The artistic life of Puerto Rican composer/arranger/music director and instrumentalist Dr. Mariano Morales encompasses a wide spectrum of genres. He is a successful Contemporary Composer, a Jazz/Latin Jazz and Salsa Arranger, and an outstanding pianist/violinist. He is considered one of the most eclectic Latin musicians of his generation. Mariano’s work as a pianist and arranger can be heard in Grammy winning productions such as Marc Anthony’s “Contra la Corriente”, El Gran Combo's "Arroz con Habichuelas” and in recordings of artists such as Celia Cruz, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tito Nieves, Olga Tañón, India, Oscar de León, Jerry Rivera, Frankie Ruiz, Alex D’Castro, and Cheo Feliciano. Mariano Morales has performed and recorded (violin and piano) with leading pop artists such as: Andrea Bocelli, Franco D’ Vita, Ricardo Arjona, and Tego Calderón. He has toured internationally with Tito Nieves, Victor Manuelle, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Marc Anthony and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.
Morales has directed and performed internationally (piano and violin) with numerous Latin Jazz ensembles with guest artists such as Tito Puente, Nestor Torres, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Sánchez, Luis “Perico” Ortíz, Eddie Palmieri, Paoli Mejías and Dave Valentín. He has toured through the U.S. and Puerto Rico with his Latin Jazz Ensemble “Pikante”. Mariano has also performed as guest pianist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Arturo Somohano Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed in important venues such as the Birdland and Carnegie Hall in New York and in Festivals such as the Heineken Jazz Festivals, the New Mexico Jazz “Under the Stars Festival” and the Aruba Jazz Expo.
His arrangements include charts for Big Bands, Jazz Combos, String Ensembles, Brass Ensembles, Symphony Orchestras and Salsa Bands. His compositions include Orchestral and Chamber Music, music for Brass, Woodwinds, Piano, Strings and Vocal works. Mariano has composed, arranged, and produced Commercial jingles and music for public television programs and specials.
Morales has received numerous commissions and his compositions have been performed by distinguished ensembles amongst which are: the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Houston Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. His compositions have also been performed at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony.
Jazz musicians such as Miguel Zenon, (Puerto Rico), Brant Tilds (England), Bob Slapcoff (Canada), studied and began their Latin Jazz formation with Dr. Morales. He has offered lectures, workshops and Master Classes in composition, jazz composition and arranging in prestigious institutions such as: Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Michigan, Lynn University Music Conservatory, the University of New Mexico, Cincinnati University, Northern State University in South Dakota, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, the Aruba Casa di Cultura, and as part of the American Composers Orchestra Festivals. He has served on juries and panels for various competitions sponsored by The Indiana Arts Commission, the Bloomington Area Arts Council in Indiana, The Puerto Rican Institute of Culture and the American Composer’s Orchestra Forum in New York.
Dr. Mariano Morales has also worked as a professor at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, the University of Puerto Rico, the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, and at Northern New Mexico College. He was a Faculty Member at the Escuela Libre de Música for the Department of Education of Puerto Rico for over 14 years and has taught music in New Mexico and Florida Schools.
Morales holds a bachelor’s degree in music in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee College of Music and a master’s and a doctoral degree in Music Composition from Indiana University.