.boletosexpress.com 🇳🇮
Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans
As an American Latin, Aguilar brings diverse influences into her music. We love her story because it is representative of who we are as Latins – the great mix (a little bit of everyone).
Born and raised in San Francisco to Nicaraguan parents, Aguilar grew up in San Francisco’s rock scene.
Aguilar has played with a long line of rock, rhythm and blues, Latin jazz and pop stars. She also performs on Broadway. She’s played Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. She was a percussionist for The Grateful Dead, played with members of Santana, and even Sheila E who is another amazing woman percussionist.
She studied classical music at San Francisco State, has a Masters from Manhattan School of Music, and another Masters in music education from City University of New York. She also studied Latin music at Boys Harbor Conservatory and with the Fort Apache Band. [Hint: get as much education as you can. It helps.]
Most Latin drummers are men, but Aguilar breaks that glass ceiling in the most elegant way. Just keep up with her if you can. Today nobody things twice about it, but back in the day, a woman percussionist was revolutionary. She founded the Women in Latin Jazz Festival in 2014.
Annette is now seeding the next generation of artists. She currently teaches percussion at the Third Street Music School Settlement in the East Village, and the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.
Aguilar gives a lot of love through her music. In return, she is much loved by New York City’s Latin Jazz community. Annette A. Aguilar is a true force of nature.
StringBeans in 2023
This was the StringBeans lineup for their 2023 Hostos Center concert.
- Annette A. Aguilar leader on conga, drums, marimba, and Brazilian percussion. @aaabeans 🇳🇮
- Deborah Resto on vocals.
- Rob Thomas on violin.
- Jennifer Vincent on cello.
- Eddie Venegas on violin and trombone.
- Karen Joseph on flute.
- Reut Regev on trombone.
- Ellen U. Adams on concert harp.
- Nicki Denner on piano and vocals.
- Ricky Rodriguez on electric bass.
- Renato Thomas on percussion.
- Willie Martinez on timbales and vocals.
- Norberto Goldberg on drums.