A master percussionist and zapateo dancer, Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón is appearing in ¡CELEBRACIÓN! with Gabriel Alegria. He has performed and toured internationally with Afro-Peruvian music luminaries and played and composed for Eva Ayllón, Peru Negro, Lucila Campos, Guajaja, and la Peña Don Porfirio. A member of Peru’s legendary Lobatón family, Lobatón began developing his skills at the age of four watching his father’s dance troupe rehearse in their living room. He is considered the world’s leading authority on Peruvian zapateo dancing and one of the most virtuosic percussionists of his generation. Lobatón’s distinctive approach to the cajón, quijada (jawbone), and cajita in a jazz context has made him a pioneer among Afro-Peruvian percussionists. He has added an essential element to Gabriel Alegriá’s music since joining the ensemble in 2004. In 2005, Lobatón was a guest soloist in a live performance in New York City by the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra of a piece for jazz orchestra and zapateador and his work is extensively featured on Alegria’s CD Nuevo Mundo and in live performances by the Afro-Peruvian Sextet.