Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Guanabacoa, Cuba
Band: Julio Barretto Cuban Quartet
Genres: Afro-Cuban, Jazz
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Occupation: Musician


Julio Cesar Barreto was born in Guanabacoa, Cuba, in 1976, where he was immersed in the music of his family at a young age. Julio Barreto's uncle, Justo Barreto Rodriguez, played piano for Louis Armstrong, and his uncle, Alberto Barreto, composed music for Benny More. As a seven-year-old boy, Julio Barreto experimented with Afro-Cuban percussion instruments. It wasn't long before Julio played professionally at private parties and public events.

Julio Barreto enrolled at the National School of Art in 1983 and studied classical music at the Academy of Amadeo Roldan. While studying, Julio Barreto performed with a variety of Cuban musical groups, including Kiki Corona and Roberto Poveda. 

After completing his formal musical education, Julio Barreto performed behind many popular Cuban vocalists like Xiomara Laugart, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Julio Barreto went on to accompany Omar Hernandez, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Buster Williams, David Sanchez, Chucho Valdez, and Steve Coleman.

In 1997, Julio Barreto created The Julio Barreto Cuban Quartet and, in 2002, the band released their first album, IyabÛ, which featured a special appearance by Ravi Coltrane. Not much later, Julio started performing with Omar Sosa. Sosa fused the music of the world, electronic elements, and deep undertones of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Julio Barreto performed on Sosa's 'Afreecanos' and is scheduled to tour with Sosa across Europe until the end of 2008.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1992 Rapsodia Gonzalo Rubalcaba
1992 Suite 4 Y 20 Gonzalo Rubalcaba
1993 Diz Gonzalo Rubalcaba
1993 El Jazz Cubano Various Artists
1993 Imagine Gonzalo Rubalcaba
1994 Blue Note Now! Various Artists
1995 Esquire Jazz Collection: Breakthrough! Various Artists
1997 Cuba: I Am Time Various Artists
1998 Antiguo Gonzalo Rubalcaba
1998 Habana Vive Tony Martinez
1998 Mi Propia Aventura Charlie Cardona
1998 Okan Laye Stephan Kurmann
1998 Poco de Mi Lisette Melendez
1998 Primera Servando y Florentino
1998 Sir George Collection Various Artists
1999 Cuba, I Am Time, Vol. 4: Cubano Jazz Various Artists
1999 Dejame Entrar Ley Alejandro
1999 Gotcha DLG [Dark Latin Groove]
1999 Imaginate Charlie Cruz
1999 Inconfundible Victor Manuelle
1999 Maferefun Tony Martinez and Cuban Power
1999 Mi Mundo Dino Latino
1999 Que Llevo Por Dentro Frankie Negron
2000 A Mi Manera Willie Amadeo
2000 Ardiente Miosotis
2000 Asi Soy Charlie Cruz
2000 New Spirit in Jazz, Vol. 4 Various Artists
2002 ... y No Estas Autocontrol
2002 IyabÛ Julio Barreto Cuban Quartet
2003 Music for My Peoples Huey Dunbar
2003 Regalo del Alma Celia Cruz
2003 Ritmo y Color Rene Simon & La Iguana
2006 Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio Gonzalo Rubalcaba
2007 Nueva Era Dino Latino
2008 Afreecanos Omar Sosa


  • Ravi Coltrane on Julio Barreto: "That is great music with a great future, it's the perfect mixture of Afro-Cuban music, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and bebop."

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Sonor
Cymbals: Zildjian

Pics & Clips