“Juan Carlos Polo is a Peruvian drummer who has come to meld Jazz improvisation techniques into his drumming and makes a fine display of his virtuosity on Insomnio.”
Raul Da Gama

NYC based Peruvian drummer, composer, and educator  Juan Carlos Polo is one of the most versatile and creative musicians of his generation. Classically trained, he blends a number of influences in his playing including those of his native Peru. Since his arrival to the United States on December – 2016, Juan Carlos has worked with such notable musicians as the multiple Grammy Award-winner, pianist, and composer Arturo O’Farrill, tenor saxophonist Daniel Blake, Grammy Award nominee, and major Latin Jazz pianist Edsel Gomez, saxophonist and composer Jure Pukl, and Willie Colon’s tenor saxophonist Ivan Renta.

He holds a Bachelor degree in Percussion from The National University of Music in Peru where he has been a professor of the pre-college and the outreach program since 2014. He has played and recorded with numerous projects and bands of different styles and genres such as the internationally recognized Peruvian band “La Mente” and the “Inity Band”, which has been the backing band for  legendary reggae artists: Clinton Fearon (Gladiators), Calton Coffie (Inner Circle), Junior Reid (Black Uhuru), Anthony B and Mykel Rose.  Polo has also shared the stage with Cypress Hill, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Steel Pulse and  Calle 13 in several festivals. Additionally, he has participated as soloist in different editions of “The International Contemporary Classical Music Festival” as well as the “International Percussion Festival of Lima”.



His first album untitled “Insomnio” was released on 11/03/2016 under “One Trick Dog Records”, the label that is home to important jazz figures such as the Israeli pianist Roy Assaf. The official CD release concert was held on February 1st of 2017 at the world-renowned Smoke Jazz Club. Juan Carlos is actively performing  with his Quartet and other jazz projects, including the multiple Grammy Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and the Arturo O’farrill’s Octet in some of the most important venues of New York City, such as Smoke Jazz Club, Minton’s, Birdland, The Greene Space, Terraza 7, Rockwood Music Hall, Bar Next Door, among others.

As an educator, he is vigorously working as part of the Teaching Artist crew of the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, a non-profit organization which its educational programs span the five New York City boroughs serving school children. He is also contributing and committed with the community of  Jackson Heights and Jamaica in Queens, working as a Cajon and drum instructor at Pachamama Peruvian Arts, and Keiko Studios.

Know more about ALJA,  PPA, and Keiko Studios at:

About Insomnio:

“One would expect that the focus of Insomnio would be rhythm-heavy. But there lies the surprise. Juan Carlos Polo proves himself to be a writer of considerable talent and his music makes compelling use of the piano. Perhaps it is the fact that in the cultural topography of South America, the storytelling traditions are alive and continue to be spread even in so-called urban societies…”

Raul Da Gama – Latin Jazz Network


12 March
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Arturo O’Farrill at The Greene Space

I will be performing at The Greene Space at The New York Public Radio with my friend and mentor, the multiple Grammy Award winner Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble. Joining him will be Quartette Indigo, led by noted cellist and composer Akua Dixon. The evening will also feature a special appearance by Morrocan/French vocalist and composer […]

24 March

Emma Jayne at Rockwood Music Hall

Back at Rockwood Music Hall, this time playing with one of my favorite NYC singer-songwriters Emma Jayne. I love Emma’s music and is always a pleasure playing with such a great band. One set – 9:00 pm Stage 1