Roxy Soundcheck: Spotlight on Sonido Costeño

Artwork by Juan Carlos Pinto

Roxy Bar checks in with Juan Manuel Morales, founder of the sensational Latin band Sonido Costeño as they get ready to heat things up this winter in the tristate area.


NAME: Juan Manuel Morales aka JuanMa, founder of Sonido Costeño ( Coastal Sounds).


HOMETOWN: San Juan, Puerto Rico.


MUSICAL TRAINING: Guitar lessons from Marta Gambo, Leonardo Eugurbida, Ted Dunbar, Earl McTyre & Ron Jackson. Puerto Rican Cuatro lessons from Paquito Lopez Cruz. Cuban Tres lessons from Nelson Gonzalez. And music theory at Juillard and Cornell.


FIRST GIGS: Cesar’s Palace, La Riviera, Umca Munca Hotel and Armando’s Hideaway in Puerto Rico. Also Two Boots in Brooklyn, NY and Gonzales y Gonzalez and SOB’s in NYC.


MY MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, George Benson, Pat Martino, Arsenio, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Pedrito Guzman jibaro jazz, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Ismael Miranda , Larry Harlow, Paco de Lucia, Andres Segovia.


WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Russel Malone, Gregory Porter, Esperanza Spalding, Al Jarreau, Los Van Van.


LATEST MUSICAL PROJECTS: New music recording of Sonido Costeño.


FAVORITE PLACE TO GO IN NYC: Roxy Bar, the Django, Iridium, Smoke, Blue Note, Sahadi’s IC, Standard Wormwood Distillery.


IN 2023 I HOPE TO: Complete a new recording, play lots of live gigs, and travel with Sonido Costeño.


WHY I LOVE PERFORMING AT THE ROXY BAR: The vibe! You get such a diversified audience with a very eclectic taste from all over the world enjoying and sharing our love of music.


Want to groove at home before catching a live performance? Get moving with some of Sonido Costeño’s favorite tunes.