Tony Succar is a Latin Grammy-winning, Peruvian American, salsa and Latin jazz percussionist, videographer and producer.
In 2019, he won two Latin Grammys. “Más de Mi” won Best Salsa Album and Tony was named Producer of the Year. These were his fourth and fifth Latin Grammy nominations. He’s the youngest artist to win both categories.
Tony’s breakthrough was his 2015 concert and PBS TV special “Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson.”
Succar’s work has the clean rhythmic power of the Cubans, but with a touch of the sucia y sabroso (dirty and tasty) flavor of a Puerto Rican rhythm section.
We’re not sure where his sound comes from. It’s his musical family obviously. Salsa isn’t Peruvian, but there are Peruvian salsa songs. “Toro Mata” recorded by Celia Cruz and Willie Colón is the most famous example.
Many of us think of Peruvians as the Indigenous descendents of the Inca in the Andes. That’s true, but the Peruvian coastal plain was once full of plantations and the capital Lima was considered a Black city. We’re all kind of blended together now, but African rhythm is Peruvian too.
Though he is American, Tony works in Spanish. If you don’t speak, now you have a good reason to learn.
Tony Succar Más de Mi
Tony Succar’s “Más de Mi” documentary about his Latin Grammy winning album premieres on tonysuccar.com on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 9pm ET.
Succar is a multi-talented child prodigy, a bit of a Renaissance Man. He was born in Lima, Peru in 1986 and raised in Miami. There he found his voice in la salsa. Performing at Tony’s level takes almost superhuman effort. Going for it takes more of you than you think you have, but Tony has a lot to give. The salsa community loves him.
We interviewed Tony back in 2016 for “The Unity Project.” We took him to where Tito Puente’s old house used to be on 110th St (now Tito Puente Way) to pay our respects to the legend.
Then we did the interview at Duke Ellington Circle in Harlem because it’s the intersection of Black and Latin culture, of Harlem and “El Barrio” East Harlem, of Duke Ellington and Tito Puente. Duke Ellington (1899-1974) was America’s most prolific composer. Tito Puente is still the “King of Latin Music.” That’s why we’re in the film. [Thank you, Tony]
Tony is a vlogger who records everything. He always carries a camera and a gorilla tripod with him. He is so fast and seems to be always camera-ready. He was one of the first people we saw do that. He was live-streaming his life before that became a “thing” to do.
Media tours are tiring, but Tony seems to be always ready. He has a natural energy that seems endless, and it is natural. He now works with the biggest artists in the business. They all sing Tony’s praises. He’s a real American success story.
The Unity Project
Succar’s breakthrough was the 2015 concert and PBS TV special “Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson.” Black and Latin, Latin and Black, we are two sides of the same coin. We recognize ourselves in each other, and keep mixing our music together in endless fusions. Hearing Michael Jackson in salsa rhythm makes you fall in love with the music all over again.
Succar is a busy guy. He’s already working on his next project and world tour. Tony, whatever you do, we are very excited to see more of you.